a publication of CanCham Thailand
Apr-May-Jun 2018 issue
It’s been a fast start to the year for CanCham. In January, we hosted our third installment of the Crystal Ball, where a panel of experts offered their prognostications on what the year ahead might hold. Topics ranged from the future of labour in Thailand, key disruptions in technology, Thai government policy and trends in the regional and world economy. Many thanks to our insightful panel of Johan Jooste, Deunden Nikomborirak, Gary Rynhart, Natasak Rodjanapiches and Pichai Chuensuksawadi, as well as chair, Derek van Pelt, for a very successful multi-chamber luncheon.
Our second annual Women in Leadership (WIL) symposium, hosted in February, drew over 260 participants, doubling last year’s attendance, and featured an august panel of four successful women from diverse professional backgrounds who shared insights on their own paths to leadership. A special thank you to our panelists H.E. Marie-Louise Hannan, Titiya Chooto, Tiziana Sucharitkul, Oranuch Lerdsuwankij and moderator Joni Simpson. WIL was chaired by Caroline Kwan who did a masterful job. The event also marked the kick-off of CanCham’s “Sustainability and Smart Business” platform, which aims to increase engagement and offer a range of learning events for our members and the broader business community. The platform will be focused on promoting themes and events including climate change, innovation and workplace equality throughout 2018. We are proud to announce our Sustainability Partnership with Bombardier in support of this initiative (for more details, please see page 4-5). On March 29, CanCham hosted its annual general meeting. Our keynote speaker, Khun Voranai Vanijaka, known for his insightful and provocative views, presented his thoughts on the state of Thailand’s political and economic affairs. I would like to thank all 14 of our directors and advisors who volunteered their time and resources to serve on CanCham’s board over the past year. It is only through their generous support and dedication that the chamber continues to grow and evolve. On a housekeeping note, CanCham has recently moved into its renovated office at Sethiwan Tower. Long overdue, the new and improved CanCham digs include a co-working space for members, a boardroom and even a set of Muskoka chairs. If you find yourself in the neighbourhood, please stop by for a freshly brewed cup of Tim Horton’s.
John Stevens President | CanCham Thailand
SUSTAINABILITY AND SMART BUSINESS AT CORE OF NEW BOMBARDIERCANCHAM THAILAND PARTNERSHIP By David Venn
Sustainability has emerged as a key priority for CanCham Thailand, which announced a new partnership with Bombardier at its recent Women in Leadership Forum on February 21 in Bangkok. The partnership with the multinational aerospace and transportation company headquartered in Montréal, Canada will focus on promoting activities in areas of common interest such as clean technology solutions, education and leadership development. More specifically, a Sustainability and Smart Business Platform will increase engagement and offer a range of learning events for CanCham members and the broader business community focused on topics including climate change, innovation and workplace equality.
There’s no shortage of evidence around why sustainability is part of an effective business strategy.
Sustainability is no longer a matter of corporate social responsibility, it’s smart business. From clean energy funds to environmentally friendly products, a growing number of companies around the world are starting to adopt greener policies and practices in an effort to curb the effects of climate change, and build a healthier future for the planet. Yet while many organizations understand why sustainability is good for business, a large number still struggle with how to make meaningful investments that will have a long-term impact on the environment and their bottom line. “There’s no shortage of evidence around why sustainability is part of an effective business strategy,” says Rose Swagemakers, Executive Director of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “What’s needed now is the support to help individuals and organizations engage in an agenda for action.”
“There’s a lot of strategic alignment between Bombardier and CanCham’s interest in responsible and innovative business practices,” highlights John Stevens, President of CanCham Thailand. “This new partnership will go a long way towards increasing engagement and learning around some of today’s most pressing sustainability challenges and opportunities.”
“Sustainability, personal development and community investment are at the centre of Bombardier’s business approach,” says Gregory Enjalbert, Vice President Rail Control Solutions Asia Pacific and Managing Director Thailand, Bombardier Transportation. “As a Canadian company with a presence in Thailand for over 20 years, we place a strong focus on our local partnerships and look forward to working on this joint programme with CanCham, which is also aligned with the Thailand 4.0 agenda to enhance creativity and technology.”
Since establishing its Bangkok site in 1997, Bombardier has grown its highly-skilled local team to over 500 employees working on some of the most advanced railway projects in Asia and the world. The company invests heavily in the training and development of its team and has also established three academic partnerships in Thailand for railway engineering programmes and research. In 2017, a state-of-the-art Test Centre for urban rail control was opened in Bangkok to support projects across the Region.
