MAY 2012 A publication of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce
05 / 2012
See details on page 3
Calendar of events: 2012/2013 TCCC Executives Patron:
His Excellence Ambassador of Canada
President – Peter van Haren Vice President – Derek van Pelt Vice President – John Casella Secretary – Dr. Tim Cornwall Treasurer – Michael Howard
Executive Board: Ali Fancy Derek van Pelt John Casella John Stevens Neil Chiu Michael Howard Peter van Haren Ron Livingston Scott Coates Sranyoo Chanate Dr. Tim Cornwall Todd Switzer
Embassy Representative: Ping Kitnikone
Don Lavoie Geoff McIntyre Michael White Picharn Sukparangsee Raymond Bodemer Sam Cohen Surachit Chanovan
Executive Director: Randy Shockley
Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce 139 Pan Road, Sethiwan Tower 9th floor, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66(0) 2266-6085-6 Fax: +66(0) 2266-6087 Email: email@example.com Website: www.tccc.or.th
The Voyageur is the monthly magazine of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, covering all Thai-Canadian business, legal and social news of interest to the members and others who are active in expanding Thai-Canadian bilateral trade. Editor: Randy Shockley, Executive Director, Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce Publisher: Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. 211 Soi Prasert-Manukitch 29, Prasert-Manukitch Rd., Chorakeabua, Ladprao Bangkok 10230 Tel: +66(0) 2943-7166-8 Fax: +66(0) 2943-7169 Design: Disraporn Yatprom Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Contact: Mr. Finn Balslev, Marketing Director Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. Tel: +66(0) 2943-7166 ext.116 or 08-1866-2577 Email: email@example.com
WHEN: Wednesday, June 13, 2012; 11;30 pm – 1:30 pm WHAT: Joint AmCham, BCCT & TCCC Speaker Luncheon with Dr. Chérie Carter. This Master Coach, Professional Speaker and International Best Selling Author will talk on “Negativity…what causes it & how to overcome it”. WHERE: “All New - Eastin Grand Hotel, 33/1 South Sathorn Rd; use sky bridge from Surasak BTS Station PRICE: 700 baht – Members; 850 baht – Non Members WHEN: Wednesday, June 20, 2012; 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm WHAT: Canuck Connections Networking Night & Cocktail Reception WHERE: “All New - Eastin Grand Hotel, 33/1 South Sathorn Rd; use sky bridge from Surasak BTS Station Venue - Azure’s Pool Bar, 14/F PRICE: 200 baht – Members & Non Members WHEN: Saturday, June 23, 2012; 3:00 pm –10:00 pm WHAT: 145th Canada Day Celebration WHERE: British Club, Silom /Soi 18 PRICE: Adults (13 & up) 950 baht in advance/ 1250 baht at the door Children (4-12) 450 baht in advance/ 600 baht at the door Children (3 & under)100 baht in advance/at the door Reserved Tables of 10: To ensure seating arrangements, tables of 10 can be reserved with an advance payment.
Upcoming events in the region:
Japan: http://www.cccj.or.jp When: June 15, 2012; 6:30 pm. - 8:30 pm. What: Annual Joint Chamber Summer Cocktail Where: Embassy of Canada, 4F Price: 8,000 Yen for member, 9,000 Yen for non-member. Cost includes a fine selection of foods and beverages. Philippines: http://www.cancham.com.ph When: June 27, 2012; 6:00 pm. - 9:00 pm. What: Canada Day Where: Poolside, Dusit Thani, Manila, Ayala Centre, Makati City Price: P500 for member, P1000 for non-members. Hong kong: http://www.cancham.org When: Saturday, June 30, 2012; 7:00 pm. - 9:30 pm. What: A Night at The Cabin: Canada D'eh BBQ Where: Bloop, 21/F Ho Lee Commercial Building, 38 - 44 D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong Price: HK$600 for members, HK$700 for non-members.
