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Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand Issue 2 2014

Aa Bb Cc

The ABC of Education in Thailand

Contents BCCT

Board of Directors 2014 Chairman Simon Matthews ManpowerGroup Thailand T: 02 634 7273



Vice Chairman & Treasurer John Sim PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. T: 02 679-5100 Vice Chairmen Viriya (Boyd) Chongphaisal GlaxoSmithKline T: 02 659 3000 Simon Landy Colliers International Thailand T: 02 656 7000




Chris Thatcher Anglo-Thai Legal Company Ltd. T: 081 803 7377 Directors: Graham Balchin Salamander Energy (E&P) Ltd. T: 02 620 0800


David Cumming Onyx Hospitality Group (Amari Orchid Pattaya) T: 02 255 3767 Michael Farley Harrow International School Bangkok T: 02 503 7222 Stephen Frost Bangkok International Associates T: 02 231 6201/6455 Charly Madan The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. T: 02 679 5900 Andrew McBean Grant Thornton T: 02 205 8222 Siew Meng Tan HSBC T: 02 614 4040 Rituraj Mohan Boots Retail (Thailand) T: 02 694 5900 Thana Thiramanus Property Care Services (Thailand) T: 02 741-8800



This Edition


Values of education


Quality counts in school selection


Solid growth in private education


Better times ahead for Cambodia


Budget sets scene for UK pension changes


Thailand’s intellectual property regime


Safeguarding corporate data in the financial services sector


New opportunities for UK business The Link

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The Link is published by the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand. Advertising enquiries: Greg Watkins Email: Editor: Dale Lawrence Email: Front cover design: GSBI



Production: Scand-Media Corp., Ltd The views expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand or of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand is strictly prohibited.










Every Edition

British Chamber of Commerce Thailand 7th Floor, 208 Wireless Road Bangkok 10330, Thailand Tel: 02-651 5350/3 Fax: 02-651 5354 Website: Email: Greg Watkins, Executive Director



Chairman’s Message

Member News



Executive Director’s Message

By the Numbers



British Council: More opportunities for IELTS scholarships


Helping the needy: Time to Rejoice

Chamber events


Comings and Goings


Final Word

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Chairman’s Message


n Thailand we have been celebrating Thai New Year (Songkran) and this was followed quickly by Easter, starting with Good Friday on 18 April. For those of you that have been travelling I look forward to seeing you at our Chamber events in the coming weeks and months.

Simon Matthews

Sustaining Partners

Even during the holiday season we continued to organise a variety of events including our regular Third Thursday and the Joint Chamber networking in the Easter Seaboard – hosted by the BCCT in April at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club. Please check the Event Calendar on our website for the latest updates. On 9 April Ambassador Mark Kent launched the ‘Taste of Britain’ campaign to promote quality British food and drink products at Central World. This is a partnership with Central Food Retail, the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand and UK Trade & Investment where products are offered at 64 Central Food Hall and Tops stores nationwide. Did you know, for example, that for the manufacturers of Fisherman’s Friend in Fleetwood, Lancashire Thailand is their second largest market? Mark Kent also hosted a briefing at the official residence between Khun Chadchart Sittipunt, Caretaker Transport Minister and representatives from UK companies. The Minister made clear that the main objective of the THB two trillion proposed spending on Thailand’s transportation structure is to cut the country’s logistics cost and to maximise the economic benefit that would accrue to Thailand through regional integration (especially the growing economic linkages between southern China and mainland south east Asia). The investment spending and 1.6 million jobs that will result from project construction is a stimulus to growth in the coming years but the real benefit to be derived is the enhanced competitiveness of the country after Thailand’s transportation and logistics have been restructured. Since the meeting, Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled that the legislation allocating THB two trillion for government infrastructure projects was illegal and violated the constitution. Khun Chadchart did mention during the meeting that the issue was funding and not the projects themselves. We will keep you updated on this issue as there are opportunities for UK business and our members. Vice Chairman Simon Landy and I will be attending the Ordinary Annual General Meeting of the Board of Trade in April. Thanks to Simon we have a unique relationship with them that we wish to continue. I will update you in the next issue of The Link. In closing I would like to remind our members the newly inaugurated British Business Centre is now open and available for hire. This is a purpose-built facility ideal for meetings and presentations with a capacity of 60 in theatrestyle seating and more for receptions. It offers a number of configurations that may be adapted to your requirements. The British Business Centre provides the very latest in wireless connectivity with access to a PC/Skype-enabled 70 inch TV with whiteboard capability.

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Executive Director’s Message


hile working to support members businesses and develop the Overseas Business Network initiative BCCT still places corporate social responsibility and charity activity as a high priority.

Greg Watkins

Annual Airline Partners

The Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS (TBCA) was formally established in 1993 to promote private sector awareness of the spread of AIDS and organise activities to help prevent AIDS in the workplace. It also coordinates with related government bodies and NGOs in support of activities to control and prevent the spread of AIDS. Major funding is provided by the Global Fund through the Thailand Ministry of Public Health for two key project areas – HIV/Aids and tuberculosis (TB). Further funding is secured by providing knowledge and advice direct to companies. On behalf of BCCT, I serve as Chairman of the TBCA board. BCCT Honorary Adviser Sukhavichai Dhanasundara is Managing Director of TBCA. On child protection BCCT works in partnership with the UK National Crime Agency – Child Exploitation and On-line Protection Centre (NCA-CEOP). The key objective is to engage the business community in Thailand in order to raise awareness and educate communities in which member companies operate. Working together NCA-CEOP and BCCT developed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Corporate Charter which were both signed in 2010.

Supporting Partners

On 25th October 2011 a new animated film jointly developed by NCA-CEOP, the British Council and BCCT was officially launched. Entitled ‘The Tales of Mai and Tam: Mai and Tam Take Control’, the film has been created in Thai and English and focuses on issues of child trafficking and sexual abuse by someone outside the family. In March 2014 the Tales of Mai and Tam was launched in comic form in both Thai and English language. Child protection does not normally form part of a company’s CSR activity. However, the multiplier effect of messaging through corporate employees is very powerful. The challenge remains to persuade companies to engage in child protection awareness activity. BCCT’s charity activity has traditionally focused on children and/or education. Charity activity by members of the British community began in 1941. In 1957 a committee was formed to organize the first charity fair – the Ploenchit Fair. Foundation status was secured from the Ministry of Interior in 1999 under the name British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) which today continues to organise the annual Ploenchit Fair. Priority is given to self-help projects that benefit and enable a community to become self-sustaining. Assistance has also been given in the provision of basic necessities and equipment to improve healthcare, nutrition, education, agricultural projects and the disabled throughout Thailand. BCCT organises the Grand Raffle at Ploenchit Fair – traditionally the largest income generating activity in the Fair. Members of the BCTFN board are entirely voluntary. On behalf of BCCT I serve on the BCTFN board as Vice President. In March 2014 the BCCT board resolved to work more closely with BCTFN. BCCT makes small charity donations each year from the proceeds of the raffle and auction at the Annual Christmas Luncheon. In 2013 these donations included: the Students’ Education Trust (SET). BCCT provides funds for two British gap year students, assessed for SET by Project Trust in UK, to teach English language in schools in Nakhon Sawan province; and The Beaumont Partnership (TBP) Foundation. TBP Foundation was established by BCCT member company The Beaumont Partnership to construct a school for the underprivileged on 70 rai of land in Chaiyaphum Province.



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Please feel free to email me at if you would like to engage in any way with TBCA, BCTFN or with BCCT on child protection. The Link

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cover story

Values of education In this latest look at the private schools sector in Thailand we posed several key questions to BCCT members. We began by asking about the main values sought by parents when choosing a private school for their child in Thailand and whether these values differ according to the nationality of the parents.


tephen Holroyd, Headmaster of Shrewsbury School says, “Parents are looking for a safe and happy environment so that their children will settle well and thrive. This is universal.There are some regional traits which emerge when examining the balance between academic and wider offerings


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but parents are discerning. They understand that success emerges from well-being and they want to know that the well-being and happiness of young people is the priority. At Traill International School, Principal Gordon Espley-Jones believes

that the focus for parents is very much on the curriculum. “The main aims are to have a curriculum which will enable students to study abroad and which is transferable as the family travels around the world. Parents are also keen to see their children gaining English language skills to a high level.

It’s the same at NIST International School as Jared Kuruzovich explains. “Based on our research, the top four priorities are quality of curriculum, quality of teaching staff, resources and the school environment. Although other factors such as location and extra-curricular activities do play a role, these are key for most parents. Minor differences do exist between nationalities but there are none that are statistically significant.” At KIS International School, Head Sally Holloway says, “Most parents want a school with a good reputation, established academic excellence and a nice atmosphere. Many parents are looking at smaller schools where their child can stand out more as an individual. “More parents are seeking an International Baccalaureate education not just the IB Diploma in the last two years of high school but also the IB Middle Years Programme and the IB Primary Years Programme. Different families place different levels of importance on the values but many parents will already short list schools that match their values before they visit.” Q: With so much choice available to parents, what steps are being taken to attract pupils from the local and international communities? At Traill, cost is clearly an important factor. “WE keep the fees as low as possible and we concentrate on certain areas of excellence and to develop them to a high degree. This will raise the profile of the school. We also nurture feeder schools in the area,” says Gordon Espley-Jones.

Sally Holloway, Head of KIS International School

Bangkok. Our public relations and communications focus on the simplicity and clarity of our message.” At NIST, Jared Kuruzovich believes the school has the advantage of having become well-established before what he describes as the ‘international education boom in the late 1990s that saw the opening of dozens of new international schools in Thailand’.

First impressions “We have built a positive reputation and school community over the

KIS is also very active in the local and international communities. “Our teachers are involved with professional organisations both with the IB and within the Bangkok academic community and we have a marketing department to help raise awareness of the school,” says Sally Holloway. Stephen Holroyd says, “Shrewsbury is an academic and selective school and is part of a thriving, multi-faceted sector of international schools in

past two decades. Because demand exceeds our current capacity, we are able to focus more on the quality of our programmes to ensure that we have only the best teachers and staff. As demonstrated continually through educational research, this is the key factor in ensuring that children receive the best possible education, and it thus remains our biggest focus.”

Shrewsbury School Head Stephen Holroyd

Q: When prospective parents visit your campus, how do you seek to make that vital first impression? Do you, for example, focus mainly upon academic achievements or do you stress as equally important the school’s pastoral framework and the broad range of extra-curricular activities available to pupils? Gordon Espley-Jones says, “I believe that the most important element is to ensure that every student is happy at the school because, without that, nothing else works and students will not reach their potential. We emphasise the welcoming, family-feel to the school, where all students can integrate quickly and easily. The school is also small enough to ensure that The Link

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cover story At KIS the main language is English – the language of instruction – but as Sally Holloway explains the school also supports mother tongue learning. “We have had students studying many languages including Dutch, Swedish, Hindi, Japanese and French. These classes are organised by the parents but can take place at school and be a part of a student’s programme.” Shrewsbury School has a Modern Foreign Languages programme which offers French, Spanish and Japanese from Years 3 to 13. “However, Mandarin is by far the most popular choice with nearly 50 percent of our pupils learning the language,” says Stephen Holroyd. there are ample opportunities for each student to make a big impact.” At NIST Jared Kuruzovich adds, “We have been fortunate to have incredibly diverse students and staff, all of whom possess unique cultures, interests and passions. Although NIST has often had the reputation of being a school with a strong academic focus we also offer over 300 extracurricular activities each year; we take a lead among schools in community service and activism and we maintain expansive programmes for counselling, gifted students, English language learners and other groups with unique needs. We believe this well-rounded approach sells itself.” Q: Will the introduction of the ASEAN Economic Community have a material impact (positive or negative) on private education in Thailand? Will the AEC, for example, allow schools to recruit teachers from neighbouring employment markets? “Quite possibly,” says Stephen Holroyd. “Our ties to the UK are genuine and strong and, at present, we recruit international teachers almost exclusively from Britain. However, we believe that it is important that our students live and work in a diverse and multi-cultural context. We are always open to applications from teachers who bring a richness of experience to Shrewsbury School.


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At KIS Sally Holloway is unsure of the impact of the AEC. “We think there will be more Thai families looking for an international education for their children but our recruitment procedure won’t change. We recruit teachers from around the world based on their qualifications, experience and personalities. Most of them are recruited from outside the AEC.” Q: The ability of pupils to speak fluently one or more languages is of paramount importance when they begin to seek career opportunities after graduating from university. What are the most popular languages now being studied by students in Thailand? “At NIST our World Languages Programme is set to expand as our campus development projects continue over the next few years. We offer languages ranging from Hindi and Hebrew to Dutch and German. Our most popular languages, however, tend to be those of the Asia Pacific region. Because the core language at NIST is English, all of our students are at least bilingual, and many are trilingual, says Jared Kuruzovich. At Traill, Gordon Espley-Jones says that English is the most popular language, followed by Japanese. “They also study Mandarin and French but these are not popular.”

Learning difficulties Q: Are schools employing specialist teachers to assist students that may be experiencing learning difficulties and does your school work in tandem with external support organisations when addressing this sensitive issue? “In reality the idea of special needs is a misnomer as all students possess unique strengths and needs. We provide qualified specialists to address the needs of students with learning difficulties, and those with unique gifts through enrichment programmes. NIST also maintains close ties with external organisations to better offer families options should they require additional services or advice,” says Jared Kuruzovich. At Shrewsbury, each class in the Junior School has a full-time TA to assist the students in lessons and also to provide additional booster support when needed. We also have three Learning Mentors who work across the Junior and Senior school supporting students with emotional, social and behavioural needs. We have a large EAL (English as an Additional Language) department with a dedicated EAL specialist assigned to each year group from Years 1-9. “We are in contact with a large number of external support organisations

in Bangkok including The Village, Little Sprouts, Merak and ATOC and each week an Occupational Therapist and Speech/Language Therapist visit the school to provide therapy for those students that need further support,” says Stephen Holroyd. Work experience Q: What more can BCCT members do to increase work experience opportunities for senior school students as they prepare for university? KIS senior students are often seeking work experience during the summer holidays. “It would be great if we could receive a list of companies that can accept students for internships and the jobs they have for them,” says Sally Holloway. These words were echoed by Traill’s Gordon Espley-Jones who says, “I’m not sure if it a deficiency of the BCCT members or our own but the work experience programme at our school is still very basic and we would welcome offers of work placements from any BCCT members. Stephen Holroyd wants the BCCT to leverage connections with UK companies and encourage business leaders to offer summer work placements. “Work placements are of enormous benefit to students as they work to build their profiles for university applications. Only a handful of companies offer internships for students not at university.” He also proposed that the Chamber hosts an internship fair inviting senior students from various international schools with the BCCT hosting seminars and inviting speakers to inspire students. Any such measures would certainly welcomed by NIST. “The most valuable way in which individuals and organisations can support us, in addition to offering placements for student internships, is by serving as advisers. Schools naturally aim to prepare students for university and employment and we can only do so when businesses clearly convey

their needs to us. We would love to establish closer ties in this respect and work with other organisations in further orienting the education we offer toward practical skills,” says Jared Kuruzovich. Q: Finally, how are schools embracing technology to improve teaching methods and to aid the development of students’ IT skills? At Shrewsbury School there is extensive use of iPad tablet devices across both the junior and senior schools to support student learning and digital literacy skills and interactive digital whiteboards in every classroom. The school offers specialist Mac multimedia suites for Art, Design Technology, Music and Computing and computing lessons for all students from Years 5 to 9 with the option for further study of Computing through to Year 13. At KIS, technology is both taught as a subject and used in the classroom for other subjects. “We have a one to one laptop programme and our students learn programming and coding. KIS supports three platforms (Mac, Windows and Linux) and students are expected to work with all of these. Students engage in such activities

as creating videos or animations, running a TV show and using 3D modelling software.” Traill is expanding its IT provision in lessons covering research, modeling, presentations and basic IT skills. “Most of the hardware is provided by the school but some is provided by the students,” says Gordon EspleyJones. NIST’s Jared Kuruzovich has strong views on this subject. “Many schools around the world are unfortunately grounded in a twentieth century mentality, one that envisions computers and the internet as supplemental to the curriculum. Computer labs are still common even in many international schools and many policies still ban mobile devices. Technology has simply evolved past that and students need to have it integrated into the curriculum at all times, not as a class that they attend. “We sought to address these changes several years ago with our one to one tablet programme and we are in the process of becoming an Apple-based school. The issuance of devices to all students is built directly into our tuition structure rather than being a separate cost.”

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Education revolution By Jared Kuruzovich


eople resist change. In almost every context of the human experience, we often fear the unknown, the gradual transformation of the familiar. The world of education is no different, and as parents, we often struggle to understand what is happening in our children’s classrooms as they complete work and take part in activities that we never experienced. What we often fail to recognise is that our experiences do not, and should not, determine what or how our children learn. Education has changed, and we must acclimatise ourselves to this new world. Practically every developed and developing country around the globe, including the United Kingdom, has undergone a radical transformation in the past few decades. Bangkok, London, New York and other major cities have shifted from merely being centres of employment to serving as technological and economic hubs. With this have come new educational needs that are not being met by our antiquated academic standards which, all too often, still focus upon rote learning and uniform content that prepares students for a workplace that no longer exists. A 2013 survey of the Confederation of British Industry found that over two of every three employers struggle to find employees with the desired skills necessary to grow their businesses. Similar studies in other countries produced nearly identical reports. The solutions often suggested in the public forum are simple: raise the learn-


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ing standards, and focus on ‘basic’ academic skills in literacy and maths. Yet this approach fails to address the fact that doing so will not fill the existing gap. Employers do not want employees who know more. They want employees who can do more, and do it while working with others. Numerous UK universities, aiming to understand the global employment crisis, have identified transferable skills as those being sought by organisations. Leadership, collaboration, problem solving, creativity and adaptability are among the qualities they seek. They want individuals who possess curiosity and maturity, and can communicate their ideas effectively with those of differing opinions and backgrounds. Yet where are these skills in our academic standards? Why do we still see conflict and a lack of empathy in society? When we look into an effective modern organisation, what we see is a multicultural hub, a dynamic exchange of ideas between diverse indi-

viduals of differing backgrounds and opinions. Boundaries are continually negotiated and relationships redefined. Technology is interwoven in every aspect of the workday. Workers play a part in defining their roles and communicating those responsibilities to others, while leaders aim to inspire and guide, not dictate. Now consider the classroom of the past: a row of straight desks, with homogeneous students each completing the same task, assigned by a single individual who determined the course of study. This is our academic legacy, and it simply will not do anymore. We need more. We need a revolution. Unlike the national systems, most of which have been highly criticized and mired in reform efforts driven by political agendas, international education has been free to determine its own course. As the world has become more closely connected through technology and commerce, the number of international schools has risen, particularly in the Asian region. Even when affiliated with national

curricula, these schools maintain the freedom to determine their own academic standards. Tellingly, though they retain a strong academic focus, the top international schools provide a more holistic approach. This is most evident in the International Baccalaureate (IB), an educational programme not tied to any particular national curriculum. The IB style of learning concentrates on key transferable skills it summarises in its learner profile. By identifying learners in terms such as open-minded, reflective, principled and balanced, the profile ensures that academics are both rigorous and progressive. Though the IB is not perfect, as is the case with any system, it nonetheless aims to align its programmes to the needs of modern society. The question becomes whether or not these schools are successful. Based on the accumulated evidence of the past decades, international school students have indisputably outperformed their peers in national systems in every area. In the case of the IB, the Higher Education Statistics Agency demonstrated that IB graduates received more first and second class honours awards, and were nearly twice as likely to pursue further schooling in the future. More importantly, they exhibit maturity and open-mindedness that their peers often do not. What are some schools doing that

makes them more successful? It is not merely the programmes or academic standards. They succeed in large part because of their diversity and openness to change. International schools in particular often include students and staff who represent dozens of nationalities, and encourage them to draw upon their unique experiences and expertise in learning from one another. They become a proverbial melting pot in which the assimilation of ideas and opinions form truly global citizens. The success of their graduates becomes clear in this light. While students in traditional schools are being asked to focus even more on academic standards and posting high marks on standardised examinations, international schools are creating cultures that thrive on collaboration, shared learning and creativity. They are, in short, producing precisely the types of engaged citizens that employers are seeking: individuals who can communicate with others of differing opinions, work independently and creatively, and guide others to do the same. Amongst the tasks you’ll see in these schools are types of learning many of us have never experienced. A group of students organize and self-fund trips to underdeveloped areas, working with local leaders to identify and solve issues. A teacher records a class of high schoolers as they share how their respective cultures influence

their conceptions of knowledge and learning. Even at the elementary level, students may work with partners on projects they select, while the teacher stands on the side as a guide to help them formulate their strategies. Though the learning in these schools may be unfamiliar, buzzing with activity and creative chaos, they represent the kind of environment that we know succeeds. A growing body of educational research demonstrates that the philosophy underlying this approach effectively nurtures the skills our children require to succeed in the 21st century. Though it sometimes may be confusing or unfamiliar, we can trust that the transformation of education is a positive one. Fostering a deeper understanding of differing cultures and individuals provides our children with a learning foundation that quite literally offers them the world.

Jared Kuruzovich oversees communications at NIST International School. Tel: +66 (0) 2 651 2065 E-mail:

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BCCT can inf luence government thinking By Chris Thatcher


hat is education? How does it fit into a national economic development process? Why is education so important? These questions, and many more, should be considered by every nation concerned about its long-term future. Sadly more fail than succeed. One key question for me is to ask if education is a human right and if so, to what level? Thailand has many high-quality educational institutions that are arguably world class. But are they accessible to the majority of Thai people? Simply, no. They are, in the UK sense, public schools - namely private schools (language huh?) and demand high fees and levels of accessibility beyond the vast majority of Thai people. So I have excluded them from this article, not because they are bad but simply because they are inaccessible for most and therefore are irrelevant in any consideration of national educational development in the long-term. So for the average Thai person who seeks high quality education for their youngster what else is there? There are a few top-notch Thai schools (mainly in Bangkok) but getting your youngster into them seems to depend upon a level of ‘persuasion’ beyond the means of most. But does it matter? As businesses, you want to recruit employees who fit your mould, who have the abilities you seek and who you only have to train in terms of understanding your business. In other words, basic educational standards should be a given. You are concerned to ensure that the ‘supply chain’ of workers is at the very least constant and that the quality is steadily improving.