Through broader mechanisms like the Sufficiency Economy, a philosophy conceived by His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and which is guiding the country’s commitment to deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Thailand continues to move towards an inclusive economy driven by innovation. Sustainability, in all its many facets, is a key part of that effort to protect the country’s natural resources and encourage investment that is beneficial for all.
David Venn is a Canadian communications and marketing strategist specializing in branddriven storytelling and content creation.
THAILAND’S POWER DEVELOPMENT PLAN:
2018 UPDATE EXPECTED TO FOCUS ON RENEWABLE ENERGY By David Beckstead
Introduction In 2015, the Ministry of Energy revised its Power Development Plan in order to provide a blueprint for Thailand’s energy priorities over the coming two decades. The PDP2015, as the Power Development Plan was called, was itself an update on previous development plans created by the Ministry of Energy in conjunction with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), which had last been updated in 2012. Consistent with this pattern, the Power Development Plan will be updated again in 2018 to revise the Ministry’s objectives in light of new facts on the ground. The PDP2015 was devised as a government master plan alongside the Energy Efficiency Development Plan, the Alternative
Energy Development Plan (AEDP), the Natural Gas Supply Plan, and the Petroleum Management Plan. The overarching objectives of the Ministry of Energy’s plans were set as: (1) energy security; (2) economy, and specifically maintaining appropriate costs of power generation and implementing energy efficiency; and (3) ecology, with a particular focus on reducing environmental and social impacts by lessening carbon dioxide intensity of power generation. In order to achieve these objectives, the Ministry of Energy realized that renewable energy sources would have to play a significant role.
First is the problem of intermittency. Some renewable sources, most notably solar and wind power, can only produce electricity when weather conditions permit. Without sufficient baseload sources of energy, an overreliance on intermittent electricity generating sources may result in rolling blackouts. Technological advances with respect to energy storage, such as through more efficient batteries or pumped storage hydroelectricity, have the potential to reduce the impact of intermittency. The Ministry of Energy has taken the initiative to address this concern by instituting new firm or semi-firm capacity requirements in power purchase agreements (PPAs) with small power producers or very small power producers. The commitments in these PPAs essentially require the power producer to commit to certain specific feed-in targets. This may spur innovation with respect to storage, or lead to further hybrid power producing facilities with multiple fuel sources.
At the end of 2014, Thailand had installed capacity of 7,400.43 megawatts (MW) from renewable energy sources, including hydroelectricity. Of this, solar capacity amounted to 1,298.51 MW, whereas installed wind capacity only amounted to 224.47 MW. The Ministry of Energy set targets for renewable energy constituting approximately 20% of Thailand’s installed capacity by 2036. Targets for 2036 installed capacity for wind and solar were set at 3,002 MW and 6,000 MW, respectively. Given the state of renewables in Thailand at the time, these goals seemed fairly ambitious and many questioned whether the targets were overly optimistic. By the end of 2017, it has become clear that the naysayers’ pessimism was misplaced. At the end of 2017, installed capacity for wind power had nearly tripled from 2014 levels, to 627.82 MW. Capacity for solar power was 2,692.26 MW at the end of 2017, which amounts to a doubling of generating capacity from 2014. The three years from 2014 to 2017 also saw increased capacity for power plants fueled by biomass, biogas, and municipal solid waste. With Thailand already nearly halfway to its goal of 6,000 MW of installed solar capacity by 2036, and both demand and supply of solar power showing no signs of slowing down, the target appears to require upward revision. A revised target should be expected in the PDP2018. A report issued in November 2017 by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) puts 17,200 MW of installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity by 2036 as a realistic objective.
Secondly, the Ministry of Energy must contend with the untapped potential of rooftop solar PV installments in Thailand. At the moment, the inability of most producers to sell electricity generated by rooftop solar PV cells to a power distributor makes it economically difficult to justify incurring the still significant expense of installing PV panels. For factories or large business centres, where electricity use is highest during daylight hours, the economic case is much clearer as most of the electricity which is generated will be consumed immediately. For most residential buildings, by contrast, electricity use is generally higher when the sun is not shining. Without the ability to sell the electricity back to a distributor, there is little incentive for households to install rooftop solar PV panels. The Ministry of Energy has indicated a willingness to introduce a net metering scheme; the challenge will be to ensure that the feed-in- tariff rate is neither too low so as to not properly incentivize households, nor too high so as to cause a strain on government resources.