his year’s event marks Canada’s 145th birthday and the 23rd year Canada Day has been celebrated in Bangkok. Our local Canada Day Celebration features children’s games, tug-of-war, water balloon toss, volley ball, and various sporting activities for adults, including the ever-popular ball hockey tournament! A delicious buffet dinner will be served following the afternoon activities. Canadian wines and the ever-popular Canadian beer are being made available for the occasion, as well as Clamato juice for the uniquely Canadian Bloody Caesar. Event ticket holders will also be eligible to win a host of fabulous lucky draw prizes including dinner vouchers, hotel and vacation stays, plus a round trip ticket to Canada. Tickets are being sold in advance with limited tickets available at the door - based on a ‘first come, first serve basis’. Ticket prices (includes entry into the event, dinner and a chance to win lucky draw prizes): Adults (13 & up) 950 baht in advance/ 1250 baht at the door Children (4-12) 450 baht in advance/ 600 baht at the door Children (3 & under) 100 baht in advance/at the door Reserved Tables of 8: To ensure seating arrangements, tables of 8 can be reserved with an advance payment. Contact TCCC before Friday, June 15, 2012. Event schedule: 15:00 doors open, 16:00 children’s games, 16:30 ball hockey, volleyball tournament & adult games, 18:00 greetings and grand draw prizes, 18:30 dinner For further information, please contact the Canada Day Organising Committee C/o the TCCC office at Floor, Tel: 02-266-6085-6 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHIN: ASEAN Needs to Focus on Real Challenges to Growth then getting rid of the latter. It's not just the size, but also the quality, of the bureaucracy that matters.
By Curtis S. Chin
With the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) working toward a single market through the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, governments may well be pondering who from their ranks will be the next to join the large emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and now South Africa – the BRICS – in capturing the imaginations and investments of the world.
here is hope that the next BRIC might even be from Southeast Asia. For this to happen though, policymakers and development experts must first focus on a new lower-case “bric” – namely the continued threat of bureaucracy, regulation, interventionism and corruption – getting in the way of sustained growth. Ironically, while the Asia and Pacific region has survived the global financial crisis relatively well so far, this new “bric” may well in the long run stymie the sustainable rise of all of the BRIC and other emerging economies in developing Asia. Already we see the continued slowing of China’s economy and constraints on India’s
growth. The Asian Development Bank’s economists project China’s GDP growth rate at 8.5 percent and India’s at 7.0 percent this year, still well below historical highs. Overall 2012 growth for developing Asia is projected at 6.9 percent, with tremendous variation across the region. Truth be told, when it comes to the new "bric," government leaders on both sides of the Pacific have not set the best example for the rest of the developed and developing world. In these uncertain economic times, everyday citizens should ask themselves and their business and civic leaders four simple questions: Is government bureaucracy hindering or fostering economic growth? From high paid civil servants in Singapore to legions of relatively poorly paid officials in ASEAN’s poorest nations, the track record of government’s performance is mixed, with continued calls for the dismantling of large government bureaucracies. Yet, whether in Asia or outside the region, a real fight against bureaucracy is less about new organization charts, and more about assessing what works and what doesn't, and
How are regulations impacting job creation? Businesses and investors in Asia are often challenged by not just too many or too few regulations, but more critically, by unequally applied and unevenly enforced regulations. Clearly, not all regulation is bad, but policymakers must ask if ill-timed or excessive regulations are imposing too high an economic cost. A recent report argued that the U.S. economy has been hindered by some 32 regulations imposing more than $10 billion in annual costs and $6.6 billion in one-time implementation costs last year. Is near-term job creation and growth in Asia also losing out to red tape and regulatory excess? When is government intervention appropriate? Governments in Asia have long been both praised and criticized for seeking to pick winners and losers, often distorting the market in favor of national players. U.S. and European bailouts in industries from automobiles to banking also have helped make government involvement in business increasingly accepted as par for the course. Yet, too often, government interventions and inefficiency can go hand in hand. Policymakers need now ask how to ensure such interventions, if any, are limited and a matter of last resort.
The May 10th TCCC Speaker Luncheon Offered a G
uring May’s Speaker Luncheon at the new Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn, the TCCC was honoured to have U.S. Ambassador Curtis S. Chin to talk on "Perspectives from the Frontlines of Business and Government". His presentation was clearly one of the most entertaining of 2012 as he fully captured the audience’s attention with his many stories and insights from the front-lines. The attendees greatly appreciated his candor and the time he allocated to a very inactive Q & A session. Following our luncheon, Ambassador Chin was also kind enough to share two original drafts of recently penned articles. The first article is an opinion piece titled “CHIN: ASEAN Needs to focus on Real Challenges to Growth” and the second is “Asia’s Next Nobel? Building a Social
Business Thailand”. Edited versions of these two articles ran in the Bangkok Post and The Nation on May 10th and May 11th, respectively. If you wish to read the Bangkok Post and The Nation releases, they can be accessed at http://www.bangkokpost.com/ opinion/opinion/292611/aword-from-thewise-initiating-change-through-social-business and http://www.nationmultimedia. com/opinion/Asean-needs-to-focus-on-thereal-challenges-to-gro-30181697.html As background, Mr. Curtis S. Chin was nominated by President George W. Bush in September 2006 to be United States Executive Director to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the rank of Ambassador. Following U.S. Senate confirmation in April 2007, he served as the U.S. Representative on the ADB Board of Directors in Manila. He was also a member of the U.S. Treasury’s senior
(L-R) John Casella, TCCC VP presents U.S. Ambassador Curtis S. Chin with a speaker gift during the Chamber’s May 10, 2012 Speaker Luncheon at the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn.