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In most countries that would cover the worlds of higher education and vocational education and the upper reaches of schooling. Companies are entitled to expect a steady stream of youngsters educated and trained to a level they require. Indeed for many companies it is part of the understanding of investment in developing their business that such a supply exists. But there are other aspects of education that should be the concern of everyone. For any nation to grasp the importance of developing and expanding, education lies at the heart. A poorly educated population has less ability to question its leaders and thus is more easily controlled and manipulated (if those are the right words). Any nation that espouses the principles of democracy and strives to give its population the enlightenment needed to play a proper rôle in the development of their country needs to address the notion of education for all. Doing this is never easy

and often falls victim to political machination and manipulation from various sources. Thailand is no stranger to this. Educational change requires commitment, and funding that goes beyond the life time of one parliament, is sustainable and can be seen as a national infrastructure. This can only be achieved (without political manipulation) over an extended period of time. Just like any other national infrastructure project (high speed railways for example) it takes time, money and proper management. But most importantly it needs a vision and shared goals. Is there a part for the Chambers of Commerce to play in this? I would argue that there is. The Chambers are all about developing business interests for the benefit of our member companies. We are not part of the democracy of Thailand but we are part of the long-

term business development of the country. As such we should be pointing out to whatever government is in power what the needs of business are and how the country can, from our point of view, assist us in supporting this more effectively. We can offer support and guidance if it is asked for. We can demonstrate our commitment to the country and its overall development by engaging with anyone who is prepared to listen. We don’t expect to be the only ones who have a view on this and neither do we expect to do any more than engage in the discussion but we do have some knowledge and expertise that could at the very least assist. When I became a Headteacher in 1982 in the UK, education there was very different than it is now. The changes have come about through many and frequent (some would say too many and too frequent) adjustments to the curriculum, the management of schools and universities and occasionally a little (!) political tinkering.

In the 30 years from 1982 to 2012 the educational world in the UK has changed significantly and (usually) for the better. The knowledge and lessons learned are available to Thailand should it wish to learn from the mistakes of others and genuinely proceed to develop its education systems for the better. Having the debate or discussion is important - but pointless if there is no genuine will to make changes and fund developments and improvements. Lastly, Thailand faces the potential impact of AEC on its economy. It should strive to be the leader in the region in its commitment to having a well-educated workforce ready and capable of taking advantage of the opportunities that AEC presents. That is a challenge facing Thailand as a nation but also impacting on all who do business here. BCCT members are not immune from this. Education is a right for all but importantly for the business community it is also an economic driver for the long-term future. It cannot be

ignored or swept under the carpet. It must be properly planned and, significantly, funded. It underlies all else and is the foundation upon which an economically successful nation is ultimately sustained and built. The BCCT’s challenge is to engage in educational development through the business community. Are we up to it?

Chris Thatcher is a Vice Chairman of BCCT. The BCCT Education Group welcomes new members especially those prepared to take on a leadership role in its work. If interested, please contact Chris at or Greg Watkins at BCCT Head Office:

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Helping children with learning problems By Ali Khakpoor


nna is a nine year old, third grade student in an international school in Bangkok. The school she attends has high academic standards and pressures for achievements are intense. Anna is struggling to keep up with her peers. Her reading performance is a full grade behind the standard for her age, and her teachers are concerned. As well as her literacy issues, she has recently started to behave in immature ways with peers and adults. Alternating between excessive shyness and overly affectionate behaviour, she appears to be losing her close friends and is perceived unapproachable by her parents. If you ever encounter a similar scenario with your child, there are things you could do. If your child has been in school for at least four years, like in Anna’s case, and is still behind in her reading by at least a grade level, then something might be going on that is worth finding out. More often than not, things do not just go away by themselves. Extra tutoring hours after school or reading a wide variety of books could work in some cases, but for children in this age group, stakes are high and time is a precious element. As a parent, it is important for you to try to understand the nature of your child’s difficulty. Your child’s teachers might have an idea why this has happened, and they might even have some ideas as to what to do. In this case, they have done what schools would do in similar situation without much progress; if this is the case you 18

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probably should investigate the situation further. At this point my best advice would be to contact an educational psychologist to see whether an assessment of your child’s needs, learning style, strengths and weaknesses would be helpful or necessary. If your child does require an assessment, try and find the best service available in your area. A typical psycho-educational assessment takes several testing sessions at the very least, is conducted by an experienced specialist well versed in assessing children in a multicultural setting, and is performed using standardised, well known testing tools. Do not settle for anything less! Appropriate and individualised support and remediation can be devised only based on the findings of a comprehensive, high quality evaluation of your child’s individual needs. These measures would most likely help your child to close the academic gap in due time. Once positive learning experiences and successes are realised the child’s behaviours will usually improve dramatically. Let’s talk about something else parent can easily do; I am talking about prevention. Prevention, in many cases, is possible and (in my opinion) the best way to ensure future success. If you are a parent to a younger child there are lots of simple strategies that you could implement to avoid a scenario like Anna’s. These strategies might not be what you would have guessed. Let’s start by discussing how a child learns to read. We learn to read and

write by matching written forms to spoken words they symbolise. Not surprisingly, many parents think that learning your letters in the preschool years is the quintessential pre-reading skill. Some even drill their children in matching written letters to letter names. It is important to eventually learn the alphabet, but this is a task that is made more comprehensible and manageable if it builds on other prereading skills, especially strong oral language abilities. Such abilities do not require memorisation or drills, rather they mostly depend on conversational interactions between sensitive, responsive adults and young children. Here are some essential tools to give your children the best possible start: Vocabulary Growing a good vocabulary is important for reading. Pre-kindergarten vocabulary size is more predictive of reading skills by the end of third grade than knowing the alphabet before kindergarten. Vocabulary growth is grounded in adult-child conversation during play, at noontime, on outings both mundane (grocery shopping) and exotic (a trip to the zoo), and so on. Narrative Narrative or storytelling skill is also a building block for reading. Reading requires that children understand that language is symbolic and decontextualised. Telling and hearing stories about past experiences or fictional situations helps children to understand that language can func-

tion to represent events and experiences that are not part of the current context. Again, adult child conversation about shared experiences, as in collaborative co-narration, is key to growing narrative skills. Shared book reading Extensive and positive early experience with books is another cornerstone of later literacy. Adults reading to children, known as shared book reading, helps children learn that books are a source of information and entertainment. If enthusiastic adults engage children in conversations as they read, encouraging children to talk about the story, to discuss new words, and to make inferences which connect the story to the child’s experience, language skills grow as well as the child’s love of reading. Having a lot of experience with books, will also teach children not only how printed words work but what letters

look like, that print conveys meaning, English is read from left to right, pages turn from right to left, and so on. As children become aware of what print looks like and what it conveys, they will notice it throughout their environment, on signs, on packaging, and so on. The prevalence of print creates “teachable moments”, opportunities to print out the letters of the alphabet, for example.

ing children’s attention to the smaller units of sound that make up words and therefore promoting phonological awareness. Many children’s favourite storybooks highlight phonology by having fun with alliteration, which is the process of repeating the same beginning consonant sound over and over, or using rhyme, similar to what you would see in a Dr. Seuss book.

Phonemes Phonological awareness is critical for beginning readers, and refers to the recognition that words are composed of separable sounds or phonemes. These phonemes will eventually be matched to printed letters or letter combinations. When adults engage children in play with language, “let’s find everything in the room that starts with the ‘tuh’ sound” or “what words do we know that rhyme with yes,” they are direct-

Ali Khakpoor is a clinical child psychologist and director of the Reed Institute in Bangkok. Email:

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Nurturing young learners to fulfil their individual potential Developing Knowledge and Understanding

Inspiring Creativity


t Bangkok Patana we provide the essential rigour of a British curriculum incorporating best practice from other programmes to reflect our international setting. Our aim is to nurture and develop a lifelong love of learning in our young students.

Encouraging Curiosity


t key points in the Primary School we benchmark ourselves against UK schools using National Curriculum Tests. In 2013 96% of our Year 2 students achieved Level 2 or above in Reading compared to 89% in the UK, 95% in Writing (UK 85%) and 99% in Mathematics (UK 91%).

Building Confidence


e also understand the importance of learning outside the classroom. Extensive opportunities for children to flourish and develop their personal interests are provided through our varied extra-curricular activities programme.

To find out how our child-centred approach to learning and outstanding teaching staff can help your child fulfil their potential from 2 1/2 to 18 years of age, please contact us at |+66 (0) 2785 2200 | 643 Lasalle Road (Sukhumvit 105), Bangna, Bangkok 20

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Bangkok Patana is an IB World School accredited by CIS and NEASC

Creating learning environments for the 21st Century “Good Facilities do more than teach, they inspire. They aspire to shape minds both inside and beyond the classroom.” Pit Li Phan good school is a place where students are stimulated to learn and grow. It is a place that prepares them for life as wellrounded, global citizens in a future world we cannot yet imagine. Facilities certainly do not make a school; it is essential however that students learn within a setting that supports their individual educational and pastoral needs. In modern pedagogy this learning environment is known as the Third Teacher, alongside adults and other children. At Bangkok Patana School its mission of fulfilling the potential of every student is achieved through the excellence and expertise of the school’s teachers, curriculum and extra-curricular programme. The aim is to ensure that students aged between 2 ½ and 18 years consistently receive a diverse and engaging education both in and outside the classroom. In keeping with the third teacher philosophy, the Bangkok Patana environment also plays a key role in achieving their mission; the range of facilities are specially tailored to create an atmosphere that is safe, conducive to learning and supportive of student wellbeing. In August 2014 the school will be unveiling its renovated Year 1 and 2 facilities. This area will be given a complete upgrade to provide a setting that stimulates and encourages children’s learning and development. Designed in consultation with the teaching staff, the remodelled facilities recognise the importance of the environment on the quality of learning. The new building will incorporate more open, collaborative work spaces for group learning and creative play as well as quiet breakout spaces. Other exciting new facilities include a physical development room, wet and dry activity room, ICT labs and a one-of-a-kind rooftop garden. The redesign will provide Primary students with more outside play space and greater access to areas designed to foster social, behavioural and problem solving skills, that inspire imaginative play and present unique opportunities for larger scale learning. Primary Principal Clare Sharp agrees. “Research indicates that exposing children to many experiences can help build up a bank of learning styles, which they can tap into depending on the activity. This is also true for buildings and the design and flow of a building can influence how we learn. We know that the children in Year 1 and 2 will benefit immensely as they move into their new learning environment, specifically designed to promote inquiry, encourage learning through doing and to develop creativity, collaboration and independence.”


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21 |+66 (0) 2785 2200 | | 643 Lasalle Road (Sukhumvit 105), Bangkok

Quality counts in school selection By Jon Lane


ny family moving to a new country has a number of decisions to make. Where to live and where to send your children to school are generally the two which are highest on the priority list. In many cities around the world the problem is finding the quality of housing and schooling that you are looking for, but in Bangkok the opposite applies. You have so many choices that you have the difficulty of knowing where to begin. There are around 100 different International Schools in Bangkok, as well as Thai schools offering English programmes and bilingual schools, so where should you start? I have been told that when choosing which Thai roadside restaurant to eat in, you should choose the one with the most customers, because it means that the quality is good. I wonder if the same bit of wisdom applies for choosing a school: if it has a lot of students it must be better than the one with fewer students. Having been a school administrator in 4 different countries, in schools ranging in size from 39 up to 1500, I would say that I am in a reasonable position to comment on the theory. Large schools with more students will logically have a greater number of specialist facilities; probably have a wider range of options in Secondary classes, and a large campus to cater for the numbers. There will be more classes per year group, and more teachers generally mean a larger range of co-curricular clubs and activities. Smaller schools with fewer students may have more limited fa22

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cilities, fewer classes per year group and Secondary subject options may be more limited. Students from one age group in a small school mix more with students of another age group, including in school events and activities. Whilst large schools are not necessarily impersonal, smaller schools will generally have a more ‘intimate’ feel to it. As the head of a small school I have far more close contact with the teachers and the students and the larger the school, the less contact and interaction you will have with the children attending it. After working in different sized schools, I purposely chose to work in a smaller school for my latest job. Charter International School has grown from 130 students, in the year before I joined, to 220 students aged from two to 18 years. The size of the campus would enable the school to

grow to a larger school of around 400-500 and in the full restaurant theory that would make it a better and more desirable school. But if it is small and good, then size isn’t really the issue which ultimately decides the desirability of a school either to work in, or as a place to send your children. Other criteria are much more important such as: • Is the school accredited? In order to pass accreditation by one or more of the four international accrediting agencies approved by the Thai government, the school will have been required to show that it has a clear mission and its programmes and organisation are directed towards achieving it. A school has to show that it is providing education at an internationally recognised standard in order to be accredited • Is it a ‘for profit’ school? The number of international schools that have been set up as a business ven-

ture first and a place of education second has grown tremendously over the past decade. Profits taken out of income means less money for teaching and learning Does the school employ experienced, qualified teachers? Teachers are a school’s greatest resource, so a school should be investing in good quality, well qualified teachers What is the type of curriculum offered? If parents are used to the national curriculum of a particular country, they will often opt for the school which offers the same curriculum. The range of international curriculum types is much broader and a different curriculum shouldn’t be discounted because you are less familiar with it. (To avoid testing this, try not to move countries during the last two years of your child’s schooling) If your child has particular educational needs or if your child would requires language support, is the school able to provide it Are there after school clubs and activities on offer? Depending on your children’s interests you would want to see the opportunities in sport, music, art etc. Belonging to one of the national

or international activities groups would certainly broaden those opportunities, so you will need to become familiar with a number of acronyms for these organisations in Bangkok such as TISAC, BISAC and FOBISSEA The most important thing of course is what you we see and feel as you visit the school.

based on the English National Curriculum. It has additional teachers for EAL and for learning support. All teachers are fully qualified, as are a number of the teaching assistants. Charter is a member of TISAC (Thailand International Schools Activity Conference). Visitors always comment very positively on the positive atmosphere and the attractive and safe nature of the campus.

Key questions • Are the students happy and do they have a good relationship with each other and the teachers? • Is the school clean, orderly and shows due consideration for Health and Safety? • Does it ‘feel’ right for your children? Having asked the questions I should probably assess my small school in relation to the points above. Charter is privately owned but is a not-forprofit school. It is nationally and internationally accredited by the Council of International School (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and is an approved examination centre offering Cambridge University IGCSE and A Level and has an overall curriculum

We may not be a big school compared to others but I think we know that size isn’t really the most important thing. It’s quality that matters most of all.

Jon Lane is Head of Charter International School at 36, Chaloem Phrakiat Rd in Prawet. Email: Further information about Charter can be found at

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Safety remains top priority for student travellers By Nichakan Chotsirikulmontri


s a student traveller, safety is one of the most important things to keep in mind during your travels abroad. As international opportunities for students and teachers increase, so do the risks they face while living and traveling overseas. The world can be a dangerous place and student travellers should learn to avoid unnecessary risks and potential harm. Most trips are trouble-free but students and teachers can be impacted by sudden or chronic medical conditions, injured in an accident abroad or trapped in situation where their personal safety is compromised, such as a civil unrest or natural disaster. Following these safety tips as suggested by International SOS medical and security specialists will increase your chances of enjoying a hasslefree trip. Before you leave • Make a List - Make a two-column list of items you will need for your trip. Place items you’re intending to pack in your suitcase in the first column and items you plan to place in your carry-on in the second. Check each item off as you pack it and check your list twice - Ensure you have your ticket, money, passport, visa, emergency information and any necessary medicine in your carry-on bag


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• Pack wisely - Pack clothing that you will be comfortable wearing and which will not draw unwanted attention. Remember, styles that are viewed as acceptable in some countries may be seen as inappropriate in other countries. For example, if you are travelling to Indonesia, do not pack a suitcase full of revealing clothes such as midriffs or singlet - Leave valuables like expensive jewellery, watches and designer handbags or clothing at home as they may increase your chance of being robbed - Pack comfortable shoes. You will likely be doing a lot of walking, closed toe shoes are recommended, as they will protect you from fleas, ticks, and other parasites - Pack your extra pair of eyeglasses, contacts and sunglasses

- Bring any prescription drugs you may need. It’s best to get your prescriptions refilled just before leaving. If you will be out of country for a long time, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor for a spare prescription under a generic name - Remember to carry all prescriptions in their original packaging, with accompanying letter from your doctor, and place it in your hand luggage in case your luggage goes missing - Pack a medical kit, a small, highpowered flashlight, mobile phone, and a phone card just in case. The kit should include aspirin, bandages, insect repellent, sunscreen, antacids, and anti-diarrhoea medication Other ways to prepare for your trip • Do your research Many students are so excited at

the prospect of travelling that they forget to research the location they’re visiting. But visiting another country without researching it first is like walking into traffic blindfolded. International SOS Country Guides help you get acquainted with the country and people you are visiting before you set off, as well as providing crucial health and safety information - Familiarise yourself with the local customs, laws, and climate of the country you are visiting - Know what events and festivals are happening at your destination during the time you’re travelling - Understand the currency and exchange rate in the country you intend to visit. This way, you will not over-pay or fall victim to a scam

- -


• Here’s to your health A pre-trip health check, complete with any necessary vaccinations and a dental check-up, is a must for any traveller. Travellers who have diabetes or other pre-existing conditions should consult with their doctor before leaving on a trip



Pay special attention to local regulations concerning syringes and insulin transportation

• Take extra precautions It’s a good idea to make copies of your passport, credit card(s), the serial numbers of your travellers’ checks and your insurance policies, as well as your itinerary, flight information and the telephone numbers of hotels, hostels, or the host family where you will


be staying. Leave copies of these documents with your parents or a friend for safekeeping and take copies with you. Another good idea is to also email copies of these documents to yourself to have them available at all times, but make sure your email account is secure or you encrypt the documents Make a copy of the first pages of your passport and keep it in your carry-on bag Keep key emergency contact information with you at all times, including full names and telephone numbers of your parents and close friends – store them as ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ or in your favorites While on the plane eat lightly and drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol as it will dehydrate you and get you off to a rough start. Sleep if you are able to. Be sure to stretch your limbs on long flights and move about when possible. Lack of movement and alcohol increase your chance of Deep Vein Thrombosis Carry at least four passport photos Memorise your passport number and expiry date A labels on language should be able to covered so as not to overtly display your name or nationality

While abroad Even when you take the right precautions, there is still a possibility that you will be a target for, or a victim of, crime. It is important to be aware of your surroundings, particularly

at locations where large groups of people gather such as around outdoor shows, near street performers, transport interchanges and crowded markets as these areas tend to attract petty crime such as pick -pocketing, but can also attract scam artists and armed criminals. Avoid situations where you may become isolated and be aware of your surroundings at night, especially after long flights or bus trips when you are tired. Following these tips by International SOS, student and teacher travellers will have the peace of mind to focus on mission while travelling abroad.

For more details, please contact Nichakan Chotsirikulmontri Marketing Communications Manager International SOS Services (Thailand) Limited 93/1 GPF Witthayu Towers, Tower B, 11th Floor, Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok. Tel: +662 614 3604; Fax: +662 256 6340 Bangkok Assistance Centre Tel: +662 205 7777 Email: nichakan.c@ Web:

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UNESCO highlights need for regulation U

have a responsibility for overall social and economic development, which includes ensuring an appropriate environment for private sector institutions.

NESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) has launched a book that focuses upon the extensive scale of private tutoring in countries of the region, regardless of their development status. The publication ‘Regulating Private Tutoring for Public Good: Policy Options for Supplementary Education in Asia’ was co-authored by Mark Bray, UNESCO Chairman Professor in Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong, and Ora Kwo, Associate Professor at the same University. They have worked on this theme for over a decade, much of it in collaboration with UNESCO. “UNESCO’s mandate permits and demands attention to this important issue,” said Professor Bray. “The organisation coordinates the global Education for All (EFA) agenda, and leads the shaping of the post-2015 education framework. It is strongly concerned about equitable access to quality education.” UNESCO provides an arena in which governments can learn from each other about policies that are desirable and feasible. Surveys show that: • in Hong Kong, 54% of Grade 9 students and 72% of Grade 12 students receive private supplementary tutoring • in India, 73% of children aged 6-14 in rural West Bengal receive tutoring • in the Republic of Korea, the proportion reaches 86.8% in elementary school • in Vietnam, respective proportions in lower and upper secondary schooling are 46% and 63% The tutoring consumes huge amounts of household finance, and has far26

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Learning from comparing

reaching implications for social inequalities, let alone the huge implications it has for school education services. Yet few governments have satisfactory regulations for the phenomenon. Regulations for teachers and companies One major question is whether teachers should be allowed to provide private supplementary tutoring. This is permitted in some countries but prohibited in others. Particularly problematic are settings in which teachers tutor the same students for whom they are already responsible during regular school hours. This situation encourages corruption, with the teachers reducing effort during normal hours in order to promote demand for the private lessons. A separate question concerns companies. Most governments require tutorial companies to register, but are more likely to treat them as businesses than as educational institutions. Regulations for tutoring companies are only beginning to catch up with those for schools, but are arguably almost as important. Governments

Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO Bangkok, highlighted patterns in the Republic of Korea (ROK) with which he is intimately familiar as he served as Deputy Minister of Education there before joining UNESCO. The ROK government has devoted most effort to regulations over the longest period. “Yet even ROK has not yet found all the answers,” remarked Mr Kim. “Governments can see the challenges as well as useful strategies in the South Korean case.” In south and south east Asia, conditions are rather different from those in South Korea. UNESCO has long recognised the diversity in the region, whether in the contexts or in the experiences. The lessons in this book highlight the value of comparisons across countries in all categories.