Conclusion In 2015, the Ministry of Energy set ambitious targets for renewable energy development in Thailand. It appears now that the 2015 targets were too conservative, and that they will be met ahead of schedule. Thailand’s pivot toward renewables satisfies each of the stated objectives in the PDP2015, namely energy security, economy, and ecology. While a number of policy challenges remain, the potential for continued growth in Thailand’s renewable energy sector is evident.
Policy Hurdles Thailand is in the midst of a renewable energy revolution. Just three years ago it seemed fanciful to imagine renewable sources of energy accounting for approximately 20% of Thailand’s installed capacity by 2036; now, it seems feasible to imagine nearly half of the country’s installed capacity coming from renewables in 20 years. Given the abundance of solar energy potential, it is clear that solar PV will be the most significant driver of this revolution. Other renewable sources, such as wind and biomass, will also play significant roles in Thailand’s diversified energy mix. This will present the Ministry of Energy with a number of challenges which will require apt policy-making.
This article was written by David Beckstead, a consultant at Tilleke & Gibbins, a leading Southeast Asian law firm. David can be contacted at email@example.com.
BANGKOK - THE AIR WE BREATHE No Replacement For Clean Air By Anthony Watanabe
Unlike energy, there is no “alternative or renewable air”. Clean air - we either have it or we don’t. And when we don’t, we notice it in ourselves and in our children, as Bangkok residents will tell you given the terrible smog over the past month or so.
That said, since January, Thailand’s AQI has been well over 100, reaching 203 in Bangkok on February 8 and 208 in Chiang May on March 6. The poor air quality and government response has been widely criticized by leading scientists who have suggested people install indoor air purifiers.
Beyond the colour of the sky, the main method of measuring air quality is determined by the concentration of pollution in the atmosphere. Recent articles in Bangkok dailies have been educating residents by explaining how air quality is measured and by citing the negative health effects of pollution. This pollution, often in the form of dust, is known as particulate matter, or PM2.5 for its dimensions of less than 2.5 microns in diameter. For comparison, a strand of human hair is 50-75 microns.
No wonder, then, that air pollution is (slowly) rising up on the agendas of policymakers here in Thailand. But the causes are complex and it will take years of concerted effort to clean up the air in the cities. Indeed, air quality is affected by power generation (there’s a reason we call it “clean” energy), transportation systems, construction and even habits such as burning garbage. So how do to keep our families, patients and employees safe in the meantime?
The air quality index (AQI) readings indicate the amount of micrograms of particulate matter per cubic metre of air. While the World Health Organization suggests that an AQI reading at 25 or lower is safe, Thailand’s Pollution Control Department sets the figure at 50.
With over 90% market share in Quebec, the company expanded to China, originally as a solution for cleaning the air in the international schools in that country. Orkan’s high performance is the result of some key design parameters:
• Cylindrical filter for maximum air flow and contact with the cleaning surface • Fibreclass filter construction to prevent bacteria from adhering to the surface • Quiet, high efficiency motor to ensure maximum air flow with minimum noise Such performance means the filters last longer by delivering clean air in an energy efficient manner - keeping overall costs lower than competitors in both the institutional and residential markets. Restricting activity outside is akin to telling us not to breatheunrealistic, to say the least. And yet, this is exactly the note I received from my children’s school during a recent acute pollution phase. Face masks are a bandaid solution for unavoidable outdoor exposure-but we can’t really wear them in our homes or offices. Like it or not, treating the air of our indoor environments is the best short-term solution to maintaining our health.
In addition to international schools, Orkan’s floor model and inline units are very suitable for factories, hospitals, dental clinics and beauty spas, commercial offices and of course residences. Indeed, in China, even institutional customers of the in-line solutions prefer to install them in open ceilings so they are a visible sign of the effort to improve health. And with the shiny red cover on many of Orkan’s models, the message of Canadian innovation can not only be felt, but also seen.
But the market for indoor air purifiers is crowded and a little investment in time and education will go a long way to making the right decision.
As of 2018, Orkan is available in Thailand and ASEAN through CanCham member, Asia Clean Innovations, a cleantech provider and consultancy based in Bangkok.
Key criteria are air flow, filter surface area and price, both purchase price and filter replacement costs. Beware of inexpensive air purifiers that require filter replacement every 3 months. They end up costing a lot more and are often less efficient even with a new filter. And washable air filters means you are dealing with a lower quality product.