Chamber News What more can be done to root out corruption? In Asia, corruption and crony capitalism go hand-in-hand in too many an emerging economy. Perpetrators often benefit from relatively weak judicial systems and limited transparency. The Occupy Wall Street movement, for all its detractors, brought needed attention to the U.S.'s own version of crony capitalism from bankrupt solar company Solyndra to failed futures broker MF Global. Hunger strikes by Indian activists and efforts by the leaders of Indonesia and the Philippines have likewise brought attention to shortcomings in Asia. Allegations of favoritism or leniency must be investigated, institutions strengthened, and people held accountable if Main Streets everywhere are to regain confidence in systems of governance. At a recent meeting in Manila of ASEAN finance ministers, there was understandable pride in a new US$ 485-million ASEAN Infrastructure Fund – ASEAN's largest financing initiative to date – to help finance development of road, rail, power, water and other critical infrastructure needs, estimated at some $60 billion annually. With funds increasingly available, however, government and development leaders need also focus on how money raised will be spent – including applying lessons learned from past infrastructure projects gone awry. Leaders must move to get out of the way of business innovation and put an end to capital misallocations driven by bureaucracy, regulation, interventionism and corruption. That would do more than anything else to help position ASEAN – both individually and collectively – to better compete in 2015 and beyond. It would also be a powerful message and example to the development experts and policymakers who too often dare not speak the truth about the real constraints to long-term, sustainable growth.
a Great Talk! international affairs team under Secretaries Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner. Curtis previously worked with the international public affairs firm BursonMarsteller in Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Washington D.C. and New York, where he counseled multi-national businesses and Institutions. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Management, concentrating in finance; and of Northwestern University. Presently, he is a member of the Board of Community & Family Services International (CFSI), an Asia-based humanitarian organization. He just recently relocated to Bangkok as a Senior Fellow and Inaugural Executive-In-Residence at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). He is also a Managing Director with the advisory firm River Peak Group, LLC.
Asia’s Next Nobel? Building a Social Business in Thailand By Curtis S. Chin
“Young people need not just be job seekers, they can be job creators.” Those were the words of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhummad Yunus, the micro-credit and microfinance pioneer, during a quick stop in Bangkok.
hose words during a recent symposium and a lunch that I joined in afterwards with Professor Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, got me to thinking: whether you are young or old, or young-or-old-at-heart, the only way for any nation, whether Thailand or my own home country of the United States, to move forward is for citizens to get active. That can mean voting in an election, volunteering to help out a favorite cause, or it can mean starting a business – but not just any business, a “social business.” It’s not often that a Nobel Peace Prize winner finds the time to come to Thailand to share some advice for young people aspiring to both do good and do well – and who aspire to do so by starting a business – but that’s what happened. And Thailand is all the richer for it, if not yet in income and programs for the poorest of the poor, at least in new ideas and encouragement from some one who has led the way in translating visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people. At a symposium organized jointly by the Yunus Center at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Thai Social Enterprise Office and Thai Management Association, the effervescent Professor Yunus declared, “When I see a problem, I create a business to solve it.” This is afterall the man who created not only the pioneering Grameen Bank – showing that a business based on very small loans to poor people with little to no collateral can succeed – but also who has gone on to help create other businesses, often entering into joint ventures with major corporations, to address critical issues ranging from malnutrition to malaria in his home country of Bangladesh. Described as “a new business model for the new millennium,” the social business, according to Professor Yunus is one that in its simplest terms “puts back the humanity into doing business.” It is a business model
that also recognizes that businesses and the individuals and shareholders behind them are driven by more than simply maximizing profit. Making money certainly helps create happiness, the Nobel Laureate acknowledged. That’s human nature. But, he added, experience shows that stakeholders from employees to investors also can find value in backing a business venture, or subventure, whose aspiration is more than about making money. Being both selfish and self-less is also human nature. At its simplest, a social business is defined to be a non-loss, non-dividend company dedicated to a social cause. A successful, social business by its very definition must also cover its cost of operations by charging for its products and services. Whether or not it is revolutionary, that’s an idea whose time has come for Thailand and other nations as people increasingly recognize the limitations of government and traditional charities and aid agencies to launch and sustain selfsupporting businesses designed to do good. So, how to get started? It’s more than about the money. At the heart of any great social enterprise, big or small, Professor Yunus said, is the idea that will solve a problem. How to employ just five people? How to get electricity to a one-room