The book Regulating Private Tutoring for Public Good is available for free download on the websites of UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education: The Comparative Education Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong

For more information, please contact: Miss Ramya Vivekanandan, Programme Specialist, Education Policy and Reform Unit (EPR) UNESCO Bangkok Office Tel. +66 (02) 391 0577 ext. 380 Email:

New programme helps children with dyslexia By Lloyd Wilson


o you or anyone you know have children suffering with reading difficulties? Ever thought about a test for dyslexia? To date, Schools in Thailand and, in fact, the whole of Asia have failed to offer any real support facilities to treat this condition, in most cases even allowing the symptoms to remain unrecognised. For anyone dealing with this issue, please fear no more, help is finally at hand. Berkeley International School, in conjunction with Dyslexia in Thailand and the Kildonan School from the USA, has set up the first ever in-school programme in Thailand to deal directly with children suffering from dyslexia. Proven facts show that the earlier this condition is treated, the quicker the results. Innovation is at the core of Berkeley International School and by setting up such a programme it shows their dedication to reach every section of the public and tackle any problem or issue regarding education. It is estimated that 20 percent of the population suffer from dyslexia. Our programme is centered around children aged nine to 12 years. The Kildonan School, which is supplying the highly specialised educators in this field, was founded by Diana Hanbury King in Pennsylvania in 1955. Kildonan uses the OrtonGillingham method of teaching to empower students with dyslexia to regain confidence and exercise their strengths. Daily one-to-one language tutorials complement an innovative, challenging curriculum that inspires students to learn to love learning again while preparing for college and beyond.

The application of the Orton-Gillingham philosophy is based on human neurophysiology and psychology research which indicate that it is appropriate to use a multi-sensory approach in teaching language.

sound and beneficial to all language learners. As a general principle, it is the understanding and sufficient practice of these strategies which promotes efficiency of language acquisition.

Each phonetic unit and sequence in spoken and/or graphic form is learned through hearing, speaking, seeing, and writing; these skills are learned and practised simultaneously and in coordination with one another.

For the dyslexic person, the emphasis on step-by-step development of skill has proven essential to both early success and lasting results.

This educational methodology embodies teaching strategies which are biologically and linguistically

For more details contact Berkeley International School at info@ or Lloyd Wilson at

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Solid growth in private education Robert Pick and Mark Roelofsen reflect upon the recent International and Private Schools Education Forum in Kuala Lumpur.


he international schools market continues to grow, according to research by the International School Consulting Group. ISC figures show a 37 percent growth in international schools in Asia over the past four years with 787 international schools across Asia now serving over 287,000 students. The International and Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) was held in Kuala Lumpur from 12 – 14 March and chaired by Robert Pick – Master of Marlborough College Malaysia. It provided, according to the organisers, ‘a comprehensive overview for anyone thinking of setting up or expanding their existing operations in Asia and also offered networking opportunities with investors, school owners, management companies, government officials, teacher recruitment agencies, school suppliers and awarding bodies’.

the demand for English medium education in places like the Middle East and Asia was significant and whilst a few UK schools had successfully set up operations overseas the market could clearly absorb more. However, at that time there was no event that helped

What makes IPSEF successful?

Highlights included the statistical analysis of the market by both ISC (International School Consulting Group) and The Parthenon Group, sessions on recruitment and staff retention, and an address by former Auckland Grammar School Headmaster John Morris.

We believe there are five features of IPSEF that make it valuable to the participants:

IPSEF co-founder Mark Roelofsen gives us the background to the Forum. How did IPSEF come about? IPSEF was launched after our analysis of the growing trend amongst UK schools to set up branches overseas. The quantitative research showed that


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schools to tackle the ‘how’ of doing business overseas, and with the support of a few key early partners such as Harrow School, ISC Research and The Parthenon Group we launched IPSEF in London in 2009.

Robert Pick, Master of Marlborough College in Malaysia

- the breadth of the participants. They come from the four key groups that need to work together to finance, plan, deliver and run a new international or private school: finance; government, education, and business - the senior nature of the delegates. Typically they are school / group owners and or Heads; government officials who license, regulate or inspect schools; private equity or fund managers who are

looking to invest in or support schools expand and the support services which can include architects, lawyers, publishers, curriculum providers, recruiters or educational ICT suppliers - the openness of our speakers. We have been able to foster an incredibly positive and transparent atmosphere at IPSEF. From schools like Harrow and Marlborough who have shared their journey with us, to supportive government bodies like Dubai’s KHDA who are always approachable and stimulating in what they say - the blend of practical insights from schools is balanced by the market analysis of ISC Research and the insights of The Parthenon Group who point the way for schools in terms of how to identify and exploit market opportunities. We also challenge participants to address key and new issues such as the recruitment and retention challenge - the size. It is large enough to enable people to make very useful connections, but small enough to ensure a family or club type feel. We believe in creating events that have a positive and enjoyable atmosphere which encourages dialogue and the sharing of ideas. What were the highlights of IPSEF Asia? I am always impressed by the market figures and trends but I was particularly impressed with the session

What are your plans for IPSEF? Our first priority is to deliver another successful event in Dubai in September. Although it will follow a similar model of two days of conference and a series of school visits, the content will focus on the extraordinary market of Dubai and how the KHDA has developed a model of inspection and regulation that encourages diversity and innovation in education whilst maintaining high standards and consumer protection.

Mark Roelofsen, IPSEF co-founder

on recruitment and CPD. This is an enormous challenge for international schools and I think we can play a greater role helping schools understand and address these challenges in the future. I also enjoyed the joint presentation from architects HOK, the International School of KL (ISKL) and their environmental consultant on the plans for their sustainable new school. I hope they will continue to share their journey with us in the years ahead. Another area of interest was the governmental presentations from the KHDA and PERMANDU (Malaysia). Knowing the strategies and plans of such key organisations is essential for any school or investor planning to expand their operations. I also loved the school case studies, especially from the smaller ones like Woodlands in Sibu, Borneo.

We will then begin to plan our 2015 programme which will definitely see us return to KL. We are also researching some new concepts with niche themes which will enable us to go into more depth on some of the issues we cover more broadly in the main conferences. What messages do you have for operators or investors in Thailand? There has been a substantial growth in the number of international and private schools in Thailand, and they have created some really innovative models. I would hope that they will in turn look to take those models overseas and maybe to neighbouring Myanmar. I know the BCCT is active in making business connections there and it would be great if your education group could look at the market there. New schools do not have to be at the top end although that is what many of the new investors seek.

UNESCO training helps tourist guides in Sukhothai


he historic town of Sukhothai, one of Thailand’s most prominent UNESCO World Heritage Sites, will soon get its own training programme for specialist guides. The UNESCO Cultural Heritage Specialist Training Programme focuses upon training local guides as a way of contributing to local liveli-

hoods and involving members of the community in safeguarding their cultural heritage. The guides produced through the programme will help enhance visitors’ experiences and educate tourists about conservation issues. Initiated in 2005, the training programme has proven successful in oth-

er World Heritage sites across Asia including Laos, Macau and Vietnam. The training will take place throughout in 2014 and 2015 and it is hoped to adopt similar programmes at other World Heritage sites in Thailand. More details from: Wen Ling Tan, UNESCO Bangkok’s Information and Knowledge Management Unit at:

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More opportunities for IELTS scholarships T

he British Council is seeking exceptional students or graduates for one-off scholarship grants worth a total of THB 4.5 million. The grants are for winners in two levels of competition. Three scholarships each worth THB 1.4 million baht and three scholarships each worth THB 140,000 baht for national applicants are offered. The deadline for applications is 31 May 2014. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) under the British Council opens the IELTS scholarship application to Thais determined to chase their dreams and pursue studies both in undergraduate and graduate degrees. Essential eligibility criteria are that applicants must currently live in Thailand, begin undergraduate or postgraduate study in or outside Thailand in the 2014 academic year, attend a higher educational institution that accepts IELTS as part of its admission requirements, have a valid IELTS score with a minimum band score of six in each of the four parts of the test, have taken their most recent IELTS test at the British Council and provide an acceptance letter from the accepting institution by 27 June 2014. Easy steps to apply for IELTS Scholarship: first register for an IELTS test with British Council Thailand and use the IELTS scores to apply for your desired university. Download the application form from and submit the completed form to the British Council office in Siam Square, Bangkok by 31 May 2014.


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The panel will select the winning students based on a presentation and interview. The shortlisted candidates will be contacted via an email to schedule an interview during 16-27 June 2014. The finalists must be able to present to the British Council an acceptance letter by 27 June 2014 or the British Council reserves the right to disqualify the finalist. The final result of the scholarship selection will be sent out to the winners by email by 25 July 2014. The British Council also encourages applicants with disabilities. All applicants with a disability will be automatically short-listed provided that they meet essential eligibility criteria. Short-listing will be carried

out by a panel of British Council officers. The panel will use the personal statement on the application form for short-listing purposes, so applicants should carefully check the task completion criteria on the application form. The final winning scholars will be chosen by a panel of senior managers and external raters from the higher education and/or corporate sectors. The scholarship will be paid directly to the university you attend after the British Council has officially confirmed your status with that university. For more information about the scholarships, contact or telephone 02-657-5654.

Better times ahead for Cambodia By Dene Mullen


ritain’s ambassador to Cambodia Bill Longhurst is confident of a brighter future for the nation that is leaving its tragic past behind. “People who have never visited Cambodia and don’t know about it, I think they are in for a big surprise,” says Bill Longhurst. “When I told my mother I was coming here, she asked me if the war was still on. People really do think that. Even people who last visited five or six years ago are surprised because Phnom Penh is a very different place to what it was then. Things have been moving in the right direction and we’re keen to see them continue.” The recently-appointed Ambassador has already been bitten by the Cambodia bug that is so familiar to the country’s relatively large expatriate community. But in between juggling superlatives about the climate – he is British after all – the Ambassador is also keen to emphasise that these are exciting times for Cambodia, particularly given its location in one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. “Cambodia has a lot going for it. It is in an exciting region, with ASEAN economic integration in 2015, which is an important landmark that we’re quite excited by – particularly the potential for intraregional trade, development and infrastructure,” he says. “Cambodia has competitive advantages in certain areas now, such as an attractively priced labour force. Of course, that comes with its own issues but it is still very important. It also has a very open outlook and it doesn’t really suffer from protectionism as such.” It is this positive outlook that has persuaded British companies from

Prudential to Costa Coffee to set up shop in this vibrant developing market, while Jaguar Land Rover has just opened a showroom. “British companies that I’ve spoken to are generally very positive about the environment for business,” explains Mr Longhurst. “They’re able to bring equipment and materials in, they’re able to repatriate profits and there’s not excessive interference. Basically, Cambodia has plenty of positives as a business destination.” In his lengthy foreign office career Bill Longhurst has worked in environments such as Tokyo, New York, Seoul and Belgrade, yet his excitement at being in Cambodia is palpable. He talks fondly of the entrepreneurial spirit that is very much alive and well” and visible on the streets every day. Of course such private enterprise is just a vital cog in the bigger wheel, one that is turning at ever-greater speeds as Cambodia finds its groove.

“At some point they’re going to need to really work out how they get to the next level of development because the low wage-based economy has a finite lifecycle, but there is still some way to go there and they have time to translate the success of that into moving up the value chain,” he explains. “However, despite the challenges the key thing about Cambodia’s economy is that it is growing at somewhere around seven to eight percent this year and the IMF is saying that should continue for the next few years as well. We’re talking about growth rates that we can only dream about in Europe.” To learn more about trade and investment opportunities in Cambodia please contact Jeffrey Lamb, Head of UK Trade & Investment, at the British Embassy, Phnom Penh. Tel: +855 (0)23 427 124 Mob: +855 (0)17 333 469 Email: The Link

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Osborne presents Budget statement to ‘bolster resilience’ Chartered Accountants H W Fisher & Company have produced a summary of George Osborne’s recent Budget statement.


hancellor George Osborne unveiled his fifth Budget amidst signs of growing levels of confidence in the UK’s economic condition. Keen to drive home the message that the economy is recovering ‘faster than forecast’, the Chancellor announced that the Office for Budget Responsibility had revised its economic growth forecast upwards from 2.4 percent to 2.7 percent for 2014. However, warning that ‘the job is far from done’, the Chancellor announced that further austerity measures would be necessary to tackle ongoing high levels of borrowing and help secure economic ‘resilience’, and confirmed that 2015 will see the introduction of a five-year structural welfare cap, starting at £119bn.

Central to the speech were business investment, productivity and exports, with another temporary increase in the Annual Investment

Allowance to £500,000, coupled with a doubling of export lending to £3bn. British manufacturers will benefit from a £7bn package aimed at reducing spiralling energy costs. The Chancellor also revealed some significant personal tax measures, with sweeping changes to the taxation of pensions, including granting pensioners the freedom to control their own pension pots. Individual taxpayers are set to benefit from a further increase in the basic income tax personal allowance, which will rise to £10,500 with effect from 2015. Turning his attention to the plight of UK savers, the Chancellor announced the reduction to zero of the


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10p starting rate for savings and outlined a dramatic reform of Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), through a New ISA (NISA) which will combine the cash and stocks and shares element of the existing ISA.

up to £2,000 for working families, an increase in the National Minimum Wage, an extension of the Help to Buy scheme, and the creation of a new garden city at Ebbsfleet in Kent.

Confirming that the fuel duty rise for September will not go ahead, the Chancellor went on to announce a freeze in duty on whisky, other spirits and ordinary cider, and a reduction of beer duty by a penny a pint.

Finally, the Chancellor outlined plans to scrap the £1 coin in favour of a new twelve-sided coin, which will mirror the shape of the historic ‘thrupenny bit’ while embracing the latest in anti-counterfeiting technology. Budget Highlights

Other measures confirmed by the Chancellor include changes to the Tax-Free Childcare scheme worth

• Annual Investment Allowance doubled to £500,000

• Income tax personal allowance to rise to £10,500 • New £15,000 ISA to combine cash and stocks and shares elements • Export finance doubled to £3bn • Retirees to be granted more power over their pension pots • Up to £2,000 of Tax-Free Childcare for working families

For a full report of George Osborne’s Budget statement please visit: images/docs/budgetreport2014.pdf

George sees sense about ‘tax on travel’ UK passengers on long-haul flights will benefit from an overhaul of the controversial Air Passenger Duty airport departure tax. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne admitted during his Budget statement on 19 March that the current system was ‘crazy and unjust’. The charge is calculated according to the distance between London and the destination country’s capital city. It means that Britons travelling on, say, eight-hour flights to Barbados pay more APD than those on 11hour flights to California. While those on longer-haul flights to destinations such as Australia and south east Asia pay even more in APD. Air Passenger Duty has risen by up to 470 per cent since 2007, meaning that a family of four now pays between £52 and £376 each time they fly from Britain, depending on how far they travel. George Osborne said he was scrapping the two highest of the four APD tax bands so that those on long-haul flights pay only as much as they do now travelling to the USA.UK

ernment has rightly recognised the damage APD is having on exporters and the travelling public alike. A tax system which penalised high growth emerging economies such as China and India was always contrary to the Government’s stated policy on trade and exports, so this is a positive step that recognises the impact of this economically damaging tax’.

airlines, travel companies and Caribbean tourist boards have long bemoaned the APD system and airlines today welcomed the changes. A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said that ‘a two-band APD rate is a very welcome simplification to remove some of the biggest distortions of the current system, which the Chancellor himself admitted is crazy and unjust. ‘The gov-

Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, (representing for 75 UK carriers), said, “The government has finally acknowledged what the industry and business knew all along – that the highest rates of aviation tax in the world were a brake on driving the UK’s economic growth with emerging markets. “Of course we would like the Chancellor to go further still on reducing APD but this is a step in the right direction and we will continue its engagement with the Government to deliver the fair and proportionate aviation tax that the UK deserves.”

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Budget sets scene for UK pension changes By Paul Gambles


eorge Osborne’s Budget of 19th March looks set to radically change the UK pension landscape. The Chancellor announced changes to the law which had effectively obliged members of defined contribution pension schemes to purchase annuities on retirement.

Most members of such schemes who had built up a pension pot were forced, either when they wanted to convert their accumulated retirement savings into a pension income or upon reaching the age of 75, to purchase an annuity. Some 420,000 savers were forced into purchasing such a scheme in 2012. The Link readers may be aware that UK non-residents (or those intending to become non-resident) had – and still have – other options (the most widely known being transferring pension money from the UK to a QROPS or Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme). Theoretically, the annuity system ensured retirees were guaranteed a fixed (or even indexed) payment for life, calculated by insurance companies based on current interest rates and actuarial life expectancy. The reality, though, was that pension recipients whose retirement income started to be drawn in the last few years have received very little because of the linkage of annuity payments to interest rates, which have been at record lows since the 2008 global financial crisis. Added to that was a cocktail of ineffective competition and regulation, making commissions charges too high. In fact, a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) inquiry into the annuity system was already underway before the Chancellor’s announcement. 34

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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne

A brave new world George Osborne’s plans represent the biggest change to the pension system since 1921. The political calendar meant that he was not prepared to wait until the FCA’s inquiry had published its findings. Thus, the Chancellor announced measures in two parts: some effective immediately, others, which require a period of consultation with the pensions industry, are expected to form part of the 2015 Budget (just ahead of the May 7th 2015 General Election). In the first stage, defined contribution pension scheme members who are retiring now will have the option not to purchase annuities but to use other forms of investment instead. The second stage next year plans to give even greater complete control of pensions by allowing members of both defined contribution and defined benefit (i.e. final salary) schemes to be able take their entire money in a cash lump sum. At what rate this sum

will be taxed is not yet certain, though the government is proposing that it be at the marginal income tax rate. Still, savers will have the opportunity to put their money into funds which bring about a far greater return than interest rates over the last six years. Knock-on effect As part of a Budget that was touted as being designed to encourage saving, the Chancellor also announced an increase in the personal tax allowance. As announced previously, it is already due to rise to GBP 10,000 in April of this year and will now go up to GBP 10,500 in April 2015 and a GBP 5,000 savings income exemption is proposed for 2015 as well. So what people do with their lump sum? Having more control of your money can certainly mean an improvement in the value of your savings through more appropriate investment and risk management. That said there is also always a risk of bad financial decision-making.

A 2012 study, carried out by Australian investment management firm Challenger, revealed that nearly a third of those members of Australian pension schemes who exercised their rights to receive a lump sum from their pensions used their pension money to buy a home, pay off an existing mortgage or improve their home (see table). Any similar trend in the UK could further increase rising house prices, inflating the real estate bubble even more. Another third of Australian savers either paid for a car or a holiday. Considering this is money set aside for future living expenses, this figure is quite eye-opening. What does this mean for offshore pensions?

What Australian savers do with their lump sum All methods of disbursement of lump sum payment from super*

Paid off home/paid for home improvements/bought new home


Invested the money elsewhere/personal savings/bank


Rolled it over/invested it in an approved deposit fund/deferred annuity or other super scheme


Bought or paid off car/vehicle


Paid for a holiday


Cleared other outstanding debts


Assisted family members


Purchased an immediate annuity


Undecided/did not know




Source: ABS, Challenger Estimates | *Lump sum might be used for more than one purpose

At the moment it’s not clear what the implications are for offshore pensions such as QROPS in terms of allowing full access to accumulated capital (although any failure to do so is seen by some commentators as leaving HMRC highly susceptible to legal challenge at several levels) or how the various jurisdictions where QROPS are domiciled will react in terms of adapting their own rules accordingly, in order to reflect the advantages of the proposed changes. However it is clear that if the main reason to set up a QROPS is to avoid annuitisation, then a QROPS transfer justified purely on these grounds no longer makes any sense. However other benefits of offshore pension schemes could remain very viable or even become even more relevant. For example, with a QROPS there is no UK income tax and no inheritance tax to pay; plus you’re not directly at the mercy of changes to UK legislation. In the worst case any holders of pensions that have been transferred overseas from the UK will almost certainly have the option of being able to transfer back again; it is inconceivable that there will be a block on transferring the funds back to the UK. However if you take the opportunity to transfer your pension overseas, there is a significant risk that the door may be closed to this option later. Any suspension of

pension transfer rights may well go against the ‘Freedom of Movement of Capital’, one of the European Union’s main principles, as well as its law.

ernment is attempting to ban transfers from UK public sector schemes. If they are able to pass the law, it will likely be implemented in April 2015.

However, with a referendum on EU membership part of the current government’s election pledges, perhaps it is not concerned in the long run about such matters and a blanket ban on moving pensions outside the UK is now much likelier in view of the Treasury’s plans to generate sufficient tax revenues from pensions that the UK’s budget deficit will quickly turn to surplus. The sense of security that came from the knowledge that for the government to do so would be in violation of EU regulations is no longer as strong as it once was. It remains important to be sure of where your pension is invested: in Bangkok there are people who have lost some, or even all, of their pension money through investment in glitzy mark-to-model schemes promoted by unregulated advisors which have sadly failed.

It is more vital now than ever to seek advice from a qualified independent advisor, who can help guide you through the greatest changes to the pension system to take place in our lifetimes.