house with a leaky roof and a family too poor to afford any furniture? Eighty percent of a social business is the creative idea, he said. Only 20 percent is the money. Just like in Silicon Valley, he noted, if there is a great idea, the investors will follow. At the recent symposium, young people representing four social businesses that they had helped found in Thailand stood before Professor Yunus and leaders from Doi Tong, Premier Group, ThaiHealth, TMB Bank and others to share their ideas and progress. Panita Topathomwong talked of A-Chieve’s efforts to build a business around helping young people with internships and learn about the corporate world; Phuttamon Phunpiam discussed Freedom Solution and a business of helping people with disabilities succeed; Sirachai Arunrugstichai spoke of the work of New Heaven Reef Conservation to build a business that brings together a community to advance more eco-friendly development; and Alan Archapiraj discussed a range of social business ideas, from his BE Magazine to a dynamic new computer application. Who knows? Perhaps in that group we may one day find Asia’s next Nobel Prize winner. At the very least, we can find examples of young people leading the way forward, not just looking for jobs but helping create them. May 2012
Are You Aware of the Recent Changes t Canadian Citizenship from Canadians B
The following position paper was recently circulated by The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce Executive Board has been requested to lend its support. We ask all TCCC members to take the necessary time to read and assess the Hong Kong Chamber’s position on this critical citizenship issue and to feedback your comments and/or support for an aligned position to the TCCC office at: email@example.com.
his position paper was initially adopted by the Executive Committee of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong on 23 October, 2009 after extensive consultation with the membership of The Chamber. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong is Canada’s largest business community abroad with over 1200 members that form the core of the Hong Kong Canada business community. Founded in 1977, it represents members ranging from multinationals to individuals and their interests.
Position on Recent Changes to Laws Governing Heritability of Canadian Citizenship for Canadians Born Abroad Canadians born abroad should attain the ability to have Canadian children abroad after completing the same residency requirements as Permanent Residents seeking citizenship. This includes allowing minors to be considered under application by their parents or legal guardians. The Issue It has come to the attention of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, most of whose members could be referred to as Canadian expatriates, that recent changes
to citizenship rules would deny them or their children the ability to pass on citizenship to subsequent generations born abroad. The Concern The membership acknowledges concerns about citizenship being demeaned through its granting to subsequent generations of persons with no Canadian connection who may choose to exercise all the rights therein with no sense of the obligations of citizenship or motivation to support Canada and Canadians. But in fact, most of Canadians abroad are strong contributors to Canadian interests. They help market and sell Canadian goods and services abroad, improving the Canadian economy and making Canadians wealthier. They promote our diplomatic, military, cultural, sports and educational goals. Many of these people who contribute mightily to Canadian interests have children abroad. However, the current standing of legislation denies Canadians born abroad the ability to pass on citizenship to their children even in the event of their significant contribution to Canada and Canadians. For committed Canadians abroad, this has a variety of outcomes which we find objectionable. But we believe there is a reasonable solution that should be acceptable to the vast majority of Canadians. By Way of Clarification There is no connection between citizenship and contribution to Canada in current legislation. Unfortunately, contribution is difficult to quantify for large numbers of people, although it is recognized by schools, local, provincial and federal governments, businesses and other civic organisations for individuals through awards such as The Order of Canada.
It is sometimes believed that citizenship and its associated rights and obligations are strongly correlated with residency. Recent events and the current legislative situation show where this is not true. Full citizenship, including the ability to pass on citizenship to children born abroad, was recently granted to a child who never set foot in Canada and whose parents were not Canadian and have no Canadian ancestry. This is, of course, the well documented case of Baby Sasha, born to Ugandan parents on a Northwest flight in Canadian airspace from Amsterdam to Boston on New Year’s Eve (Jan. 31, 2008) . Many committed Canadians abroad have not had Canadian residency for decades, but continue to contribute to the spread of Canadian cultural, political, educational, business and sports interests around the globe. Our organisation is replete with such individuals. Examples Legislation allows immigrants to become full citizens following a 3 year Permanent Residency. These people have full ability to grant citizenship to their children born abroad. However, under the new legislation adopted in 2008, Canadians born abroad who may have spent decades in Canada are denied this ability. This includes those who previously did have this ability – it has been taken away. Current legislation affords them no route, such as residency, to restore their ability to give birth to Canadians abroad. Undesirable Outcomes The current state of legislation demeans citizenship for Canadians born abroad to Canadian expatriates and for Canadians adopted from abroad (and acquire their citizenship through the ‘direct route’) who live in and/or contribute to Canada.
s to the Law Governing Heritability of s Born Aboard? In the case of expatriates, many parents are outside Canada temporarily. Many, including those in the Chamber membership, have been abroad for many years and have maintained ties and worked actively to support Canadian causes while abroad. Their children are raised Canadian, attend Canadian schools abroad, and return to Canada for primary, secondary or university education or working career. They self-identify as Canadians and would object to other Canadians suggesting they were in any way less Canadian than those born in Canada or those who immigrated from abroad. Children born to Canadians abroad could risk having stateless children themselves should they give birth in a country that does not recognize the place of birth as grounds for citizenship. Canadians, like the majority of humanity, care about their families and their connection to their Canadian identity and culture. Risking statelessness is undesirable and creates uncertainty for Canadian parents and grandparents-to-be abroad. Uncertainty about children’s status could have a chilling effect on Canadian business, government, educational and military placements abroad and recruitment for work that could involve foreign postings. Canadians considering postings abroad to advance Canadian interests would need to calculate their chance of having children of diminished citizenship if they were to begin a family or have additional children while abroad. This is especially discriminatory against women who would need to choose between additional time off of work related to restrictions on air travel and less generous maternity benefits in most of the world compared to Canada. In addition… By applying the rules retroactively, many Canadians awoke to find their citizenship just a bit less than those of their native born compatriots or those who immigrated to Canada. This seems to contravene principles of not applying laws retroactively. For example, changes in capital gains laws apply to future capital gains – not as a tax on current assets previously amassed under old rules. The Resolution This document previously identified the distinction between contribution and citizenship and between residency and citizenship. Again, contribution is difficult to quantify for large numbers of people, although it is recognized by schools, local, provincial and federal governments, businesses and other civic organisations for individuals.
Executive Summary The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Position
However, residency is a well-documented means of establishing full citizenship in Canada. It is the position of The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong that Canadians born abroad be granted the ability to pass on citizenship to their children upon making a statement of intent, either by themselves or through their parents as legal guardians, to acquire full citizenship including the ability to confer citizenship to their children born abroad. It is resolved that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration direct appropriate resources to present a workable solution, with appropriate bureaucratic mechanisms in place to enable Canadians born abroad to attain equal status with native-born Canadians and immigrant Canadians. This solution should be made in consultation with the Canadian people, in particular interested and affected parties, and presented for consideration by the appropriate Parliamentary Committee. It is further resolved that the relevant Parliamentary Committee and Parliament undertake to amend legislation to confer such ability to Canadians born abroad based on current rules of residency for Permanent Residents under consideration for citizenship. Such legislative amendments should include provisions to apply resources to build the mechanism’s real world interface in such a way as not to prove overly onerous for applicants living in Canada. In other words, Canadians born abroad should attain the ability to have Canadian children abroad after completing the same residency requirements as Permanent Residents seeking citizenship. This includes allowing minors to be considered under application by their parents or legal guardians. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has proposed this position and advocates its adoption and active support by the Office of The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM), all political parties and other interested Canadians.
Canadians born abroad should attain the ability to have Canadian children abroad after completing the same residency requirements as Permanent Residents seeking citizenship. This includes allowing minors to be considered under application by their parents or legal guardians. The Concern: •
The membership acknowledges concerns about citizenship being diminished through its granting to subsequent generations of persons with no Canadian connection.
Canadians abroad are strong contributors to Canadian interests.
The current state of legislation demeans citizenship for Canadians born abroad to Canadian expatriates or for Canadians adopted from abroad (and acquire their citizenship through the ‘direct route’) and lives in and/or contributes to Canada.
Additional Concerns: •
Children born to Canadians abroad risk having stateless children themselves should they give birth in a country that does not recognize the place of birth as grounds for citizenship.
Uncertainty about children’s status could have a chilling effect on Canadian business, government, educational and military placements abroad and recruitment for work that could involve foreign postings.
This law is especially discriminatory against women.
Bill C-37’s enactment contravenes principles of not applying laws retroactively.