Paul Gambles is co-founder and Managing Partner of the MBMG Group. Paul is licensed by the Thai SEC as a Securities Fundamental Investment Analyst. Tel: +66 2665 2536 E: Twitter: @MBMGIntl

Public sector pensions The UK government holds the view that the proposed changes could mean that many public sector workers will move their pensions from final salary schemes to defined contribution schemes. As public sector schemes are underfunded, the gov-

While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this article is correct, I cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur. Views and opinions expressed herein may change with market conditions and should not be used in isolation. The Link

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Protecting the things that matter most By Andy Crawford


hen accidents happen or sudden illness strikes and you are overseas you can be sure that the resulting medical bills will be large, so securing good Health insurance should be a real priority for any expatriate.

Thailand, and the inclusion of any of these options in any health insurance policy will add substantially to the premium. On the other hand, the healthcare costs associated with a serious accident or illness would put a serious dent in anyone’s savings.

Luckily there is a very wide choice of health insurance plans available in Thailand, with premiums varying from a few thousand Baht to tens and even hundreds of thousands of Baht per year. Not surprisingly the amount of coverage varies enormously too. The task of selecting the right policy can be a confusing and frustrating one so in this article we are going to try to put forward a few factors that you might want to take into consideration before making a choice.

The real cost when things go wrong

In the first instance there are two basic choices: a local plan offering anywhere from THB 300,000 to THB five million in coverage; or an international style plan offering THB five to 80 million and beyond. You might think that the international option would tend to be much more expensive than a local health insurance policy, but this is not always true as we will see. Insure for what you cannot afford It’s worth remembering this at the outset. The real purpose of taking out an insurance policy is to protect ourselves financially from what we cannot afford. It’s easy to overlook this when you can purchase insurance for routine out-patient coverage, dental and optical care, as well as things like maternity. These are all very nice to have, but on the whole routine treatment is still relatively affordable in


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So what kind of cover are we talking about here? To give some sense of perspective the following is a table of real claims and the actual costs paid by a local insurance company. They are not exaggerated; in fact they are far from being the highest claims.

Condition Stroke Colon Cancer Breast Cancer Broken Ankle

Cost (Baht) 3,900,000 2,700,000 3,000,000 465,000

There are lots of policies available from local insurance companies that on the face of things can look attractive from a cost perspective, but the old maxim applies - you do get what you pay for. And a lot of the health insurance plans sold in Thailand will not provide sufficient cover for a serious accident or a prolonged illness. Budget is going to be real consideration for most people and international health cover is not cheap. However, it can still make sense from a cost perspective if you choose your options wisely. So, to get real protection without breaking the bank:

Make sure your choice of policy includes out-patient cancer treatment under the in-patient plan and that it also allows for good follow-up post hospitalization follow-up treatment. Thereafter, feel free to add other coverage within your budget, such as out-patient treatment for routine visits to the doctor for coughs and colds, or routine dental perhaps. But under no circumstances do this at the expense of your basic inpatient coverage. If you read a previous article on employee benefits we pointed out that this is the mistake made in a lot of corporate plans in Thailand; they provide cover for something to be consumed in place of real protection for employees. This is why when your company provides you with health insurance it pays to check it carefully as it may not be as all-encompassing as you may have thought. Do you really need cover for routine coughs and colds? If the insurer’s standard plan includes routine out-patient treatment, see if there is a discount option if you opt out of the routine treatment. One health insurance gives a 20 percent discount if you elect not to have routine out-patient cover but still maintains the provision for followup treatment after discharge from the hospital. Take an appropriate voluntary deductible or excess

Secure good in-patient coverage The first priority is to select a health insurance plan with good in-patient coverage to provide protection in the event of a serious accident or illness.

Most international insures offer a variety of deducible or excess options. These can be applied per claim, per condition or per annum, depending on the insurer. The monetary excess

Not all insurance policies cover the cost of an air ambulance.

amounts vary from insurer to insurer but savings of up to 25 percent are achievable and 40 percent not unknown. Opting to take a voluntary excess to reduce your premiums is by far and away a much more sensible option than choosing a cheaper plan with less coverage. At a guess, it will be easier to borrow THB 15,000 or THB 30,000 from friends and family to cover the excess than it will to pay a large hospital bill of THB 500,000 or more because you are underinsured. Limit the geographic area of cover/ area of treatment limitation Choose an area of coverage that reflects where you spend the bulk of your time. If you choose a good policy there is always provision for some accident and emergency out of area coverage. In most cases this will be sufficient to provide you with cover for those short business trips or annual vacations. You can always supplement your health insurance with some good travel cover which is generally very affordable. Although not entirely new, there seems to be more plans on the market now offering a wider selection of treatment areas, recognising that

there are countries/regions which have less expensive healthcare costs. For example plans are available which have been specially designed and priced for expatriates living in the ‘less expensive’ countries in Asia such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. By choosing an appropriate area of cover, the savings can be quite substantial. Choose a plan that will allow installment payments Not really a reduction in premium but it can make things more accessible, and there are a lot of insurers that will offer installment payments to help spread the burden of paying your premium. The options are normally semiannual, quarterly or even monthly.

sell their policies locally to Thais and expatriates alike. The benefit of all this from the standpoint of the consumer is that there has never been a greater choice, and also, local licensing gives a higher level of comfort because in the event of a dispute about your health insurance there is an independent regulatory body to complain to and seek recourse. Insurers the world over are famous for their small print and it is no different in Thailand. Before making any decisions you really should get some good independent advice from your insurance broker. It doesn’t cost anymore if you do, but it could cost you a whole lot if you don’t.

More choice than ever before In recent years there has been an increase in the number of health international insurers that have taken the time and effort to go through the process of having policies approved and licensed in Thailand by the Thai insurance regulator, the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC). From the insurers perspective this means that they can advertise, promote and

Andrew Crawford is Employee Benefits Director at Trafalgar International Limited Tel: + (66) 2645 1170 ext. 200 Fax: (66) 2645 1180 Mob: + (66) 81 493 7171 Email:

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Thailand’s intellectual property regime


n this first of a two-part series the ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk provides an outline of the main types of intellectual property recognised in Thailand, with a number of tips and ‘watchouts’ for European SMEs doing business in the country. In the first-part: copyright and trade marks.

In recent years, Thailand has taken significant steps in boosting their intellectual property regime towards meeting international standards of protection and enforcement. This can be seen not only as a response to pressure from Western nations and multi-lateral organisations keen to protect their industries’ exports, but also in recognition of increasing innovation from domestic businesses that wish to capitalise on their specialised goods and services both at home and abroad. In 1997, Thailand established the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (CIPITC) which has exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate civil and criminal cases involving IP. The experience of the judges has been improving over the years, namely through training for court officials, judges, customs authorities, and other IP enforcement agencies (notably DSI and the Royal Thai Police). In 2008 and 2009, Thailand signed the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Patent Cooperation Treaty respectively, so as to be in line with the international standards provided in the Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement. Thailand is also currently undertaking a vast programme of reforms as regards major IP laws, in particular the Trademark Act and the Copyright Act.


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The launch of the National IPR Centre of Enforcement (NICE) in March 2013 was a welcome development aimed at ensuring well-coordinated efforts in the prevention of IPR violations in Thailand. An IP database to keep track of the status of infringement cases, court decisions and repeated offences shall also be set up in the near future, which should improve the overall level of IP enforcement in Thailand. In March 2013, the EU and Thailand launched negotiations for a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which comprises Intellectual Property Rights as a key focus area, and should strengthen the economic ties between Thailand and Europe even further. Protection A copyright protects intangible original intellectual creations, in the fields of literature, art or science that can be reproduced in a tangible form, from being reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder. Unlike trademarks and patents, registration

of copyrights is not compulsory in order to obtain protection, but can help in proving the ownership of copyrights in cases of infringement. As per international standards, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 50 years from the date of creation (for the work of a corporation), for original works. Copyright tips and watch-outs • Software, music and movie piracy are still rampant in Thailand, and Thai government officials are fighting a long-running battle against pirated music CDs, DVDs and computer software. According to the Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP), over 360,000 pirated film DVDs, 140,000 pirated music CDs, and 54,000 pirated copies of software were seized in 2012. Despite automatic copyright in Thailand, it is still advisable for individuals or companies to register their works no matter what the form. Registration will help the rightful owner greatly in infringement cases where legal enforcement is required Trademarks A trademark is a visible sign composed of words, devices, letters, numerals or shapes, that indicates the source of goods or

Thailand has taken significant steps in boosting their intellectual property regime towards meeting international standards of protection and enforcement.

pioneers of GIs protection in Asia with several GIs already registered nationally and abroad In the next issue of The Link the ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk will outline patents and trade secrets in Thailand and will also discuss some general enforcement tips for foreign businesses operating in or with the country. For more detailed information on intellectual property in Thailand, including how to register different forms of IP, consult the free Country Factsheet on Thailand at: www.

services, thus allowing consumers to distinguish the goods or services of one producer from those of another. Colour combinations and three-dimensional marks can also be registered in Thailand. The right to legal protection of a trademark in Thailand lasts 10 years from the date of registration may be extended for consecutive 10 years periods indefinitely, subject to timely application for renewal. The registration process usually takes between 12-18 months. Trademarks tips and watch-outs • In Thailand, there is some protection for ‘well-known trademarks’. However in practice it can be dif-

ficult to prove that this applies to your trademark before a court • A way to cancel a bad-faith registration is by proving that the mark was unused for a period of at least three years prior to the petition for cancellation, in which case you can file a petition of cancellation on the grounds of ‘nonuse’ • Geographical Indications (GIs) – names or signs used on products which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin, (e.g. town, region or country) - are recognised and can be registered in Thailand as of 2004. Once obtained, these rights will last continuously, without the need to re-new the registration every 10 years. Thailand is one of the

The ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk is a European Commission co-funded project that provides free, practical, business advice relating to ASEAN IPR to European SMEs. To learn about any aspect of intellectual property rights in South-EastAsia, visit our online portal at For free expert advice on ASEAN IPR for your business, e-mail your questions to: You will receive a reply from one of the Helpdesk experts within five working days. The ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk is jointly implemented by DEVELOPMENT Solutions, the European Business Chamber of Commerce Indonesia and the European Business Organisations Worldwide Network.

Changi airport tops world poll


ingapore’s Changi airport once again tops the list in the annual Skytrax World Airport Awards. The World Airport Awards are based on 12.85 million customer nominations across 110 nationalities of air travellers embracing 410 airports worldwide. The survey evaluates customer satisfaction across 39 key performance

indicators for airport service and product – from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security, immigration and departures. Incheon International Airport sits in second place, followed by Hong Kong, Amsterdam Schiphol and Tokyo’s Haneda airport. London Heathrow is in 10th position but there’s no place in the top 10 listing for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

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Safeguarding corporate data in the financial services sector Recent political events and the 2011 floods have highlighted the need for banks, insurance companies and other companies to protect corporate data. The question is: how? In this article, Chris Maden looks at the options.


he days of passbooks, leatherbound ledgers and quill pens, not to mention customers who were patient enough to queue up for a friendly chat with a teller at their local bank branch, are long past. Modern banking provides fast, responsive service, usually through ATMs or the internet; insurance premiums no longer rely on a monthly cheque, but rather on direct debit; and the securities industry in Thailand and elsewhere has long since dematerialised and gone scripless (at least for many securities). The result is convenience for the customer, efficiency for the sector, and liquidity for the society. The downside is that the entire sector is not merely dependent on Information Technology; it could no longer exist without IT. As anyone who has dealt with these infuriating contraptions knows, for machines that ought to be deterministic, computers can be very selfwilled. Quite apart from doing what you tell them rather than what you want them to do, or throwing away four hour’s work because the battery went flat before you could save that vital, needed-right-now spreadsheet, computers have a habit of breaking down when they are most needed. And when they are needed most is when a disaster strikes.


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Disasters take many forms. Sometimes the computers themselves are the cause of the disaster: a broken server, a software bug or a virus attack. In this article, however, I shall focus on external disasters. And, prevention being better than cure, I shall focus on a few simple measures that can be taken to prevent them. Power to the computer The computers that corporations rely upon are much more finicky machines than those we use in our daily lives. We drop, bang around, and generally abuse smart phones and laptops. We also, though we often don’t realise, replace them rather frequently – with the result that they often don’t have time to wear out. The computers that modern enterprises need to run their businesses are very different. These “servers” are not designed to be moved often, nor are they designed to be used in sunshine and storm. But, unlike handheld devices that spend most of their time in our pockets doing nothing, servers are designed to be run flat out, twenty-four hours a day. And, on the rare occasions when they are switched off, that de-powering must be done in an orderly manner. As a result, the first thing a corporation can do to protect its data is

to protect the power supply. In this respect, Thailand is middle of the road. Although sustained power outages are rare, short black outs are quite common (the author experienced two or three in a six month period in the CBD of Bangkok). And, although a couple of minutes without power is disruptive to staff, to a computer, anything more than a second or two is enough for the thing to switch off. This sudden removal of power can damage a server. The solution to this is an Uninterruptible Power Supply, or UPS. A UPS consists of a battery connected to an inverter (a device that turns battery power into mains power). Most UPSs will supply power for up to twenty or so minutes. This is enough time to switch the computers off in an orderly manner. And, if those computers are used only by people in the same office, this is sufficient: there is not much point in providing computer power to an office full of people who, affected by the same power outage, are sitting in darkness. However, if those computers are being used by people in other offices, or by customers or suppliers accessing them over the internet, powering down the computers, even in an orderly manner, is not good enough. And, although larger UPSs can supply power for longer, the problem becomes heating. From the viewpoint of basic physics, computers turn electricity into heat. Leave a (running) computer

alone in a room for a few hours, and the room will become hot. Too hot, in fact, for the computer to keep operating. Advanced computers will sense this and shut themselves down; less advanced computers will suffer damage. So, in order to keep a computer running during a sustained power outage, there needs to be sufficient backup power not only for the computers, but also for the cooling. For various reasons, both electrical and economic, UPSs are not suitable for air-conditioning. The last step in the power supply, therefore, is a backup generator. With both UPS and generators in place, and a suitable fuel supply and re-fuelling

arrangements, mission-critical computers can be kept running indefinitely in the absence of mains power. Keeping cool Another common cause of environmental failure is air that is too hot, humid or dirty. While normal office air-conditioning goes some way on all of these fronts, the air filtration is often ineffective because the filters are never cleaned; the dehumidification is not controlled, and most office airconditioners run at a fixed amount of power rather than towards a fixed temperature. The resultant fluctuations in temperature can lead to condensation – and dripping water mixes very badly with electricity.

Quite apart from doing what you tell them rather than what you want them to do, or throwing away four hour’s work because the battery went flat before you could save that vital, needed-right-now spreadsheet, computers have a habit of breaking down when they are most needed.

The engineering solution to this is the Computer Room Air Conditioner, or CRAC. These are considerably more expensive than ordinary air-conditioning units, but they provide the steady temperature and humidity that servers need. They are also, in general, more efficient than smaller units, so have lower running costs. Add in the extended life time CRACs bring to expensive servers, and the Total Cost of Ownership is lower than cheap air-con. How much is enough? Air-conditioners and generator sets, as well as some UPSs, are mechanical things. Like all things mechanical, they sometimes break. Further reliability can be built into the environment for the servers by adding redundancy. The industry has therefore developed tiers of data centre, based on redundancy. A “Tier 2” design has no redundancy, a “Tier 3” design has one spare unit and therefore no single point of failure, and a “Tier 4” design has duplicate everything, so no multiple points of failure. Correspondingly, the unscheduled annual downtime is:

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Annual Downtime



20 minutes



1 hour, 36 minutes



22 hours



28 hours, 48 minutes

Choosing the right tier for your business is vital. Too low, and your business is at risk; too high, and you overspend. Security In other countries, many companies choose to avoid the high capital expense of building their own computer rooms, and use commercial data centres. In Thailand, the stock of data centre space is low, as is its quality. And, in a commercial data centre containing many tenants – possibly including your competitors – it is vital to ensure that the servers themselves are not open to tampering. The best commercial data centres therefore enforce four layers of security. These start at the external perimeter and end at the rack which houses the IT equipment, which will normally require a PIN and fingerprint before the rack can be opened.

Do: • Look ahead. Using a commercial data centre is much more capital efficient than building your own. The amount and quality of commercial data centre space in Thailand is set to increase dramatically in the next year or two. World-class operators such as NTT and Robo DC will open in 2015, and TRUE/IDS in 2016 • Choose your location. Avoid flood plains, major traffic arteries, and office blocks. Ensure that there is enough power to meet your current and future needs Don’t • Use an office block. Many socalled computer rooms are actually store rooms in offices. There is simply not enough space for the ancillary equipment: these rooms invariably become cluttered, cramped and very hot. Moreover, security is awful

sequently, many companies that choose to build their own main data centre will use an external data centre for DR. Choosing the location of the DR site is a trade-off. Too close, and it risks being taken out by the same disaster that took out the main site; too far away, and transport and personnel costs push the cost up. In general, 100km is a good balance. In practical terms, this means that a firm with its main site in Bangkok may have its DR site in Chonburi or Ayuthaya, but probably not in Chiang Mai. An important consideration for the DR site is the availability of office space. If a company’s main site is in the same building as its main office and the entire building fails, there is nowhere for staff to work. A number of data centres therefore offer “Business Continuity” suites for a skeleton staff to provide missioncritical services until recovery, and many companies have regular drills to practice their Business Contingency Plans. The world we live in could not exist without IT. That is both a blessing and a curse – a blessing in the productivity it brings, and a curse in the nightmares that happen when it goes wrong. Getting the environment right makes those nightmares less likely to happen; and we all enjoy an unbroken night’s sleep.

When it all goes wrong… Location The ultimate layer of security is, however, the location. The best power and air-conditioning in the world will be of no avail if the computers are sitting in three feet of floodwater, or the building has been besieged. So choosing a sensible location for a corporation’s servers is therefore as much part of preventing a disaster as providing a secure, controlled environment. Many companies are therefore compelled to build their own facilities. So, here are a few do’s and don’ts:


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The ultimate redundancy is the entire facility. The tiers are broad averages, based on equipment failures within a facility; a facility that has been bombed, however, will not recover any time soon. Disaster recovery sites often house a subset of a company’s IT systems. A typical bank, for example, will have its Core Banking System on the main and DR sites, but not the systems related to marketing. For this reason, DR sites tend to be much smaller than main sites. Con-

Dr. Chris Maden is an independent IT Architect and Programme Manager who has advised a wide range of banks and insurance companies on designing and delivering robust, reliable and highly secure IT infrastructure. He may be reached at: chris.maden@

Hiring job hoppers By Tom Sorensen


efore you think I have gone totally mad by suggesting you should start hiring job hoppers, check out this new data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average worker today will stay in a job for 4.4 years. It gets worse. The tenure of the youngest employees entering the work force is predicted to be only 2.2 years per job.

Some 91 percent of the Gen-Y millennials, born between 1977 and 1997, say they plan to stay in a job for less than three years which means they could have up to 20 jobs spanning a career. This research comes from Future Workplace, a company that assists organisations in rethinking the future of corporate learning and talent management strategies. Jobhopping is the practice of changing jobs frequently, especially as a means of quick financial gain or career advancement. You can of course ignore or hide from the obvious signs that the world out there is changing and that the staff you hire have different values compared to what we have seen before. You can continue to hide your head in the sand. I put this question to CEOs. Are you prepared to commit and guarantee that your company will employ a person up to his or her age of 67? Thought so! Why should this individual then commit to staying with you their whole career? Many young employees saw what happened to their parents when laid off because of economic instability, irrespective of loyalty for how many years. No wonder that our new gen-

erations have become selfish, mature, realistic, and defensive when it comes to their own careers. Enough has been said about why job hoppers are the least wanted group of people you want to hire. Who does not worry about becoming the next sucker of a hit-and-run hopper? Being crazy enough to employ the perceived unstable job hopper has always been considered the kiss of death. But you know what, we will increasingly find ourselves between a rock and a hard place, between the devil and the deep blue sea, when left with the unpleasant dilemma to choose between the undesirable job hopper or not filling the vacancy. Here are six good reasons why you should hire job hoppers and welcome what they bring to the table and your organisation, as presented by Forbes’ writer Jacquelyn Smith. Diverse professional experience: A job hopper brings experience from a number of industries and different sized companies as well as exposure to a variety of challenges. Access to more information and resources: Skill sets necessary to keep up with the constant changes must be diverse and dynamic. In most cases,

Are you prepared to commit and guarantee that your company will employ a person up to his or her age of 67?

the environment necessary to foster this growth cannot be found with a single employer. By working in many different environments the job hopper gains access to different resources. Exposure to new businesses and people: A job hopper will get to see how others are going about their business whilst at the same time building their network with a new pool of business people. Access to large resourceful network: While networking has always been important, today it is vital in a competitive market. Different employers provide access to different networks in which a job hopper can plant roots and farm relationships. Chance to find the right job: Jobhopping allows a candidate to assess what he likes and dislikes. Once ready to settle down, job hoppers know what they’re looking for. An opportunity to show off some of your best attributes: Job-hopping allows the job hopper to show employers their flexibility, adaptability and how they learn quick. That the jobhopper is not afraid of change and risks. Many companies are keen on hiring a person with these attributes.

Tom Sorensen is a Headhunter and Partner at Grant Thornton in Thailand. Email: Tel +66 2 205 8222 Twitter@Headhunter_Tom

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The following article does not purport to offer legal advice. The observations it offers are based on unofficial translations of the Thai laws and regulations.