Interview with Greg Goldhawk, the Canadian Ambassador to Mongolia… Greg Goldhawk is the former Canadian Trade Commissioner to Thailand, Laos and Burma. Two years ago, he took a posting as chief of mission in Ulaanbaatar. Canada has had an embassy in Mongolia for three years now, and Greg is our second resident ambassador to be posted there. Greg made many good friends during his time in Thailand; he remains a member of the TCCC and has even continued to study Thai. Voyageur was lucky enough to catch up with him during his recent visit to Bangkok and we queried him about his new posting.
irst, a little background, Mongolia marks its independence back to the 1920s when with the support of the Russians they formally announced independence from China, but China didn’t formally renounce their territorial claim until the 1950s. In truth, Mongolia was a Russian satellite up until 1990, when with a largely peaceful effort it threw off the communist Soviet yoke and started to transform itself into a capitalist society.
Please describe the transition between being Canada’s Trade Commissioner to Thailand, Laos and Burma to being the Canadian Ambassador to Mongolia? “Everything has changed in a way; becoming ambassador has brought with it an expanded sense of responsibilities. As Trade Commissioner, you are responsible for commercial promotion but at the same time you are conscious of, and continually working with, a set of issues that span the full relationship between your host country and Canada. For example, here in Thailand, it would have been impossible for me to function correctly as trade commissioner without understanding the political context that frames how business happens. But when you become an ambassador, the necessity to have an integrated view of the relationship between the host country and Canada becomes even more important and more pressing. You are not just speaking for Greg Goldhawk or Canada’s commercial interests, you are speaking for Canada, and anything you say, good or bad, is going to be interpreted as Canada’s view.
Ambassador Greg Goldhawk in front of Mongolia's Hural (Parliament) building. That’s particularly true in a country like Mongolia with a capital like Ulaanbaatar, which in many ways is a very small place. The whole country is about 2.6 million people, and half of them live in Ulaanbaatar. You sort of know everyone, and everyone knows you, so there’s the potential for things you say to have real weight and to impact the CanadianMongolian relationship significantly. This can be enormously humbling, and it focuses your attention. You always have to pick your words with great care.” Why did we choose to open a mission in Mongolia in 2009? “Basically, we had an expanding range of interests in Mongolia that we couldn’t address properly from Beijing anymore. Canada is the second largest investor in the country after China. We have one very significant project run by Ivanhoe Mines out of Vancouver – it’s called Oyu Tolgoi, and it’s a huge copper mine. Once it gets running it could be one of the largest copper mines in the world. Just building the mine could be a $CDN 6-7 billion enterprise, before you really even get a kilogram of copper out of the ground. On top of this investment, we have another CAN$1 billion-plus in mining investment in other parts of the country, so even if you took away the Oyu Tolgoi project, we’d still be the second biggest investor in the country. “Mongolia is a lower-middle income country, certainly not as wealthy as Thailand, and their main hope of bootstrapping themselves out of ‘lower-middle income’ status hinges on their mineral resources. They are sitting on
some of the world’s largest reserves of copper, coal, uranium and molybdenum – and most of these reserves are located only a couple of hundred kilometres from the Chinese border. Geophysically, they have only mapped about 1/3 of the country, but what they know about adds up to about CAN$ I trillion in reserves. Some people estimate that once the country is properly and completely mapped, there might be as much as CAN$12 trillion in mineral resources.” Aside from resource development, what else intrigues Canada about Mongolia? “Since 1990, the country has been enormously successful building an economy and a political system that has most of the hallmarks of what we would consider a ‘robust democracy’. They have a parliament, elections, turnover in government, an active press and an equally active and vocal civil society. Bear in mind this in north Asia, a part of the world where democracy is either weak, or non-existent. This is another reason why Mongolia is important to us. It’s a like-minded democracy, aspiring to uphold human rights and the rule of law, just like us. “Mongolia is the second largest landlocked county in the world surrounded by two superpowers. The country’s prime minister (a big hockey fan by the way) has even publicly declared that Canada should serve as a model for Mongolia: we are a large country, next to a large neighbour, with a sparse population and harsh climate, and an economy that initially was founded on resource development.”
Member Profile Aside from the mining investment, tell us about other trade between the two countries? “Right now, the two-way trade is about CAN$340 million; gold is primarily what they are exporting to Canada while they are primarilyimporting Canadian mining equipment, medical products, furniture and a range of other items. I’m pleased to see that the trade is diversifying, as is our investment. We see particularly good opportunities in the services sector – especially services related to mining – and in the education sector.” In what other ways can Canada help Mongolia? “One of Mongolia’s biggest challenges is that if it is to benefit from its resource wealth it must improve both its hard and soft infrastructure. The country need roads, railroads, and electricity to build a mining-based economy, and we can help with that because we know how to build infrastructure for a cold-weather environment. When it comes to the soft infrastructure, we can help as well. We can assist them build an education system that will create a skilled workforce. They need engineers, mechanics, pipe fitters, welders and they need good managers to run the secondary industries that will emerge on the back of mining. They also need good governance; a legislative, regulatory and judicial framework that can create stability and reliability for investors. One of the principle impediments to economic growth is that Mongolia doesn’t have regulatory stability or predictability. The legal mechanisms for the adjudication of disputes and the enforcement of judgements are also extremely weak, so it’s an environment that can make potential investors very wary. “We are helping with the presence of our companies, which are demonstrating what good corporate social responsibility looks like, what attention to environmental impact looks like, what a sound relationship with the local community looks like, what good labour relations and occupational safety looks like. “We are also directly involved in helping them with their ‘soft infrastructure’ development. As an example, we are helping to reform their civil service by trying to build a system where hiring and promotion is based on merit not on seniority – one based on what you know as opposed to who you know.” Tell us a little about your mission. The embassy has only eleven people --we’re small, not unlike a significant number of Canada’s embassies. The embassy only has two Canadians, the trade commissioner, Sophie Bibeau and myself. We try to punch above our weight – many of my Canadian colleagues have said that Ulaanbaatar is as busy as embassies that have far more staff. What about Mongolia’s relationship with China? “The real hope of Mongolia’s economic development is based on the mining resources
(L-R) Sharon Goldhawk, President of Mongolia Elbegdorj and Ambassador Greg Goldhawk they have and developing a business partnership with China, because most of their resources will end up there. But that heavy reliance on China creates concerns as well -- concerns familiar to Canadians, such as deciding what’s the right level of foreign investor involvement in the economy, are they becoming a ‘subsidiary’ of a more powerful nation, and the like. So China is, at one and the same time, Mongolia’s greatest hope and greatest worry. This plays out in some interesting ways, e.g. they are building a railway north out of the country through Russia to that country’s far eastern seaports. The shortest and cheapest path to markets is through China, so going the Russian route makes no economic sense. But they want to keep their political options open.” Tell us about Mongolian’s “third neighbour” policy. “Basically, the third neighbour policy means cultivating relationships with anyone besides Russia and China and as such Canada looms
large because of our investment and our shared interests and values.” Parting comment? “I feel enormously privileged to be Canada’s ambassador to Mongolia at this point in time in Mongolia’s history and at this point in the evolution of the relationship between Canada and Mongolia. The country is transforming very quickly, and on every dimension: economically, politically, socially and culturally. And Canada is in a position to contribute in a very positive way. By contributing to the growth of good governance, we are helping to create a country that will be a better business partner. By helping to create regulatory stability and effective and transparent judicial regime, we are helping create an environment where Canadians will be able to do more business in a more reliable manner. We can ‘do well by doing good as they say’. It’s not every place that such a happy outcome is possible.” May 2012
Winning Government Sales in 100 Markets If you’re in the business of selling to large organizations or governments, you know exactly how difficult and time-consuming it can be to work your way through the bureaucracy and reach the right decision-makers. The task is even more challenging if you’re targeting foreign governments. How do you get your foot in the door? Follow the lead of Calgarybased Userful and tap into the network of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.