Ensuring compliance with Thai ComputerRelated Crimes Act By Nic Garnett


he Computer-Related Crimes Act (“CCA”) of Thailand came into force in July 2007. It was followed a month later with the publication of a Notification of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology providing more detail relative to the scope and application of the law. The law has attracted a certain amount of controversy particularly with regard to freedom of speech issues. That is not the focus of this article. The purpose here is to introduce the basic content of the law and consider what businesses and their staff need to do to comply with its requirements – and, of course, to avoid committing any offences. First, a word about context. It is now obvious that the internet is transforming society and the business world to a far greater extent than was imaginable a mere 15 years ago. Gutenberg’s printing press pales in comparison in terms of impact. From a lawyer’s point of view this dramatic online evolution (which is ongoing) creates, at a very high level, two primary areas of concern: • the internet as a new “venue” for committing unlawful acts • the internet as means to expand the reach of acts which are already classed as unlawful Between these two poles, a vast number of issues stand to be regulated, including such issues as contract, service responsibilities,


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security, consumer protection and fraud and, of course, jurisdiction. The list is extensive. In Europe, there is a growing corpus of law aimed at making the internet safe for social interaction and commerce. The CCA in Thailand seems perhaps more stark in terms of its remit because it forms part, for the present, of a smaller body of computer-related law. Its genesis and objectives are however both recognisable and logical. Scope The key parts of the CCA for the purposes of this article can be broken down as follows: • Definitions: important, particularly in relation to who may be considered a “service provider” • Cybercrimes: they track for the most part the crimes enumerated in Title 1 – Offences against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems of the 2001 Convention on Cybercrime • Content crimes: these relate to unlawful activities already dealt with under Thai law as they may be

conducted online. This includes defamation, offences against the honour, dignity and reputation of the Royal Family and its institutions (lèse-majesté), and the dissemination of pornography or indecent information • Enforcement: primary responsibility lies with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology • Service provider responsibilities: maintaining computer traffic data Foreign entities conducting business in Thailand through local subsidiaries are of course subject to the provisions of the law. And importantly, a content crime does not have to be committed in Thailand to constitute an offence under the CCA. In 2011 a Thai-born US citizen published online, from the US, a translation of Thai text that was judged offensive to the Royal Family. On his next visit to Thailand the US citizen was arrested, charged and convicted under the CCA. (He subsequently received a Royal pardon). Impact of the law So what should foreign businesses worry about with regard to the law? Essentially, three things: • Doing something that may be held to constitute a crime under the CCA • Being held liable as a service provider for a crime committed by an

employee – or a guest in a hotel or a customer (for example, using the Wi-Fi connection in a coffee shop). CCA s.15 provides that a service provider who intentionally supports or consents to a content offence under s.14 shall be liable to the same penalty as the primary offender • Failing to comply with traffic data retention requirements: a hefty fine of up to THB 500,000 can be imposed for each instance of noncompliance In response, prudent managers should consider the following: • Read the CCA – it’s widely available in translation online. Consider the content offences in particular. Act accordingly and sensitively, particularly in relation to online expression of matters touching on the dignity of the Royal Family, public morality or local politics. Avoid defamatory statements regardless of truthfulness/veracity • Understand that the definition of service provider includes any entity which provides internet access, a local area network or server facilities. Ensure the necessary workplace, estate or occupancy policies are in place. Be alert as managers: individuals from Directors to webmasters could be personally liable under the CCA if they have actual knowledge of any offence committed through the system they manage but do nothing about it • Review the computer traffic data retention requirements thoroughly with the CIO or an appropriate external advisor. They are extensive yet non-exhaustive as set out in the regulations • If in doubt, have no doubt: seek the advice of expert Thai counsel. This is a serious matter Service Provider requirements The basic structure of the service provider traffic data retention requirements is as follows: • CCA s.3 defines the service provider to include any entity which

provides internet access, services for communicating between computers or computer data storage whether in its own name or via a third party • CCA s.26 stipulates that a service provider shall retain computer traffic data for not less than 90 days (or up to 1 year if so ordered by a competent official) relating to identified, individual users from the start to the end of the use of the service • The regulations provide further details about what data to store and how to store it The regulations are in three parts: the body of the regulatory text and two annexes. First, through Annex A they identify different categories of service providers, offering examples within each category. Then, in Annex B, the regulations set out the particular data that must be retained by the different categories of service providers. The lists of data are extensive but, reportedly, not exhaustive. Finally, as general provisions, the regulations stipulate arrangements for maintaining the integrity of the data, storing it securely and in a way that makes it readily deliverable to competent officers who require it. They also require the setting of equipment to a single international reference time. Conclusion It is surprising that, given the importance of the law, information

regarding its application in practice remains somewhat limited. This may be partly due to the fact that, in addition to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, a number of different enforcement agencies have been involved in enforcement of the law, including the Technology Crime Suppression Division of the police and the Department of Special Investigation. What is known is that the number of prosecutions for both cybercrime and content offences is growing – confirming both our increasing reliance on the internet and our growing need to know about its regulation as a matter of basic prudent business practice. * This article does not purport to offer legal advice. The observations it offers are based on unofficial translations of the Thai laws and regulations

Nic Garnett is a consultant in the intellectual property group at Tilleke & Gibbins. Tel: +66 2653 5841 Email:

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New opportunities for UK business

Barry Nicholson pictured with members of the BCCT/UKTI Overseas Network Project team.


ith the collaboration between the BCCT and UKTI now gaining steam we asked Project Director Barry Nicholson about his hopes for success in the months and years ahead. Q: How are you using your own background and experience to assist British businesses as they seek new market opportunities in Thailand? Having worked with a large range of UK companies from large corporates to SMEs my background helps in determining the type of approach and the services that may be required. Having knowledge of the UKTI services available and the requirements of UK companies helps to deliver services that meet expectations. BCCT is now embarking on a range of partnerships with multipliers in the UK such as regional chambers and banks to raise awareness and interest in Thailand. 46

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This is a type of networking approach that I used successfully in China. Q: Are you confident the services that BCCT will now be offering to UK companies will help to encourage greater interest from SMEs in the UK? I certainly hope so. This is a unique opportunity to publicise and promote the business opportunities that exist in Thailand to redress the UK’s falling market share. UKTI and BCCT will be running complementary campaigns to spark interest in Thailand. Often a lack of interest is simply a matter of lack of exposure to, and understanding of, the market. I remember working in Shanghai at the turn of the millennium and having great difficulty in securing interest but now almost every company wants to beat a path to China. The market fundamentals have not

changed extensively but attitudes to trading with China have. BCCT will be signing a MoU with the Office for Small and Medium Enterprise (OSMEP) to deliver a range of initiatives that will help both Thai and UK SMEs to develop their businesses and work more closely together. We are beginning to run bespoke Skype sessions with UK Chambers to explain market conditions and opportunities. Q: PM David Cameron also wants to secure more foreign direct investment for the UK. In Davos he spoke about ‘reshoring’ – describing government efforts to attract top quality, job creating investment. Will you and your team be assisting with this element of government strategy? Not directly. As inward investment (into UK) remains a service provided by the UKTI our role is to refer any such interest from Thai companies.

Q: What are the top five business sector opportunities for would-be UK exporters? There are many sectors that offer opportunities. My top five are Advanced Engineering (including automotive), Food & Drink, Agriculture, Healthcare/ Pharmaceuticals and Infrastructure. Q: Tell us about your team and their respective roles. We have two Project Managers: Ching Li Archer and Laddawan Tantisantiwan and a project coordinator. Pattra Hortong. Laddawan and Pattra were both working in the private sector before joining BCCT whereas Ching Li worked for UKTI in Bangkok. We have a good mix of knowledge and skills that will be utilised to help UK companies. We have adopted a sector approach to allocate work and to develop specialist knowledge. As a rough guide Laddawan will focus upon infrastructure, engineering and

education with Ching Li concentrating upon food and drink, healthcare/ pharmaceuticals, ICT and creative industries. Pattra will be providing support to all of us but will also be undertaking bespoke research. Q: How is the BCCT Board helping you? We are very lucky to have a proactive and helpful Board. Members are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to meet companies when they are visiting the UK to offer advice on the market and their respective sectors. They will provide us with details of business opportunities that are available to UK companies, help with briefings for UK companies via webinars etc and some will also make contact with UK companies on their database to alert them to activities in the UK that feature Thailand. We are also receiving support from BCCT members in the sector group-

ings to publicise opportunities in Thailand. The ICT group, in conjunction with UKTI, ran a webinar on ‘Smart Cities’ that linked to a panel sitting in London. This attracted 45 attendees to our new British Business Centre in Wireless Road and received very positive feedback. We plan to use the technology available in the British Business Centre to expand this initiative. Q: There is a possibility that David Cameron will visit Thailand in 2014. What are the key messages that he should bring? The main message should be that the UK is very much a key business partner with Thailand. This can best be shown by bringing a large delegation of companies with him. But I would also echo the words of PM David Cameron when he refers to the UK as being ‘open for business’ by saying that Thailand is also open and ready to welcome British companies.

Changes to UK passport application process H

er Majesty’s Passport Office is making important changes to the way it delivers British passports overseas. The goal is to ensure that all British nationals living overseas receive a consistent, trusted, secure and efficient service whilst keeping the costs as low as possible. Responsibility for handling passport applications in Thailand has passed from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to Her Majesty’s Passport Office. British nationals in Thailand must now submit passport applications, in person by appointment only, to the UK Visa Application Centre in Bangkok. In cases where a British national needs to travel urgently and his/her passport is not available, contact must be made with the Consular As-

not a substitute for a full UK passport. Consular staff at the Embassy in Bangkok are not able to take calls about individual passport applications and they cannot countersign passport applications.

sistance Team at the British Embassy in Bangkok on +66 2 305 8333 or e-mail consularenquiriesbangkok@ In certain circumstances Consular staff may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document but this is

All detailed required to complete the passport application process, including the address and contact details for the UK Visa Application Centre, are available on GOV.UK at uk/overseas-passports. The UK Passport Advice telephone advice line is +44 300 222 0000 (8am8pm UK time). Alternatively, e-mail: overseasNewportCCC@

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New focus to problems of child trafficking T

he UK’s National Crime Agency, in conjunction with the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand and the British Council, has launched a new educational resource - Tam’s Tales - aimed at making children aware of child trafficking and sexual abuse. The Tales of Mai and Tam was originally created by the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) command as an educational film but has been transformed into a comic book for use in schools and by organisations that work directly with children. Funded by the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT), 5,000 copies have been printed and the comic is also available to order via the International Child Protection Network by emailing icpn@nca-ceop. In addition, teachers from the British Council in Thailand have given their time for free to help write learning puzzles included within the comics. Tam’s Tales explores some of the issues around child trafficking and sexual abuse committed by someone outside of the family. The comic helps children and their carers to better protect themselves from child sexual offenders as well as those who seek to exploit them for trafficking purposes. The ongoing outreach and educational work builds on CEOP’s partnership work to date in the region, as well as the work of the International Child Protection Network (ICPN). The network, which includes advisory panels of specialists from law enforcement, education, children’s charities and NGOs, share under-


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standing and best practice to help minimise the risks posed to children by adults with a sexual interest in them. Andy Baker, Deputy Director, NCA CEOP command, explained, ”The Tales of Mai and Tam have already been a huge success and I’m extremely grateful to both the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand and the British Council for their assistance in helping us to expand the resource. The relationships we are building in the regions allow children to get vital information about how to stay safe from sexual exploitation and, importantly, provide active deterrence messages to wouldbe offenders who think they can travel overseas to abuse and exploit children”. BCCT Executive Director Greg Watkins said, “Companies of all sizes play a vitally important role in promoting awareness of child protection issues and educating the communities in which they operate. Simple messag-

ing to employees creates a multiplier effect to family members and friends. “Child Protection is not something that appears in many corporate and social responsibility policies, but, BCCT is keen to work with the National Crime Agency’s CEOP command in Thailand to change this, and build on the corporate charter already in place. Today’s children are Thailand’s future whether in business or any other field.” Zoë Robson is Assistant Teaching Centre Manager, Young Learners at the British Council in Thailand. She observed, “At the British Council we believe that good child protection requires everyone to take responsibility. We recognise that the care and welfare of children is paramount and that all children have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse. We are glad to be able to support the National Crime Agency’s CEOP command in the creation of Tam’s Tales and to help empower children to be able to better protect themselves”.

Transnational child sexual offenders seek to offend against the world’s most vulnerable children in the hope that they will evade detection and prosecution. The phrase ‘sex tourism’ sanitises the reality of what is taking place. The ‘sex’ is forced, therefore it is rape. The word ‘tourism’ implies sun, sea and sand when frequently children are sought in the most deprived areas of the world. The International Child Protection Network brings together experts from all walks of life to share expertise, build knowledge and limit offender opportunity. The work of the ICPN is active in many parts of the world – areas where we have worked to build up partnerships and knowledge and where from experience, we know that children have been targeted, in particular by offenders travelling from the UK. More information can be found via www.ceop.police. uk/icpn.

The National Crime Agency is a new agency with national and international reach and with the mandate and powers to work in partnership with other law enforcement organisations to bring the full weight of the law to bear in cutting serious and organised crime. The CEOP command works with child protection and law enforcement partners within the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. Visit for more information. The CEOP command works with child protection and law enforcement partners within the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. It is a member of the Virtual Global Taskforce which

also includes the Australian Federal Police, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Italian National Postal and Communication Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Interpol. Further information is available at

For more information, please contact: Greg Watkins Email: Zoe Robson Email: zoe.robson1@ Hannah Bickers, Press Officer – National Crime Agency Email: hannah.bickers@ T: +44 20 7979 5835 * To order copies of the Tam’s Tales comic, please email:

Staff from the Dusit Thani Bangkok gave a helping hand to the annual clean-up of the city’s Silom Road – a popular venue for Thais and tourists during the Songkran Festival. District Offices in Bangrak, Sathorn, Yannawa and Pathumwan joined hands with the Department of Environment and many private sector organisations to undertake the massive clean-up operation. Dr. Pusadee Tamthai, Deputy Governor of Bangkok presided over the event as roads and pavements were cleaned by enthusiastic volunteers with staff from the Dusit Thani Bangkok supplying the all-important drinks and snacks. From left to right: Apisak Tangboonyasiri - Assistant Director of Bangrak District Office, Tridao Apaiwong - Advisor of Governor of Bangkok, Dr. Wallop Suwandee - Chief Advisor to Governor of Bangkok, Wipawadee Sirimongkolkasem - Managing Director of Devarana Spa Co., Ltd., Sukanya Janchoo – General Manager of Dusit Thani Bangkok, Dr. Pusadee Tamthai - Deputy Governor of Bangkok, Pol. Maj. Gen. Wichai Sangprapai - Advisor to Governor of Bangkok and Kittinan Khaosut – Director of City Law Enforcement Department.

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OSMEP links can boost business for SMEs T

SMEs in Thailand is the limited access to financial support for international expansion. It was thought that some banks in the United Kingdom might seize the opportunity to create much-needed funding for these businesses.

he UKTI/BCCT Overseas Business Network Project is forging ever closer links with Thailand’s OSMEP – the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion. A meeting between the two organisations has identified several business sectors where closer cooperation could lead to improved business opportunities for Thai-based SMEs in the United Kingdom. A senior team from OSMEP, led by Deputy Director General Dr. Wimonkan Kosumas (pictured right), outlined the priority business sectors set by the organisation, including include wellness/medical tourism, cosmetics, food/beverages and arts/crafts. OSMEP defines an SME as being a company with total assets valued at no more than THB 200 million and

employing a workforce not exceeding 200 people. OSMEP is keen to exploit opportunities nationwide but stated that the challenge for many

The OSMEP delegation proposed a series of measures designed to strengthen collaboration with the BCCT. These measures includes a more intense focus on selected business sectors including wellness/ medical tourism, cosmetics, food/ beverages and arts/crafts as well as retail, industrial plant and equipment and automotive parts. It was stressed that whilst the volume of products and equipment is small it is still of significant value in monetary terms. An example was given of a machine costing some £200,000 that is used in the manufacture of stainless steel. It is hoped to stage a ‘matching event’ later this year with on-site visits to SME factories in Thailand and it was proposed that a ‘British SME Service Desk’ be established. The OSMEP delegation also included Luckana Tangchitnob, Director – International Affairs Bureau; Vipavee Boonsongprasert, Chief – International Project Development Division and Yuwannee Ruchuphan, Senior Operational Officer – International Project Development Division.

Khun Somphong Puengpien (centre right) receives a gift from members of the BCCT Board to mark his achievement of 40 years service and to thank him for his dedication to the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand.


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OSMEP has the capability to identify, screen and assess reliable partners to find the right match between countries, tapping into a large network of public and private sectors agencies. For more details about the links between BCCT and OSMEP, please contact Greg Watkins: greg@

BCCT charity support helps many in Thailand B

CCT’s CSR and charity activity has traditionally focused upon children and/or education and is reflected in support for the needy in Thailand in four ways. BCCT makes charity donations each year from the proceeds of the raffle and auction at the Chamber’s annual Christmas luncheon. Students’ Education Trust (SET) – THB 150,000 SET supports more than 500 students at university and college, sponsors young teachers from the UK, organises drug prevention camps, English language camps, job-training for students and a host of other education related projects in Nakhon Sawan province.

Beaumont Partnership (TBP) Foundation – THB 100,000

In 1957 a committee was formed to organise the first charity event fair – the highly popular Ploenchit Fair. Foundation status was secured from the Ministry of Interior in 1999 under the name British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) which today continues to organise the annual Ploenchit Fair. Members of the BCTFN board are entirely voluntary.

TBP Foundation was established by BCCT member company The Beaumont Partnership to construct a school for the underprivileged on 70 Rai of land in Chaiyaphum Province. The school formally opened on Saturday 18th May 2013 and was established to offer a high standard of free education to children from needy rural communities with a commitment from their families to contribute at least ten hours per month to the running of the school.

Priority is given to self-help projects that benefit and enable a community to become self-sustaining. Assistance has also been given in the provision of basic necessities and equipment to improve healthcare, nutrition, education, agricultural projects and the disabled throughout Thailand. BCCT organizes the Grand Raffle at Ploenchit Fair – traditionally the largest income generating activity in the Fair. The BCCT Executive Director serves on the BCTFN board as Vice President.

British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN)

Thailand Business Coalition on AIDS (TBCA)

BCCT works in partnership with UK police’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) with the aim of engaging the business community in Thailand in order to raise awareness and educate communities in which member companies operate. Working together CEOP and BCCT developed a corporate engagement plan and a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed at the first child protection conference in Bangkok in 2010.

Charity activity by members of the British community began in 1941.

TBCA was formally established in 1993 to promote private sector aware-

On 25th October 2011, a new animated film jointly developed by CEOP

BCCT provides funds for two British gap year students, assessed for SET by Project Trust in UK, to teach English language in schools in Nakhon Sawan province.

ness of the spread of AIDS and organize activities to prevent AIDS in the workplace. It also coordinates with related government bodies and NGOs in support of activities to control and prevent the spread of AIDS. Major funding is provided by the Global Fund through the Thailand Ministry of Public Health for two key project areas – HIV/Aids and tuberculosis (TB). The BCCT Executive Director serves as Chairman of the TBCA board. BCCT Child Protection

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The first Ploenchit Fair as we now know it was held in 1956 and raised Baht 78,000 for Thai charities. It was, and still is, unique in that all revenues raised by the Fair are administered direct to the various charities through experienced honorary advisors.

and BCCT was officially launched. Entitled ‘The Tales of Mai and Tam: Mai and Tam Take Control’, the film has been created in Thai and English and focuses on issues of child trafficking and sexual abuse by someone outside the family. It was developed with THB 180,981 in sponsorship from the British Council, Shrewsbury International School, Property Care Services and Spirit of Soccer. History of BCTFN and the Ploenchit Fair The British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy has been assisting the underprivileged in Thailand since 1941. Originally called the United Kingdom Committee for Thai Charities (1956) it was accorded Foundation status by the Thai Government in 1998 and became known by what it is today, BCTFN. Contributions to the Thai needy, through many charities, initially by members of the British Community and more recently by the international community, reach back over 65 years and now amount to many millions of baht. More than THB 80 million has been raised since year 2000. Fund raising activities by members of the Community began in the early 1940’s at the British Club when monthly activities including morning markets selling home-made cakes and other items, run by the British ladies, together with the production of several plays, were organised.


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The British efforts were combined with the YWCA in 1951 when they held their first International Bazaar but in 1957 the British community. led by the wife of the then Ambassador, realised the potential for an annual charity fair and the need for a dedicated committee. The Ploenchit Fair was born. The Fair is the main source of revenue for BCTFN, whose members administer the money raised at monthly committee meetings. Committee members are entirely voluntary and with the experience they have gained over the years, they advise and assist the recipient charities where necessary and monitor the work they are and have been doing over the decades on an ongoing permanent basis. In recent years priority has been given to self-help projects that benefit and enable a community to become selfsustaining and in the provision of basic necessities, equipment to improve healthcare, nutrition, education and agricultural projects and the disabled throughout Thailand. BCTFN finances have been organised by the Standard Chartered Bank and placed on deposit until disbursement is needed for approved projects. All payments are by cheque against estimates or invoices for all works undertaken. Annual accounts are audited and sent for inspection to the Revenue Department before publishing.

The Ploenchit Fair is proud to be the biggest annual event on the Bangkok International Calendar and as success has led to success, the Ploenchit Fair revenues have continued to increase. Today the Fair has become more of an international community event with representation from almost every country and culture – all with the common goal of raising money to help improve the lives of the poor and underprivileged throughout Thailand. Charities The BCTFN welcome requests from all Thai charities under the guidance of our Foundation’s Constitution. These requests are considered from organisations under the following objectives: • To support and assist the under underprivileged to help themselves • To provide educational assistance to schools to help underprivileged children • To provide assistance to disabled persons • To provide pharmaceuticals and medical equipment for sick • To support and help the basic needed projects for self-reliance With these objectives in mind BCTFN supports over 20 charities annually and help is also given to new projects throughout the year depending on our monetary reserves. BCTFN has supported well over 100 different Thai charities throughout Thailand over the years.

Fort more information: BCTFN, 591/17 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 (Villa), Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110. Tel: 02-2041587 Fax: 02-2041589 Email

Ploenchit Fair funds help many good causes Since 2000 the total sum raised for Thai charities from the Ploenchit Fair exceeds THB 100 million. Funds are distributed to projects throughout Thailand presented and approved by BCTFN. The organisation encourages self-help projects, agricultural, educational and medical projects and projects that benefit whole communities. CHARITY



Camillian Home for Children living with Disabilities


Pumping system for the new aquatic-therapy pool for disabled children

Deejai Foundation


Approved books for 5 schools in Kanchanaburi, Prajeenburi, Petchburi and Prachuabkirikhan

Rural Medical Aid Foundation


Drug expenses for their volunteer doctors weekend visits to rural up-country sites - 8 trips 2,500 patients treated to date

Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities


Transportation costs for 350 children from 3 orphanages and special education schools to attend up-country camp

Father Ray's Foundation


Cost of setting up a project with provides safe living and education for 850 underprivileged children and students with special needs which cannot be accessed in the Pattaya area

Baan Unrak School


Christchurch Saeng Sawan Orphanage Rajaphat University sponsored students Annual building programme


Water storage tanks, computer batteries and electric wheelchair Fund to enable the Church to support Shalem House which caters for families attending hospitals for specialist treatments from up-country

Nakon Sawan

Drinking water facilities for this orphanage for children

Nakon Sawan

Costs of building materials to build a multi-purpose school village building in Tambon Hadsung during their vacation

St. Joseph's Home


Half-yearly payment for food and medicine for this old people's home and orphanage on the Malaysian border

Khom Loy Development Foundation

Mae Sot

Set-up a training practice project for pig-rearing -a self-help scheme to provide an income + funds for further piglets

Foundation for Disabled Persons

Chiang Mai

After a donation of 17,400 sets of lenses from Australia, cost to set up a project for the disabled to make frames and distribute free reading glasses to northern Thai rural persons

Rejoice Urban Development Fdn.

Chiang Mai

Half yearly supply of palliative medicines and formula milk powder for this mobile clinic that treats HIV/Outreach patients

Tawan Chai Foundation

Chiang Mai

Foundation for physically and mentally disabled individuals to enable elderly, physically disabled to be trained and have a satisfactory life to live in the community. Multi purpose learning centre, animal shelters and agricultural materials

Baan Huay Khun School

Mae Sot

Good Shepherd Sisters

Din Daeng Bangkok

Annual supply of raw materials to enable abused and homeless women to be trained and produce garments for sale. Assistance towards the youth training scheme

Baan Sabaai

Chiang Mai

Emergency Shelter for HIV/Aids and homeless - vegetable growing and animal husbandry project

THEP Schools

Cost of setting up 52 bunk beds, bedding and mosquito nets to enable this school for hilltribe children to accommodate and educate their students who otherwise would not be able to attend

Baan Huay Hak School - Repairs to common areas because of flood damage

Shalem House


Repairs to this house that caters for families attending hospitals for specialist treatments

Human Development Foundation


Supplies of building materials following slum fire

Sondej Ya Foundation

Chiang Mai

Sponsorship of 10 students for 3 years prior to University Medical course

Siam Care Foundation


Educational workshop for 150 for HIV/Aids education



Contribution to yearly support for distressed Thai persons

Karen Hilltribes Trust

Chiang Mai

800 family mosquito nets for remote villages

Good Shepherd Sisters

Nong Khai

Weaving project and repairs to self-help centre

St. Joseph's Home Project Life

Betong Cambodian Border

Annual allowance for medicines and food for this old people's home and orphanage on the Thai/Malaysian border Insect rearing village project and weaving supplies

These projects totalled THB 6,664,671

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helping the needy

Time to Rejoice By Dr Martin Huddart


became a Trustee of Rejoice Foundation UK ten years ago, at the request of a friend, who, at that time was also a Trustee. I had been to Thailand the previous two years and had fallen in love with the country and its people. My thinking was that, in addition to the altruism, it was also an excuse to keep visiting the region of which I had grown so fond. With my background of front line family medicine in the East End of London over nearly thirty years, in addition to the philanthropy and governance of Rejoice Thailand, I could also advise on the clinical work to ensure that their work was evidence based. Over the years I developed a close working relationship with Steve Hallam, one of the founders; Alan Wheeler, an ex-pat living in Chiang Mai and Gee Jaiglar, the health care worker pivotal to the day-to-day work of the organisation. After Steve’s death in 2010 I feared that Rejoice Thailand would cease to exist but how wrong I was. With the support of donors across the world, especially SDL Foundation - championed by Winston in Bangkok - and friends in Singapore corralled by Wight the charity has gone from strength to strength. I visited Rejoice in Chiang Mai after an absence of two years as Alan and I visited donors in Singapore last year. I was stunned by the remarkable progress the charity had made over that period. By linking with volunteer HIV health workers from Chiang Dao Hospital, Mae Ai and San Kamphaeng clinics, Rejoice has effectively increased its outreach workforce from one to seven health care workers with minimal staff costs. This has expanded the catchment area significantly and Rejoice is now visiting villages as close to the Burmese border as it is possible to travel by road and reaching communities that have no access to health care locally. During my visit I joined Gee, his assistant Arm and Kanda, an HIV worker 54

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dents at a school in San Kamphaeng and the ability of Gee and the HIV workers to engage, inform and stimulate a group of 39 students over a three hour workshop was most impressive.

from Chiang Dao Hospital on an 11 hour round trip to Ban Kae Noi, a Lahu village in the foothills of the Burmese border. There we saw a 50 year old mother with AIDS being cared for by her 12 year old daughter, the wife of a patient with HIV and drug resistant TB who was suffering from diarrhoea and another mother with AIDS who was reminded that she had a hospital appointment at 8am that Friday at the local hospital. This was a three hour journey away by motor bike on dirt roads in searing heat. For this reason many patients fail to attend outpatient appointments and without the work of Rejoice would not receive any health care at all. In addition to checking on their clinical condition, Arm distributed much needed warm clothing and nutritious food. Rejoice was very fortunate to receive a significant anonymous donation two years ago which enabled it to replace the aging transport with a new truck - so vital for the outreach work. Gee, Arm, Wi and the HIV workers have now started to stay overnight in Fang on their long trips to the border areas, thereby reducing the travelling time and fuel costs. In addition to the outreach work, Rejoice has been moving ‘upstream’ and has initiated an educational programme for schools and local communities to teach about the risks of HIV, modes of transmission, safer sex techniques and reducing the stigma of the disease. I observed such a teaching session with 13 and 14 year old stu-

In the January 2014 newsletter there was an article from Russ, a volunteer from SDL Foundation, on the work of Rejoice. This was a point in time observation. Alan, whom visits the charity weekly, has not perceived such a dramatic change but having not visited for two years I was amazed and most impressed by the development of Rejoice over that time. This has been made possible by the generous donations we have received and the hard work and compassion of Gee, Arm, Wi and the HIV volunteers, ably supported by Alan, who produces monthly accounts, newsletters and annual reports and maintains the website. I retire from my GP role this year and hope to spend more time in Chiang Mai province in the future. With the relaxing of border controls and the regime in Burma, Rejoice may be able to expand yet deeper into the hills and extend its influence. The may also be the possibility of introducing near-patient HIV screening and blood monitoring, in liaison with Chiang Dao Hospital, to reduce the need for sick patients to travel long distances in difficult conditions. Thank you to all at Rejoice for welcoming me into your lives and making the past ten years so enjoyable and satisfying. Onwards and upwards for the next decade. * Over the past decade BCTFN has been a major sponsor of Rejoice Foundation and their support of communities living with HIV. Dr Martin Huddart is a Trustee of Rejoice Foundation UK. http://www.rejoicecharity. com/home

Bangkok volunteers offer vital assistance to typhoon victims I

n the wake of the devastation and suffering caused to thousands of families in the Philippines by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 the Filipino community in Bangkok embarked upon a major fund-raising effort to provide relief and reconstruction support to affected areas. United Filipinos of Thailand (UFT) raised over THB one million under the ‘Adopt a Village’ through a number of initiatives and with the support of the BCCT and members such as CBRE and St Andrews School (Sukhumvit Soi 71); the International Women’s Club (IWC) and the Filipino Community Organising Committee (FCOC). Gloria Simister, Angie King and Rosalie Persson were given a number of towns to choose from by the Philippines Embassy in Bangkok. They pinpointed Bantayan Island in north west Cebu for the first disbursement of funds. Mayor Chris Escario was delighted to be contacted by Angie and agreed to coordinate the programme with his secretary Marilu acting as liaison. Upon arriving in Cebu on 20 February they were well looked after by the staff of the Mayor and they were escorted by van and boat to Bantayan the following morning. The ladies were surprised to find a beautiful island rather similar to Khao Lak near Phuket. They spent a few days surveying the scene and discovered that many NGO agencies were already active. In fact in Bantayan itself all the surviving inns were fully booked by NGOs

so they found accommodation in nearby Santa Fe. Despite the prevalence of the larger charities the devastation of Yolanda was so widespread that there were many gaps to be filled. For instance, Oxfam had a programme to fix small boats for up to Pesos 5,000 but not larger boats. With the able help of Caesar Morandarte, the Officer in Charge of the local ‘Livelihood Programme’, the team agreed to refurbish the Baigad coastal patrol vessel for the marine sanctuary as well as five medium-sized fishing boats. First Councillor Danny Despi and Caesar Morandarte then took the group to see Bantayan Central Primary School where they agreed to restore three buildings housing 10 classrooms as well as the school’s

central stage ahead of graduation in April. The children were delighted since their own fund raising efforts for the stage had fallen short. Similarly at Bantayan High School (Secondary) the team paid to rebuild the central stage. In Santa Fe they soon discovered that people in many parts of the town were still living in tents. A Philippines foundation had provided roofs but not walls. Angie and Rosalie arranged to meet the barangay captain (Kamnan) at the town hall and then purchased building materials for the walls of about 60 homes. Gloria, Angie and Rosalie returned to Cebu on 26 March, happy to have made a difference in one small corner of the world and would like to pass on the gratitude of the Bantayan people to all those who contributed to this effort. The Link

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helping the needy

Light of Heaven shining brightly By Adrian Saengsawan


isitors to Saengsawan (Light of Heaven) Orphanage in Nakhon Sawan cannot but be impressed by the resident children there. Always clean and tidy, always polite, always smiling and the kids are a delight. They actually seem to be happier than many children who have ‘real’ families and they’re certainly as well cared for by the dedicated resident staff. The 80 resident children are aged from new-born to late teens. Babies are occasionally left on the orphanage steps and unmarried teenage mothers sometimes arrive with a new baby, begging the orphanage carers to look after the child. They are never refused. There’s a real ‘family’ feel to the orphanage and the children treat each other as brothers and sisters. Those in their teens are especially protective of the younger ones. It’s a good environment for an orphan or abandoned child to grow up in. The orphanage has been supported for nearly twenty years mainly by The SET Foundation, based in Nakhon Sawan. SET itself is supported in many of its activities at Saengsawan by BCTFN and the two foundations have worked closely together on many projects there. In fact, BCTFN has never refused an appeal from SET on behalf of the orphanage. Amongst other projects, BCTFN has replaced unsafe 20-year-old


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electrical wiring in the main buildings, installed ceiling fans and mosquito netting in the dormitories and completely overhauled and refitted the kitchen, which hadn’t been altered or improved since the orphanage opened in 1965. BCTFN has also supplied washing machines, cookers, an industrialsize fridge, clean drinking water dispensers and other much-needed equipment. The children themselves have also directly benefited, with supplies of baby milk for the nursery, the establishment of a BCTFN-spon-

sored book corner and several exciting daytrips to the coast. At a recent presentation of more much-needed equipment, the director of Saengsawan said that ‘a lot of people like to give clothes and toys to the orphanage but they don’t always think beyond the children’s immediate needs. We’re very fortunate to have SET and BCTFN as sponsors because their trustees see what we need on a practical and long-term basis, to help us give an overall better quality of care to the children. We are very grateful to both foundations’.

Member News

Design challenge at KIS By Darryl Anderson


magine a Middle School where the curriculum involved designing airplanes, catapults, remote-control cars, Rube Goldberg Machines and water rockets. Sounds like a budding engineer’s dream. However it’s not just the engineering skills that are needed to be successful, but also marketing, creativity and collaboration. Every year at KIS International School, MYP students take part in an interdisciplinary, cross-grade level event known as Design Cycle Challenge Week. For five days each year, students put away their schoolbooks, group themselves into teams of 4-6 students and are given a challenging task. It started back in 2006 when students utilised their knowledge from different subjects to design and create battery-operated racing cars. In 2008 students not only investigated the math and science of catapults but also the historical context behind the different uses and types of catapults. They pitched the design of their catapults to a panel of ‘Medieval Lords’ (role-playing teachers) seeking protection for their castles.

dents to create sturdy bridges made from popsicle sticks. KISLAND’s increasing development meant that cars were required and, finally, planes made from lightweight balsa wood. KIS Students are known for thinking ‘outside of the box’. After all, the name of our school stands for Knowledge, Inspiration and Spirit. KIS students are smart but also motivated and truly inventive.

The following year saw the birth of KISLAND – a mythical independent empire that unfortunately had a coastline littered with rubbish. Environmental engineering experts (our KIS students) were called in to design boats made from recycled materials.

Following the Design Cycle, they investigate the context of the challenge, create different designs, test out their plans, evaluate their success, and every day, start the whole cycle again. In addition, they use their critical thinking skills to create persuasive explanations that “sell their product” in the form of short video or written advertisements.

The next year, with KISLAND’s rising economy and population, bridges were soon needed so the Ministry of Transportation put out a call for engineering-minded stu-

The Design Cycle Challenge week is truly a challenge. Students need to collaborate with other students they may have never worked with before, and also come up with a

product that’s successful, creative and unique. This year the challenge was even greater as students had to create a Rube Goldberg machine that connected to others. Check out the different teams’ products, video journals and final design reports at http://kisdcc2013. A video of the final machine can be viewed on KIS’s YouTube channel (KISBangkok) or

Darryl Anderson is MYP Humanities Teacher at KIS International School Bangkok. For more information contact Linda Belonje, Director of Marketing and Development. Tel: +66 (0)22743444 Email:

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Member News

NIST teams win trophies in Tournament of Minds By Supranee Taecharungroj


riginally an Australian event launched in 1987, the Tournament of Minds (TOM) has since spread around the Asia Pacific region, including Thailand. This year’s tournament, held at International School Bangkok, took place on 2 March and included teams from American School of Bangkok, Bromsgrove International School, Regent’s International School, St. Andrews International School and Shrewsbury International School. When the final scores were tallied, NIST International School had brought back both first-place primary division trophies in Language Literature (Team Dickinson’s Ink) and Maths Engineering (Team E-Arthians). A popular facet of schools around the world, academic competitions traditionally offer students the chance to showcase their knowledge and speed in a wide range of subjects. Whether rattling through lists of complex vocabulary in spelling bees or feverishly trying to recall historical facts, the results often become anxious contests of will, with outcomes decided by steady nerves and the ability to rapidly recall information.

Yet as education has transformed, focusing more on the connections between subjects and the creative processes inherent in learning, so too have the competitions changed. TOM, a creative problem-solving program offered to both elementary and secondary students, encapsulates this new style of competition through an emphasis on collaboration, innovation and trans-disciplinary learning. All participants had spent six weeks preparing together for the Long Term Challenge, as well as a Spontaneous Challenge, in the field of their choice: Language Literature or Maths Engi58

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neering. The challenge in Language Literature required the creation and presentation of a picture book using two characters chosen from a pre-selected list of young adult texts. Each team’s story had to exhibit creativity, reveal characteristics of each character, and incorporate one of several key ideas, while their presentations on the day of the tournament had to be revealed in a dramatic fashion. Maths Engineering faced the challenge of building a device based on swinging or rotating parts that would create a sound at chosen time intervals. In addition, they needed to explain how the device worked and demonstrate its success at making a sound at exactly 10 seconds, as well as another selected time revealed only at the time of the presentation for the Spontaneous Challenge. To top it off, these teams also had to reveal their solutions in a dramatic skit that both explained the device and entertained. During the six-week period preceding the day of the presentations, NIST students worked collaboratively with four to seven teammates, relying on time management, creativity, deductive reasoning, and interpersonal skills to

help them reach unique solutions to the challenge. Like adults in the workplace, they quickly realised that not everyone shares the same opinion and that patience, empathy and listening are essential to reaching a consensus in any team. Upon commencing their 10-minute presentations for the judges they were not only prepared with their innovative solutions but also for the Spontaneous Challenge which allowed the judges to see how they improvised on the spot to cooperatively solve a different problem with creative flair. TOM has been fortunate to have interest and support from many of the best international schools in Thailand to make it a success. Team facilitators from NIST meet and guide their teams’ successes each year while the students themselves expand their abilities in ways traditional tournaments cannot. With more students participating each year, the Tournament of Minds continues to grow and develop as a wonderful extra-curricular option that not only enriches NIST students academically, but also socially and emotionally. For more information about the Tournament of Minds, visit the official website at

Centara on target with EarthCheck certification E arthCheck, the specialist organisation that sets the benchmarks for environmental awareness and conservation for the international hospitality industry, has awarded 2013 Silver Certification for 10 hotels within the Centara Hotels & Resorts group. Eight of the properties are within Centara’s five-star Grand portfolio, including all of the self-owned Grand hotels. This fulfills the company’s target one year ahead of schedule. “Green and sustainable tourism is at the heart of our corporate culture and we have been working with EarthCheck for several years to ensure that we operate all of our hotels to strict environmental standards,” says CEO Thirayuth Chirathivat. “We have set our own internal targets for progressing through the certification levels, and it gives all of us immense satisfaction to

is measured through the EarthCheck Online Self Assessment. All results are assessed and verified by third party auditors on an annual basis.

say that our targets are being achieved. Our target for 2015 is to have a total of 15 hotels with Silver Certification.” EarthCheck operates an Environmental Management System, a series of practical tools for the benchmarking and certification of operations practices. The environmental performance of each property is monitored against policy, benchmarking the indicators against baseline and best practices. The environmental and social impact

To achieve Silver Certification all participating hotels are required to have a sustainable policy in place and to implement an environmental action plan for proper monitoring and measurements on 10 key performance areas, namely greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, management of freshwater resources, ecosystem conservation and management, social and cultural management, land use planning and management, air quality protection, wastewater management, solid waste management, and elimination of environmentally harmful substances. For a list of hotels receiving Silver Certification, visit:

JLL maintains forecast on real estate growth


ransaction volumes in Asia Pacific’s commercial real estate slowed to US$ 23.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014 - down 15 percent yearon-year. That’s according to latest figures released by from JLL. Attributing the slowdown to government cooling measures and various seasonal factors, JLL maintains its forecast that full year transaction volumes will surpass those in 2013 as a result of the continued allocation of capital to the real estate sector and improving leasing demand. Stuart Crow, head of Asia Pacific capital markets at JLL, said, “Transaction volumes in Asia Pacific are tradition-

ally lower in the first quarter than the rest of the year as the region experiences the effects of both the Western and Chinese New Year holidays. While investment has been slightly muted by concerns around growth in emerging markets and renewed economic uncertainty in China, we expect transaction volumes to pick up throughout the year as a wave of closed-end funds mature and deals that are already in the pipeline come to market. “Coupled with unrelenting demand for commercial real estate, this leads us to maintain our forecast that investment in commercial real estate in

the region will outstrip that of 2013.” Outperforming the rest of the region transaction volumes in the larger markets of Japan and Australia grew by 15 percent and 31 percent respectively, with Japan accounting for an impressive 53 percent (US$ 12.2 billion) of direct investment into the region’s commercial real estate markets in the first quarter of the year. What is traditionally a strong quarter for Japan’s investment markets was buoyed further by the increase in the country’s consumption tax on 1st April which encouraged many investors to bring deals forward. The Link

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Member News

Pepa publishes Songkran book for children B angkok-based international school teacher Pepa O’Donovan has written book to promote understanding and appreciation of Thai festivals and culture among children. Pepa is an Early Years’ teacher at Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School (Bangkok Prep). This self-published book titled ‘Songkran’, illustrated by Thai cartoonist Chanin Suasungnern, takes young readers through the different rites performed during the Thai New Year, giving children an opportunity to learn more about this popular annual festival. The book is aimed at children ages three to seven years and tells the story of Nam, a nine-year-old boy from Bangkok. The book takes young readers through Nam’s day during the most celebrated holiday in Thailand. Nam participates in traditional ceremonies associated with the festival such as religious functions, special rites and finally joins his friends in a fun-filled water fight.

Pepa O’Donovan with her new publication ‘Songkran’

Pepa’s experience with the Songkran festival with her family in Thailand inspired her to write this book. “It was only after celebrating this great festival did I realise that much of the traditions and culture in this festivity has gone unnoticed as people are attracted by the excitement of the water guns and water fights. I

Plain sailing for Bangkok Prep Eight students from Bangkok Prep competed with five other Bangkok international schools at the inaugural Thailand Junior Team Racing Championships – held at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Pattaya. This was the first time that these young sailors, aged between 7 and 13 years, had participated in a championship.


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felt I needed to let my children and students understand the importance of coming together as families and friends to celebrate and understand each other’s cultures and traditions”, she said. Pepa said that Songkran fills an unmet need for a book that explains about Thai festivals in simple English to children. “During my travels, it was difficult to find children’s books related to the local culture of the countries I visited. I buy books as souvenirs for my children as I like to keep the souvenirs alive in their memories by reading them stories about the country their family just visited,” she added. Pepa is now planning to write a series of festivities from around the world for children and she is currently working on her next favourite festival Loy Krathong. “With the right colours and a bit of imagination, your experiences could be turned into a children’s book”, she said.