n business for 13 years, Userful offers sustainable desktop computing through cloud-managed virtual desktops. The company’s software allows one standard PC to deliver up to 30 computer stations by plugging in extra monitors and keyboards. The benefit for large organizations such as governments, schools, libraries, hotels, public Internet access centres and the military is the cost savings they achieve on hardware, maintenance and energy. The solution is particularly popular in emerging markets and developing countries. In fact, the Brazilian Ministry of Education saved 60 percent in up-front costs and 80 percent in annual power costs when it deployed more than half a million multi-seat computer stations in 50,000 schools. Despite the company’s fervent belief in the benefits its solutions offer, CEO Tim Griffin says that selling to foreign governments—the company’s largest target market—has its share of challenges. “Most of these buying decisions are made at senior levels of government,” Griffin says. “Communicating and getting in touch with the senior levels is difficult, but building support for and confidence in the solution at
this level is critical to closing the sale. If we don’t get in front of the key decision-makers, we don’t sell.” Selling to foreign governments? Try these valuable resources: • Canada Business — Find out how to navigate government procurement outside of Canada and access services that will help you become a supplier to foreign governments. • Canadian Commercial Corporation — Canada’s international contracting and procurement agency supports sales to governments in the aerospace, defence and security sectors along with export sales into emerging and developing country markets. • Canadian Trade Commissioner Service — Register for the Virtual Trade Commissioner and connect with our officers in markets around the world for valuable advice, sector-specific information, networking support and other services. • SELL2USGOV — This Foreign Affairs and International Trade website helps you navigate the maze of information about selling to the world’s largest customer, the U.S. Federal Government. And that’s not the only problem. “The constant change of people at these levels in government—that revolving door, when combined with the complexity of a large in-
frastructure sale, makes it difficult to maintain continuity,” Griffin says. How do companies like Userful overcome these roadblocks? By working with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS), which has extensive industry knowledge and established relationships with senior government officials in more than 150 cities worldwide. “We have made it a standard practice in the company to speak to the TCS about doing business with the government in each market we target. We know that the deeper you can reach into the government, the better. That’s where the TCS comes in to support companies like ours.” Like other companies that work closely with the TCS, Userful has leveraged the vast networks trade commissioners possess and sought introductions to key contacts. “The approach makes us stand out and gives us credibility. It also helps in some areas of the world where there is less transparency or when we have to deal with bribery and corruption,” says Griffin. Today, Userful’s solutions are used in 100 countries worldwide and the company has large deployments in 20 global markets—including locations in South America, Asia and India. Griffin credits the TCS with helping to make that happen. “With a small company like Userful selling on a government scale, it’s impossible for us to have local expertise on staff. By being able to tap into the TCS, we have people who have that local expertise and credibility,” says Griffin. “We feel we’re selling something that governments know they need because they have to connect their populations to create jobs and a better climate. Through the TCS, we’ve been able to communicate that value.” Source: Foreign Affairs and International Trade CanadaForeign Affairs and International Trade.
For more information, visit the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service website.
Avoid These Ten Business Mistakes Businesses, like explorers, know that there are many paths through the jungle to success. But there are also many traps along the way that can jeopardize any international business venture. Drawn from A Step by Step Guide to Exporting, here are ten mistakes that both seasoned and novice companies make. Poor or no market research Builders would not build a house without a set of blueprints, building codes or an idea of costs. So why would a business attempt to enter a foreign market without any idea of the culture, business customs, consumer demand, laws and the competition in the market? Market research is critical to success, so do your homework and enlist the help of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. Lack of commitment Doing business abroad can be a complex and resource intensive exercise and should not be approached half heartedly. The potential rewards are great but a company must be committed to the time and effort required to bring those rewards to fruition. Be committed.
Insufficient resources Some businesses view exporting as a supplement to the domestic business rather than a strategic venture requiring dedicated resources and priority action. It is unlikely that these companies will reach their full export potential with this approach. Exporting should not be your back-up plan. Poor relationships Partners in foreign markets deserve the same respect and attention that domestic partners receive. If an exporter alienates a foreign agent or distributor, he or she is sabotaging the venture. Build good business relationships. Inflexibility Failure to adapt products, services, and marketing and promotional materials to meet local regulations and preferences will translate into failure in the target market. Be flexible.
The wrong people Partners are critical to many aspects of international business. Involvement with the wrong agents, distributors, bankers, lawyers, brokers or other strategic partners can be a company's downfall. It is important to conduct due diligence and learn about prospective partners in advance. Find the right people and trust the unbeatable network of the Trade Commissioner Service. Being too ambitious Companies that are new to international business are well advised to test new markets on a small scale, one market at a time. Don't bite off more than you can chew.
Lack of language skills While English is often touted as the international language of business, many potential clients and customers in foreign markets do not speak the language. Success in these
markets will be limited if the exporter does not make the effort to communicate in the languages of the people to whom he or she is exporting. This applies to sales and promotional materials as well. Lack of expertise Knowing what a company is doing before it starts puts it on the path to success. It is also important to know oneâ€™s limitations, and to seek out expertise when needed. Flying solo There is a great deal of assistance available to companies looking to do business abroad, covering every facet of the process from financing to technology exchanges to finding partners in foreign markets. Success does not have to be achieved in isolation. Businesses must seek out win win partnerships that help them reach their export goals. Source: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada For more information, visit the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service website.
A recent study found the average Canadian walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found Canadians drink, on average, 22 gallons of beer a year. That means, on average, Canadians get about 41 miles to the gallon.