Standard Chartered banks on Lim Cheng Teck S tandard Chartered Bank has appointed Lim Cheng Teck (right) as CEO for its ASEAN markets, effective 1 May 2014. He reports to Jaspal Bindra, Group Executive Director and CEO Asia, Standard Chartered PLC. To maximise opportunities in key growth regions the Bank has recently implemented a new structure of eight specific regions: ASEAN, Greater China, North East Asia, MENAP, South Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

Jaspal Bindra said, “Our ASEAN franchise is one of the eight key regions which the Bank is focusing on. It is an important region, contribut-

ing close to a quarter of the Group’s total income in 2013. We are confident of ASEAN’s growth potential and, with Cheng Teck’s appointment, our aim is to more effectively contribute to and grow with the region.

Cheng Teck’s excellent track record as CEO in high growth, high potential markets such as Singapore and China, will be a boost to our long term growth aspirations in this region. He will lead our strategic efforts to leverage on our strong ASEAN presence to facilitate trade and investment flows between ASEAN and the rest of the world, and to enhance the support we provide to all our clients.”

CBRE going well on Shell Top ranking C T BRE Group has renewed and expanded its contract with Royal Dutch Shell Plc. CBRE is to manage the international energy company’s retail network portfolio in 22 countries across four continents.

CBRE’s Global Corporate Services group will provide real estate transaction management, lease administration and real estate consultancy services covering around 9,000 retail sites. CBRE has managed the Shell Retail European portfolio since 2010 but the scope of the contract has now expanded to also include over 3,000 retail sites in Asia Pacific, United States, Canada and South Africa.

In Asia Pacific, CBRE’s coverage of retail sites for Shell now includes Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. Mark Caskey (pictured), EMEA Head of Global Corporate Services at CBRE,

he Managing Partners’ Forum, a professional body that celebrates the value of leadership and management excellence, has named Grant Thornton ‘Best managed international firm.’

said, “Our specialist Petroleum and Automotive division will strive to enhance the Shell Retail network by bringing uniformity of delivery, best practice transfer across regions and dedicated investment in network analysis tools and technology.” * For more seasoned readers that may remember the Shell TV commercial from the 1950s, use this link to reminisce with Michael Holliday: https://www.

Judged by an independent panel of subject matter experts, the award recognises the strength of Grant Thornton’s global strategy and leadership. The judging panel said that ‘Grant Thornton is faced with the formidable competition of the Big 4 accounting firms but has developed an ambitious five year strategy across 127 countries with a view to both growing revenues and enhancing its reputation.

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Member News

NIST student wins Bronze at Cadet Fencing World Cup


ing Ping (Soravit Kitsiriboon), a year 10 NIST student and member of the Thai cadets sabre fencing team, has won a Bronze medal for Thailand at the 2014 Singapore Cadet Fencing World Cup. Having trained continuously for four years Ping Ping, ranked third in the U17 Thai national rankings, has been selected by the Amateur Fencing Association of Thailand (AFAT) to participate as a member in the national team (U17 Cadets). Following this latest victory Ping Ping was set to compete at the 2014 Asian Junior Cadet Fencing Championships in Amman, Jordan and then at the World Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. “NIST congratulates Ping Ping on his hard work and achievement. We are

Ping Ping (left) with team mates in Singapore

always excited to hear about our students who pursue their passions and hope that the tournament was full

of learning and fulfilment for Ping Ping”, said Julian Edwards, the Secondary School Principal.

Laotian move for Centara C entara Hotels & Resorts is set to open its first hotel in Laos. The five-star Centara Grand Hotel Vientiane is scheduled to open in 2017. Located in the downtown district of Vientiane the hotel will be designed to a French colonial style and is being developed with an investment of some US$46.2 million. Centara will manage the 200 rooms property on behalf of the property owners.

“Laos is a natural market for us. This will add to our marketing strength in south east Asia, providing an exciting new destination for our large customer base around the world,” said Chris Bailey, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts. 62

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Centara Hotel & Resorts CEO Thirayuth Chirathivat (centre left) holds the management agreement for the new five-star property in Vientiane.

Thai astronaut inspires pupils at Regent’s School S tudents at The Regent’s School, Bangkok have welcomed Thailand’s first astronaut Khun Pirada Techavijit. Khun Pirada is set to become the first Thai national to visit space. She told students that hard work and perseverance led her to this experience of a lifetime.

Khun Pirada (pictured right) was visiting the school at the invitation of her uncle Dr. Virachai Techavijit – the school’s Chairman, spoke pupils aged seven to 11 years about her upcoming trip into space next year after a year-long series of tests when she became one of the 23 chosen from around the world. The pupils heard her journey will take place in a Lynx Mark II sub-orbital spacecraft. Khun Pirada was the winner on a TV show Fanpantae Apollo 2013 (True Fan of Apollo 2013). She was then trained by air force officers at Bangkok’s Don Muang and Nakhon Pathom’s Kampengsane air force bases where she learnt basic piloting skills.

with her a group photograph of Regent’s, Bangkok children, a Thai flag, a portrait of His Majesty King Bhumibol and (inevitably perhaps) some Thai food as well as personal items.

The flight will take off from California next year and she will be taking

“Khun Pirada’s visit was truly inspiring and left many of the Regent’s,

Bangkok children optimistic that they too could become scientists and astronauts of the future. She hopes to return to the school after her voyage to tell the children about the amazing experience,” said Alicia Warner, the school’s Public Relations and Brand Image Officer.

About 100 students, parents, staff and visitors participated in the first ever Prem Tinsulanonda International School’s ‘Step Up Colour Relay’ held at the Traidhos campus. The event featured a 1.25 kilometre loop that teams of four completed in increasing distances, for a total of 12.5 kilometres. The Prem Student Council organised the ‘colour’ for the event, which meant runners would be splashed with colour every time they passed through the transition area. The event raised more than THB 17,000 for charity.

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Member News

Klaus leads new green campaign at Ramada Plaza


he Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside hotel has launched a major recycling programme to enhance sustainable and environmentally friendly operations. General Manager Klaus Sennik says it’s part of the Wyndham Worldwide global commitment to CSR and the environment. “Wyndham Green is not just about one or more green programmes. It’s a way of living and working based upon our vision and values. Wyndham Worldwide understands that our business activities on the banks of the Chao Phraya river impact upon our local environment, our staff, our guests and our neighbours.

We are adopting best practices and, importantly creating a culture at the hotel that strives to improve and sustain our positive environmental results.”

“We are investing in new systems and operating methods designed to conserve resources and prevent pollution.

The hotel is also looking at new ways of reducing power and water consumption – but this needs understanding

Klaus Sennik (right) with former TAT Governor Suraphong Svetasreni

and cooperation from staff and guests. “It’s certainly a challenge for any hotel operating in a tropical climate but we know that we can improve our environmental performance and set an example for others in Bangkok and throughout Thailand,” adds Klaus.

Expat awards T hailand’s first Expat Entrepreneur Awards have been created by The BigChilli magazine in conjunction with networking organisation BNOW. The awards are designed to highlight contributions made by foreign owned/managed companies to Thailand’s economy.

“We have featured some incredible stories on expats and their businesses during the past 15 years and it’s time we acknowledge the contribution they have made to the Thai economy,” said Colin Hastings, Managing Director and Publisher of The BigChilli. 64

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Khun Pacharee Pantoomano Pfirsch, founder of BNOW, said that she has had a fascinating opportunity to network with such a diverse group of dedicated expat professionals in Thailand over the years. “Many expats in Thailand are involved in some of the most dynamic and creative businesses,” she said. Awards will be presented in September in a variety of categories. Nomination forms, to be submitted by 15 August, may be downloaded from

Many congratulations to Tim Gerrish on the recognition of his outstanding work for the National Crime Agency – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (NCA-CEOP). Tim (pictured) was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Knight Frank pinpoints new tourism growth zone T he Asoke-Ratchadapisek area of Bangkok, the focus for new commercial and residential properties, is also emerging as a centre of tourism-related activities. That’s the view of Khun Risinee Sarikaputra, Director, Head of Research and Consultancy, Knight Frank Chartered (Thailand) Co., Ltd. She says that this district is proving to be particularly popular with ‘budget global travellers’. According to Knight Frank Thailand Research the Asoke-Ratchadapisek area currently boasts about 6,854 rooms in 36 hotels that fall into the three-star hotel category. In the near future, it is estimated that there will be around 324 rooms added to the

daily rate (ADR) in the range of THB 1,500 to 1,999 per night, representing about 42 percent of the total hotels. This was followed by properties in the ADR range of THB 2,000-2,499 per night, representing about 29 percent of the hotels’, says the report.

three-star hotel supply of AsokeRatchadapisek and its vicinity. ‘In Asoke-Ratchadapisek, the majority of three-star hotels offer an average

The company adds that demand for three-star hotels in Asoke-Ratchadapisek is mainly from Asian and Russian tourists that there appears to be substantial room for growth in this hotel segment with numbers of Asian travellers increasing. ‘Asians typically prefer to save money on hotels in Bangkok in order to spend largely on food and shopping. The growth of low cost carriers in Asia is also spurring the arrivals of Asian tourists’.

Air France offers Yangon link to Europe


Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) CEO Lyn Kok ( front left) and Lim Cheng Teck ( front right), Regional CEO ASEAN (designate), presided over the opening ceremony of the globe landmark on the skywalk above the intersection of Narathiwas and Sathorn roads, adjacent to the bank’s head office. The globe landmark celebrates the Bank’s 120 year anniversary in Thailand and portrays the Standard Chartered Bank geographical footprint covering 69 countries.

ir France has teamed up with Bangkok Airways to provide a service between Yangon and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) via Bangkok. Travellers departing Yangon on Bangkok Airways may now check-in for the connecting Air France flight to Paris. Air France operates six flights per week to CDG using a 468-seat three-class Boeing 777-300 aircraft. More details at:

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Member News

Samitivej eyes role as Asian medical hub T

he Samitivej private hospital group has opened an international children’s hospital in Bangkok to serve up to 1,000 outpatients and 100 inpatients per day. The group is targetting annual revenue of nearly THB one billion from its new business, according to CEO Dr Chairat Panthuraamphorn. The opening is also part of the group’s plan to become an Asian medical hub. Samitivej also continues its philanthropic efforts through the New Life Foundation that will provide free paediatric heart surgery and bonemarrow transplants for 10 children this year. Tim Beaumont, CEO of The Beaumont Partnership, has thanked the management of Samitivej Hospitals and Samitivej New Life Foundation, for providing free paediatric heart surgery to Nong View, a student at the Beaumont Ruam Pattana School in Chaiyaphum. The school, un-

From left to right: Dr Chairat Panthuraamphorn, CEO; Dr Somsiri Sakolsatayatorn - Executive Advisor; Tim Beaumont, Nong View, Dr Nattipat Juthacharoenwong; Dr Chanika Tuchinda and Dr Surangkana Techapaitoon - Director of Samitivej International Children’s Hospital.

der the patronage of The Beaumont Partnership Foundation, provides educational opportunities for underprivileged children. Nong’s surgery and follow up care was provided by Dr. Nattipat

Juthacharoenwong, Chief of Samitivej Paediatrics and was made possible through a grant from Samitivej Hospital’s New Life Foundation. The Foundation has already provided free heart surgery to 95 children in need.

Tilleke & Gibbins lands prestige award T illeke & Gibbins is proud to announce that it has been named Thailand Law Firm of the Year by industry publication Chambers Asia-Pacific. The award was announced at Chambers Asia-Pacific’s annual Awards for Excellence ceremony.


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Kobkit Thienpreecha, a Partner in Tilleke & Gibbins’ Corporate and Commercial Department, attended the event to accept the award.

tions carried out by more than 140 researchers. The rankings relate to practice groups within each firm and the qualities of their lawyers.

The Chambers Asia-Pacific Awards recognise the work of national and international law firms across the region, basing its study on investiga-

Among the factors used to determine the rankings were interviews conducted with clients and an assessment of recent work completed.

Asia retailers set for regional expansion A

sia Pacific retailers are focused upon expansion within the region, rather than venture into American and European markets, according to CBRE Research.

Top 10 Target Markets for Asian Retailors in 2014

“The relatively lower levels of interest by Asia Pacific retailers in expanding in American and European markets reflect a cautious attitude to expanding out of their core markets. That said we are beginning to see a number of Asia-based brands working on strategies for global markets, said Sebastian Skiff, Executive Director of CBRE Retail. An estimated 14 million square metres (149 million square feet) of new retail space is currently under construction in Asia Pacific. Half of the new supply is in China, mostly in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The bulk of the remainder is in south east Asian markets including Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. “In Q4 2013 four new retail projects opened in Bangkok providing

around 40,000 square metres of new space. The total retail supply in Bangkok at the end of 2013 stood at 6.32 million square metres, consisting of shopping malls, which shared 61 percent of the total market and can be categorise into three main types; community mall, enclosed mall and on-site retail facilities,” said James

Pitchon, Executive Director – Head of CBRE Research and Consulting in Thailand. China leads the way for Asia Pacific, ranking as the fifth most popular destination for global retailers, with 22 percent of surveyed retailers targeting the market in 2014

The ‘Whizdom Society’ at Magnolia Quality Development Corporation hosted a CSR programme called ‘Volunteer Spirit at Safari World’. Property owners at Whizdom Condominium and The Muse joined organisers in treating children from Wat Sa Kaew School to a day out at Safari World Park.

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Economic performance in 2011/2012/2013 and forecasts for 2014:


Chamber Events

By the Numbers










Personal consumption





Government consumption





Gross fixed capital expenditure















Exchange rate US$





Unemployment %











Chris Bruton Director, Dataconsult Ltd.

Manufacturing wage Baht/month


henever the political and economic fundamentals affecting the Thailand business environment take a turn for the worse, policy makers and opinion leaders alike have recourse to “Syam Thevathirat”, the guardian angel of the land, with assurance and confidence that, even if we cannot help ourselves, salvation is at hand. Whether or not this recourse is reliable, it gives us optimistism and hope in times of despair. We certainly need that uplift of confidence right now, when financial leaders are predicting recession, doom, even meltdown. However past performance is not that bad, and could certainly have been worse. The outlook, likewise, is not scintillating, but does not presage disaster either. GDP growth, previously forecast at even four to five per cent, now looks like less than three per cent for 2014, and could be significantly lower. The indicators that combine to produce that key GDP growth rate look similarly mediocre, but hardly disastrous.

- change %





Inflation %





Manufacturing production index % chg





Export growth %





Import growth %





Exports US$ bn





Imports US$ bn





Trade balance US$ bn





Current account US$ bn





- % of GDP





Foreign Debt % of GDP





Foreign Reserves % of DGP





Gross Public Debt (% of GDP)






Source: IMA Asia

As indicated in the Thailand Statistical Update, performance over the past year has been unspectacular, but not disastrous. Indices of production have tended to be negative, while domestic product sales have similarly displayed a declining trend. Meanwhile producer and consumer prices have edged upwards, though not spectacularly. Indicators of industrial, business and consumer confidence have also indicated continuing decline, with the latest, February 2014, figures among the lowest in the past 12 months.

ports, has been fairly stable, whereas tourism and hotel occupancy have held up well until recently. Financial indicators have performed reasonably well, with a recovering stock market, but declining investment trend. A weaker Baht against major world currencies, could do more good than harm for Thailand’s overall situation. Much depends, inevitably, on how the upcoming political standoff evolves, and what solutions, if any, can be contrived. Failing all else, “Syam Thevathirat” will surely be ready with solutions.

Foreign trade, both exports and im-

Thailand Statistical Update (April 2014) Item

2014 Feb Jan





2013 Aug Jul




Mar -0.8

Production Indicators Agricultural Production Index (y-on-y %)












Manufacturing Production Index (y-on-y %)













Industrial Capacity Utilisation (%)













Key domestic product sales Electricity (KWH bn.)













Benzene/gasohol (mn. litres)













Beer (mn. litres)













Soda / soft drinks (mn. litres)













Passenger cars (000 units)













Motorcycles (000 units)













Commercial vehicles (000 units)













Cement (mn. metric tonnes)













Passenger cars (y-on-y %)













Motorcycles (y-on-y %)













Commercial vehicles (y-on-y %)

























Cement (y-on-y %)


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2014 Feb Jan





2013 Aug






Producer / Consumer Price Indicators Producer Price Index













Change (m-on-m %)













Change (y-on-y %)

























Change (m-on-m %)













Change (y-on-y %)

























Change (m-on-m %)













Change (y-on-y %)

















































Industrial Confidence Index













Business Sentiment Index













Private Consumption Index













Private Investment Index













Consumer Confidence Index













Benzene 95 (Baht/litre)













Gasohol 95 (Baht/litre)













Diesel (Baht/litre)












29.99 543.16

Construction Materials Price Index

Consumer Price Index (headline) (2011 = 100)

Core Inflation (2011 = 100) Change (m-on-m %) Change (y-on-y %) Consumption & Confidence Indicators

Fuel Prices

Foreign Trade of Thailand: exports Manufactured products (Baht bn.)












Agricultural products (Baht bn.)













Total exports (Baht bn.)













Total exports (y-on-y %)













Foreign Trade of Thailand: imports Consumer goods (Baht bn.)













Raw materials (Baht bn.)













Capital goods (Baht bn.)













Other Imports (Baht bn.)













Total Imports (Baht bn.)













Total Imports (y-on-y %)













Tourism Indicators Suvarnabhumi Arrivals (000 persons)













Change (y-on-y %)













Nationwide Arrivals (000 persons)













Change (y-on-y %)













Hotel Occupancy Rate (%)













Loans (Baht billion)













Deposits (Baht billion)












10,353.9 1,561.06

Commercial Banking Indicators

Stock Exchange and Foreign Investment indicators SET Index (1975 = 100)












Market Capitalisation (bn. Baht)













Foreign Purchase (bn. Baht)













Foreign Sale (bn. Baht)













Foreign Direct Investment (net, bn. Baht)













Foreign Portfolio Investment (net, bn. Baht)













Board of Investment indicators Applications (Baht bn.)













Approvals (Baht bn.)













Certificates (Baht bn.)












54.0 29.52

International monetary indicators US$ / Baht (mid-rate)












ÂŁ / Baht (mid-rate)













Euro / Baht (mid-rate)













Japan (100) Yen / Baht (mid-rate)













A$ / Baht (mid-rate)













S$ / Baht (mid-rate)













Exports (f.o.b. US$ billion)

























Trade balance (US$ mn)

Imports (f.o.b. US$ billion)












1,440.75 1,588.73

Current account balance ( US$ mn)












Balance of payments ( US$ mn.)













Foreign currency reserves ( US$ bn.)













Statistical sources: these statistics have been derived from the following official sources: Bank of Thailand, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Finance (Department of Customs, Fiscal Policy Office), Ministry of Industry, Board of Investment, Immigration Department, Stock Exchange of Thailand. The above statistics represent the principal economic indicators for Thailand, but the original sources provide much more extensive and detailed coverage of different aspects of the economy. Statistics as presented are, in most cases, provisional figures, which will be adjusted at a later date when final returns are available from the respective sources. While best efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, readers are referred to original sources for definitive statistics. Note: month-by-month figures are updated as adjustments are made in the original statistical sources

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Chamber Events Honorary Membership

British Business Centre Launch

11 February 2014

11 February 2014

Former Chairman Simon Landy was awarded Honorary Life Membership of BCCT in recognition of his service on behalf of members. Simon is pictured on Tuesday 11th February receiving his award from British Ambassador Mark Kent.

On Tuesday 11th February BCCT and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) launched the new British Business Centre.

- Simon Landy (left) and Ambassador Mark Kent

From left: - Barry Nicolson, BCCT/UKTI Project Director - British Ambassador H.E. Mark Kent - Greg Watkins, BCCT Executive Director - Bradley Jones, UK Trade & Investment Director

BCCT Half-Day Workshop

Third Thursday Networking Evening

13 February 2014

20 February 2014

On Thursday 13th February BCCT held a half-day workshop on ‘Why Great Marketing Directors Don’t Make Great General Managers!’ at British Business Centre. The facilitator was Steve Sowerby (standing), Founder of XPotential, a global strategy consultancy.

On Thursday 20th February Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit kindly hosted and sponsored the T3 Speed Networking Evening at the District Grill Room & Bar.

- The workshop hosted by Steve Sowerby was well attended.

From left: - Chris Thatcher, BCCT Vice Chairman - Carlos Netto, F&B Director at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit - Simon Matthews, BCCT Chairman

Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 70

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Chamber Events

Thai Language One-Day Workshop

BCCT Briefing on UK Bribery Act

20 February 2014

25 February 2014

The BCCT Management Development Group organised a Thai Language One-Day Workshop on Finance for Non-Finance Managers on Thursday 20th February. The facilitator (standing) was Khun Kittichai Rajchamaha, Smart World Asia.

Fergus Evans, Managing Partner of Clifford Chance Thailand, was guest speaker at the BCCT Boardroom Briefing on Tuesday 25th February at the British Business Centre. Mr Evans spoke in detail about the UK Bribery Act.

- Workshop attendees pay close attention to facilitator Khun Kittchai from Smart World Asia.

- Fergus Evans addresses the audience at our new British Business Centre.

Smart City Workshop

Joint ESB Networking Evening

27 February 2014

28 February 2014

BCCT’s ICT Group hosted a briefing by videoconference with members of the forthcoming British Smart Cities mission and networking evening at the British Business Centre on Thursday 27th February.

BCCT Eastern Seaboard Chairs past and present, Graham MacDonald of MBMG Group (right) and Mark Bowling of Colliers (left) represented BCCT at the Joint AMCHAM, AustCham, GTCC, SATCC and BCCT Networking Evening on Friday 28th February at Cape Dara Resort, Pattaya.

- Videoconference briefing in full session

- The BCCT remains active on the Eastern Seaboard

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Chamber Events

BCCT Pub Night

Joint P&I Evening Presentation

4 March 2014

6 March 2014

On Tuesday 4th March The Cascade Club kindly hosted and sponsored the first BCCT Pub Night of the year.

On Thursday 6th March Peter Grant (standing) briefed BCCT members on UK Property Hotspots: How Asia-based investors can access key high performing UK property.

From left: - John Sim, BCCT Vice Chairman & Treasurer/PKF - David Williamson, Cascade Club General Manager - Simon Matthews, BCCT Chairman/Manpower

- Peter Grant discussed property hotspots in the UK.

Child Protection Press Launch

Joint P&I Evening Presentation

7 March 2014

11 March 2014

BCCT hosted the launch of a new child protection comic at the British Business Centre on Friday 7th March.

On Tuesday 11th March James Pitchon (pictured) of CB Richard Ellis was a speaker at the Joint BCCT/RICS Property & Infrastructure Evening Presentation on Outlook for the Bangkok Property Market in 2014.

From left: - Greg Watkins, BCCT Executive Director - Andy Baker, NCA-CEOP Deputy Director - Zoe Telford, British Council Assistant Teaching Centre Manager Young Learner

- Tim Gerrish, ICPN Coordinator & International Partnerships Manager - Johnny Morgan, British Council Thailand Deputy Teaching Centre Manager

- Guest speaker James Pitchon

Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 72

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Chamber Events

St. Patrick’s Shindig

MICE Presentation & Networking

13 March 2014

14 March 2014

BCCT joined forces with the Irish-Thai Chamber of Commerce (ITCC) for an excellent St. Patrick’s Shindig on Thursday 13th March.

BCCT joined with AMCHAM and AustCham for a panel presentation on how to grow MICE business in a sustainable manner. The event took place at the Angsana Laguna Phuket.

From left: - BCCT Chairman Simon Matthews - Irish Ambassador to Malaysia and Thailand H.E Declan Kelly - ITCC President Paul Scales

- MICE business is crucial for many venues in Phuket.

Workshop on business writing

ICT Evening Presentation

17-18 March 2014

18 March 2014

Neil Stoneham from Voxtree (pictured) was the facilitator for the BCCT Two-Day Workshop on Powerful Business Writing – Getting Results on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th March.

On Tuesday 18th March the BCCT ICT Group hosted an Evening Presentation on Thailand’s Computer Crime Act.

- Neil Stoneham highlights the benefit of powerful business writing.

From left: - BCCT Director Stephen Frost - Nic Garnett of Tilleke & Gibbins, - Jared Dandridge of SafeComs

- BCCT ICT Group Chairman Andrew McBean of Grant Thornton - Yannick Thevenot of SafeComs - BCCT Vice Chairman Chris Thatcher.

Thank you to our sponsors and partners. The Link

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Chamber Events

Third Thursday Networking Evening

BCCT Eastern Seaboard Briefing

20 March 2014

24 March 2014

On Thursday 20th March The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel kindly hosted and sponsored the T3 at Sundowner’s Bar.

On 24th March, Pramote Srisamai, Partner of Price Sanond Prabhas & Wynne (left) was guest speaker at a BCCT Eastern Seaboard Briefing on the Thai Labour Law. The photo shows Khun Pramote with BCCT Board Director Stephen Frost (right).

From left: - British Ambassador H.E Mark Kent - Ms. Martine Delogne - General Manager of the Imperial Queen’s Park Michal Zitek - BCCT Chairman Simon Matthews

- Khun Pramote (left) receives a gift of thanks from Stephen Frost.

BCCT Luncheon

BCCT Evening Presentation

25 March 2014

26 March 2014

Chris Cracknell, Chief Executive of OCS Group Limited was guest speaker at the BCCT Luncheon – CEO Speaker Series on Tuesday 25th March at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit.

On Wednesday 26th March Wolfgang Jaegel, Founder-Chief Executive Officer of Syndacast was guest speaker at the BCCT Evening Presentation on Digital Marketing.

- Chris Cracknell at the lectern

Picture from left: - BCCT Vice Chairman Chris Thatcher - Wolfgang Jaegel of Syndacast - David Armstrong, Chairman of the BCCT Communications Group

Thank you to our sponsors and partners. 74

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SMU0020_IE SMU_210x148_Mag_P.pdf



6:19 PM

Chamber Events

BCCT Boardroom Briefing

All Chambers Young Professionals

27 March 2014

28 March 2014

On Thursday 27th March BCCT hosted the boardroom briefing on UK Property Tax.

BCCT members attended the annual All Chambers Young Professionals event at KU DÉ TA Bangkok on Friday 28th March courtesy of Dean Kelly Jr. (right), KU DÉ TA Head of Events.

From left: - Christian Robb MRICS, Colliers International Thailand - Alan Lester of HW Fisher & Company - BCCT Vice Chairman Chris Thatcher.

- All smiles at Bangkok’s chic venue KU DE TA

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Comings and Goings The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand welcomes the following new members:

A Ta Services 2/51, Soi Bangna Trad 25 Bangkok 10260 T: +66 (0) 2744-3180 F: +66 (0) 2744-3177 Website:

Representatives: Mr. Thierry Guillossou - Managing Director Ms. Siriporn Chiwaraphan - Managing Director Business Activity: We are a serviced office company with more than 600m2 office. Located near Central Bangna. We are also specialized in administrative management and Thai labor regulation. We help companies who want to develop a business in Thai without creating a local subsidiary upfront. We hire and externalize the recruitment of people in Thai under Thai contract. We provide working permit and visa for foreigners. We take in charge for our customers the administration of their human resources in Thai. Our solution are easy and fast to implement. We offer a high-value added service at low cost compared to administrate a subsidiary company.

AD Asia Consulting Co., Ltd. 9/252, UM Tower, 25 Floor, B1 Ramkhamhaeng Road Suanluang, Suanluang Bangkok 10250 T: +66 (0) 2719-9746 F: +66 (0) 2719-9747 Website:


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Representatives: Mr. Andrea Dolcemascolo - Managing Director Mr. Michel H.L. Mathelot - Associate Partner Business Activity: AD ASIA Consulting is the consulting firm relating to relating to advisory and consultancy services, specialty for Interior, Architect, Engineering, Construction, and Real Estate Investment Sector. Our strategic management has direct control by affiliated companies. In addition to providing management and services for construction, we also provide specialty advisory and consultancy services at a strategic level with in-depth assessment of an international real estate investment and construction values as well as their operational and performance capabilities. Affiliated Companies: AD ASIA Group Ltd. AD ASIA Manufacturers (Thailand) Co., Ltd. AD ASIA Construction Co., Ltd. AD ASIA Property Co., Ltd.

Computer Project Management Consultants Ltd 1104, Crawford House, 70 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong T: +852-6102-1861, +852-8181-4045 Website:

Representatives: Mr. Chris Maden - Director Mr. Gary Yates - Associate Business Activity: CPMC specialises in strategic planning for and design of IT

infrastructure for the Financial Services industry. We have practices in Strategy, IT Security, Business Continuity Planning, Networking, Data Centres, and ITIL. We are consulting to build Thailand’s first international standard data centre.

HW Fisher & Company ACRE House, 11-15 William Road, London NW13ER United Kingdom T: +44 (0) 207 388 7000 F: +44 (0) 207 380 4900 Website:

Representatives: Mr. Alan Lester - Partner Business Activity: HW Fisher & Company is a top 30 UK chartered accountancy firm. Founded in 1933, the practice is a commercially astute organisation with a personal partner-led service aimed at entrepreneurial small, medium enterprises (SMEs), large corporates and high-net worth individuals. HW Fisher & Company’s property group is one of the largest divisions of the firm, providing specialist propertyfocused tax advice to companies and individuals from all areas within the property industry. Many of the firm’s property clients are overseas property investors who own, or are considering buying, property in the UK as an investment, and want to be sure they are paying the least possible tax on the rental income. The firm’s international inward investment experts are familiar with the issues facing new businesses or property owners. HW Fisher & Company is a member of the Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), the second largest international associa-

tion of independent accounting firms. Through this alliance we can introduce you to leading firms across the world, supporting you and your business as you continue to expand.

International SOS Services (Thailand) Limited 93/1 GPF Witthayu Towers, Tower B, 14th Floor, Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 T: +66 (0) 2205-7755 F: +66 (0) 2256-6340 Website:

Business Activity: Kaplan Educational Centers operate in Thailand under the Kaplan Certified Education Provider trademark. We aim to help students prepare for higher education through our live courses taught in small groups by highly qualified teachers. In addition to test prep services, Click Kapstar Co., Ltd. also assists students in studying abroad opportunities through Kaplan International Colleges. Loc Laem Chabang Co., Ltd. Harbor Mall, 6 Floor, 4/222 Moo 10 Sukhumvit Road, Tungsukla Sriracha, Chonburi 20230 T: +66 (0) 38 490 738 Website: Representatives: Mr. Donald Ross - Managing Director

Representatives: Mr. Kevin Morgenstern - Business Development Manager Mr. Marc Beuthe - Oil + Gas Solutions Director Business Activity: International SOS ( is the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services company. We provide a range of preventative programmes and offer an unparalleled response to emergencies. We are passionate about helping clients put ‘Duty of Care’ into practice. With us multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs can mitigate risks for their people working remotely or overseas.

Kaplan Certified Education Provider (Thailand) 5th Floor, Bangkok Bank Building, Siam Square Soi 5, Rama I Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 T: +66 (0) 2658-4466 F: +66 (0) 2658-4354 Website:

Representatives: Ms. Chanathip Suntivong - General Manager Mr. Chakchai Sritrai - Marketing Manager

Business Activity: LOC is a leading international marine and engineering consultancy. We have been providing advice and support to the shipping and offshore energy industries for over thirty years.

Medifoods (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 222/8 The Primary Prestige, Ratchada-Ramindra Road, Klongkoom Buengkoom, Bangkok 10230 T: +66 (0) 2508-3905 Website:

Representatives: Mr. Warren Barr - CEO Business Activity: Medifoods (Thailand) is the World’s 1st fully integrated Rice Value chain, focused on producing Organic and Specialty health products derived from virgin cold pressed, chemical free, stabilized rice bran. We are committed to nurturing our raw materials through the entire supply chain to ensure that we harness the highest levels of phyto nutrients available in this super plant we all know as rice.

Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam 220 Petchaburi Road, Ratchathewi Bangkok 10400 T: +66 (0) 2160-7100 F: +66 (0) 2160-7200 E: Website: www.novotelbangkokplatinum. com

Representatives: Mr. Sagar Naker - General Manager Ms. Maria Karacheva - Director of Sales & Marketing Business Activity: Located in Bangkok’s fashion district, Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam is situated above Platinum Mall, a few minutes’ walk from Central World Shopping Center, Siam Square, MBK, Pratunam market and BTS stations. Blending comfort and technology, the hotel is the perfect choice for your next holiday or business trip. Featuring 283 well designed rooms, the hotel offers two bars and one restaurant, five multipurpose meeting rooms, free Wifi internet, swimming pool, fitness center and indoor car park.

Recombinetics Hong Kong Limited Room 1502, 15 Floor, Kings’s Road, North Point, Hong Kong T: +852 8193-2679 E: Website:,

Representatives: Dr. Andrew Roberts - Vice-President, Business Development-Asia Dr. Mark Walton - Chief Marketing Officer Business Activity: Recombinetics (RCI) uses accelerated, precision

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breeding technologies to produce results that are either not possible or would require generations of conventional breeding to achieve. RCI projects have improved disease resilience, increased productivity, and enhanced animal welfare in cattle, swine and poultry. RCI’s technologies are also being applied in biomedicine and regenerative medicine.

Siam Piwat Co., Ltd. 8th Floor, 989, Siam Tower Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 T: +66 (0) 2658-1000 F: +66 (0) 2658-1022 Website:

Representatives: Mr. Chollachat Meksupha - Group Senior Vice President, Business Development Mr. Jakrit Tejavanija - Director, Business Development Business Activity: Core business activities include the development of luxury commercial real estate, retailing, marketing and communication, venue management and facility management. Recognized around the world as one of the most pioneering and successful retail developers in Asia, Siam Piwat continues to be a leader in developing landmark properties in Thailand. Our philosophy is to build the most innovative commercial properties that are globally recognized and with the highest commitment to quality. Resignations & Cancellations: 1. Akara Mining Limited 2. Bangkok Insurance PCL 3. Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited 4. Burda (Thailand) Ltd. 5. Cambridge International Consultancy Co., Ltd. 6. Chaophya Park Hotel, Bangkok 7. Diethelm Travel Management Ltd.


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8. Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok 9. Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok Sukhumvit 15 10. Horseshoe Point Resort & Residence 11. Hydrowe Engineering (Asia Ltd) 12. In Deed Strategy Into Action (Thailand) Ltd. 13. MGB International Limited 14. Myanmar Business Ventures Co. Ltd. 15. Primo Co., Ltd. 16. Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Ltd. 17. Schenker (Thai) Ltd. 18. TCC (The Continuity Company Limited) 19. Thai Jewelry Manufacturer Co.,Ltd. 20. Third Eye Management Solutions Recruitment Co.,Ltd. 21. Triple Two Silom Boutique Hotel 22. Triumph Structures (Thailand) Ltd. 23. Wood Group Heavy Industrial Turbines (Thailand) Ltd New Company Representatives: 1. Asia West Fine Foods Co.,Ltd., changed from Mr. Sean Fowler, to Mr. Thawiras Choawalit 2. BNL (Thailand) Limited, changed from Mr. Gavin Charlesworth, to Mr. Martin Baumgartnerpichelsberger 3. Bumrungrad International., changed from Ms. Karen Carter, to Mr. Kenneth Mays 4. G4S Secure Solutions (Thailand) Limited, changed from Mr. Worapong Padungkirtsakul, to Mr. Mark Wakeford 5. Generali Life Assurance (Thailand) Co., Ltd., changed from Mr. Keith Andrew Brooks, to Mr. Bundit Jiamanukoonkit 6. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, changed from Mr. Richard Greaves, to Mr. Gordon Fuller 7. InterContinental Bangkok, changed from Mr. Marcus Platzer, to Mr. Thomas Schmelter 8. Laguna Service Company Ltd., changed from Mr. Robin Wilson, to Ms. Prapa Hemmin 9. Landmark, Bangkok (The), changed from Mr. Albert Cheong, to Mr. Douglas Glen 10. Langdon & Seah (Thailand) Limited, changed from Mr. C.P. Leong, to Mr. Ang Yen Kooi

11. Mayer Brown JSM (Thailand) Limited, changed from Mr. Iain Melville, to Mr. Maythawee Sarathai 12. Merlin Entertainment (Thailand) Limited, changed from Mr. Paul Williams, to Mr. Noppadon Prapimpunt 13. Piyavate Hospital, changed from Ms. Naowarat Namtian, to Mr. Wirot Poungloke 14. Reed Tradex Company, changed from Mr. Chainarong Limpkittisin , to Mr. Preecha Sananvatananont 15. Senior Aerospace Thailand, changed from Mr. Richard Sutton, to Mr. Jamie Looker 16. SmartCityPeople (Thailand) Recruitment Co., Ltd, changed from Khun Chitvaree Prasertsamran, to Ms. Usa Sa-ngaphanchai 17. Suretank (Thailand) Company Limited, changed from Mr. Andrew McDowell, to Mr. Peter Weiss Members with new addresses: 1. 2. 3.

AB World Foods (Asia) Ltd. Unit 2412 - 2413, 24th Floor, Empire Tower, Park Wing, 195 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 T: +66 (0) 2670-0640 – 6 F: +66 (0) 2670-0647 Anglo-Thai Legal Co., Ltd. 5/10 Soi Pipat, Silom soi 3, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 T: +66 (0) 2105-5785, +66 (0) 2636-6780 Anthony Collier Associates (Thailand) Co. Ltd. 58/2 Moon 5, Sriripassorn 3 Village, T. Samed, A. Muang Chonburi 20000 4. Crestcom International, Ltd. 89/6, Soi Meesuwan 3, Sukhumvit 71 Road, Prakanong Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 5. Exotissimo Travel Co., Ltd. 22nd Floor, Smooth Life Tower 44 North Sathorn Road, Silom Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 T: +66 (0) 2633-9060 F: +66 (0) 2633-9070 6. Primary Engineering Associates 1112/110-111, Floor 1-2, Sukhumvit Road, Khwang Phrakanong, Khet Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110 T: +66 (0) 2712-3150-1 F: +66 (0) 2712-3152

Britain in South East Asia (BiSEA)

Cambodia British Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia c/o Darren Conquest Hong Yang Corporation No. 11 Street 178, Sangkat Psar Thmey 3, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: 855-12-219-802 Fax: 855-23-997-493 Email: Website: Chairman: Darren Conquest Executive Director: Abigail Gilbert

Indonesia British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia Wisma Metropolitan 1, 15th Floor, Jl. Jend, Sudirman Kav 29-31 Jakarta, Indonesia 12920 Tel: 62-21-522-9453 Fax: 62-21-527-9135 Email: Website: Chairman: Adrian Short Executive Director: Chris Wren

Malaysia British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce E04C1, 4th Floor East Block Wisma Selangor Dredging

142-B Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: 603-2163-1784 /1786 Fax: 603-2163-1781 Email: Website: Chairman: Dato Larry Gan Executive Director: Molly Jagpal

Philippines British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines c/o The British Embassy Manila 120 Upper McKinley Road McKinley hill, Taguig City 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines Tel: 632-858-2255/858-2372/ 858-2373 Fax: 632-858-2390 Email: Website: Chairman: Roger Lamb General Manager: Chris Boughton

Thailand British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) 7th Floor, 208 Wireless Road Lumpini, Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Tel: 66-2651-5350-3 Fax: 66-2651-5354 Email: Website: Chairman: Simon Matthews Executive Director: Greg Watkins

Vietnam British Business Group Vietnam

Singapore British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore 138 Cecil Street, #11-01 Cecil Court Singapore 069538 Tel: 65-6222-3552 Fax: 65-6222-3556 Email: Website: President: Mr. Hugo Walkinshaw Executive Director: Brigitte Holtschneider

Ho Chi Minh City G/F 25 Le Duan Blvd, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: 84-8-3829-8430 Fax: 84-8-3822-5172 Email: Website: Hanoi 193B Ba Trien Hai Ba Trung District Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: 84 4 6674 0945 Chairman: Nick Holder

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Chokey and chips By Dale Lawrence


ining at Brixton Prison is no longer reserved for the criminal classes serving three years in chokey. It’s been the home since 1820 for burglars, safe blowers, murderers, IRA terrorists, philosophers and even rock stars. A restaurant named, appropriately, The Clink has opened at Brixton Prison – operating inside the Regency property (pictured right) where a succession of prison governors once lived. Inmates are trained to cook and carry out front of house duties whilst the menus, seemingly devoid of porridge, are designed to showcase the ‘best of British produce’.

The Clink Charity, which also runs restaurants at prisons in Cardiff and at High Down in Surrey, explained that prisoners with six to 18 months left on their sentences are selected for training with the objective of obtaining a City & Guilds qualification. The charity hopes to open 10 more restaurants by 2017. The restaurant is part of a wider resettlement programme at HMP Brixton to encourage prisoner rehabilitation through education. Bookings require prior approval and interested diners must complete an application form. Previous ‘form’ is apparently no guarantee of getting the best table in the house.

Ha Ha Hancock’s return B ritain lost one of her greatest ever comedians when Tony Hancock died aged just 44 years in June 1968. Hancock’s Half Hour was compulsive listening and viewing for millions.

The show began broadcasting on BBC Radio in 1954 and made the successful switch to television in 1956 – with the radio broadcasts continuing in tandem until 1959. The supporting cast included Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Williams and June Whitfield (pictured above right with Tony Hancock). The TV episode ‘The Blood Donor’, first broadcast in 1961, is regarded as one of the best sitcoms ever seen

Five episodes were selected for recording in front of a live audience at the BBC Radio Theatre in central London. Bristol born actor Kevin McNally, perhaps best known for his role as Joshamee Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, has taken on the challenge of recreating the unique Hancock humour. Don’t miss it.

on British television. Scriptwriters Ray Galton and Alan Simpson also enjoyed considerable success with Steptoe & Son. This November the BBC is to broadcast lost episodes of the classic Hancock’s Half Hour to mark the 60th anniversary of the show’s first transmission.

Lest we forget Was I the only British citizen sickened by the sight of Cherie Blair greeting former IRA Commander Martin McGuinness like a long lost friend at Tony Benn’s funeral? I thought not.

The views and opinions expressed on this page by Editor Dale Lawrence are entirely personal and do not reflect official BCCT policy. 80

The Link

Issue 2/2014


ing t a r b Cebleusineesns ce l excel

Entrepreneur Awards 2014 Recognising the foreign community’s contribution to the Thai economy FOR the first time, companies established in Thailand by the country’s expatriate community will be recognized for their creativity, ingenuity, excellence and proven success in The Expat Entrepreneur Awards of the Year 2014. Supported by The BigChilli magazine in conjunction with communications experts BNOW, the Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014 will highlight the contribution foreign-owned companies make to Thailand’s economy.   Awards will be presented in a variety of categories to recognize the amazing diversity of these enterprises.   If you are an expatriate entrepreneur with a business story worth telling, or you know someone whose company deserves recognition, please let us know.

The categories include:

• Arts & culture • Agriculture • Charities & Foundations • Construction & design • Corporate training • Education • Entertainment (music, performance) • F&B (catering, restaurants) • Finance • Health, wellness, & spa • Hospitality

• Manufacturing • Retail (fashion, accessories) • Sports and fitness • Tech & IT • Others (TBA) Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2014 Recognizing your contribution to Thailand’s economy.

Send your submissions to: 8


BCCT The Link magazine - Issue 2 2014  

The ABC of Education in Thailand

BCCT The Link magazine - Issue 2 2014  

The ABC of Education in Thailand