The best purifiers produce clean air on the first pass because they have good air flow and a larger surface area of filter. In this way, cylindrical filters are far more effective than singlepane, rectangular ones. They also last longer saving money on replacement costs. And an efficient motor ensures both good air flow and a quiet performance that doesn’t disrupt your daily life. Such is the approach taken by Quebec-based manufacturer of True HEPA filters, Industries Orkan Inc. Founded by a respiratory doctor in Montreal, Orkan was originally conceived as a research lab testing the efficacy of other products. With findings unsatisfactory, Orkan grew into a designer and manufacturer of military grade, true HEPA filters, heat exchangers, purifiers and more.
CLEANTECH AND CANADAâ€™S FUTURE From the worldâ€™s first wireless message to the snowmobile to the first artificial heart, Canada has a long and storied history of technological innovation. When combined with our ethos of environmental protection, the result is a powerhouse of clean technology innovation. Indeed, Canada was recently ranked as the 4th most innovative country in terms of commercialized clean technologies1 .
By Anthony Watanabe
Our deep expertise in environmental technology runs the gamut from energy, water and air, to transportation, buildings and more. And each of these macro areas has several subsets. For instance, energy innovations include solar PV, storage, demand side management, ESCO (energy service companies). Canadian innovations in water are also world-changing, including acoustic leak detection, water quality testing, energy-efficient desalination, nutrient harvesting and much more. We are also emerging as a leader in blockchain for climate solutions with initiatives such as Carbon X, the Nextgen Governance for Blockchain and Climate and the Blockchain Research Institute.
While some of these are newer than others, for decades Canada’s areas of expertise have been developing and converging to bring environmental solutions to market.
As a result, technology providers must find creative ways for de-risking their innovations to educate customers, demonstrate efficacy and ensure all parties are protected in the process.
Today, fuelled by the current Canadian Government’s increased focus on combating climate change, our cleantech solutions are finding opportunity and increasing need abroad.
Now in its third decade in Thailand, Bombardier has had some significant wins in this country and is poised for greater impact. But many smaller Canadian companies simply cannot afford the long-term investment and patience required for this approach. They need to convert quickly, relatively speaking, or move on (and perhaps return at a later date).
Here in Thailand, there is growing opportunity for advanced cleantech solutions, particularly under a Thailand 4.0 banner where Environmental Protection is one of the four key pillars. Thailand 4.0 subsets like biofuels, smart devices and IoT are all areas where Canada has leading expertise to offer. Indeed, a recent Smart Cities mission, capably organised by the Embassy of Canada in Bangkok, saw over 15 Canadian companies looking for Thai customers and local partners, with the latter group impressing in quantity and quality as they ranged from SMEs to universities to huge Thai conglomerates.
This is an area where Canada needs to play catch up to some of our peers from Europe and developed Asia who invest heavily in demonstrating their technologies at no risk to the customer. The Japanese, for example, beyond JICA’s strong presence, have leaders from sovereign banks placed here in Bangkok deepening relationships with ministers and large Thai corporates in order to support Japanese private sector activity in Thailand. Such investment from Canada’s public sector into Thailand, and into ASEAN more broadly, would go a long way to generating further economic benefits back home by way of taxes, job creation and all the other benefits that accompany business growth.
Canadian companies & Trade officials need to continue singing the song of Canadian environmental innovation to different Thai audiences of customers and influencers.
Like everything in Asia, relationships are key. And it takes time to build trust into those relationships in the hopes they bear fruit one day in terms of trade. Canadian companies and trade officials need to continue singing the song of Canadian environmental innovation to different Thai audiences of customers and influencers. In this way, CanCham and its new Sustainability and Smart Business Platform offers a compelling focal point for all parties to engage on realiszing some of the environmental aspirations of Thailand 4.0. And when it comes to cleantech, Canada and Thailand have a lot to talk about.
This article was written by Anthony Watanabe, Managing Director at Asia Clean Innovations and Chair of CanCham’s Sustainability and Smart Business Committee E-mail :
Nonetheless, significant challenges remain for Canada’s clean technology innovators who are looking at the Thai market. When dealing with public infrastructure, for instance, in water systems, the risk of introducing and testing new technology may be too powerful to overcome business as usual, or indeed to even fuel the curiosity for change. Like their Canadian counterparts, Thai bureaucrats are not necessarily rewarded for taking “risks” when it comes to innovation, in technology or otherwise.
1 According to a 2017 report by the Cleantech Group LLC.
HOW THE ATHENEE HOTEL, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL, BANGKOK’S INDUSTRY-FIRST ISO 20121 SUSTAINABILITY EVENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM CERTIFICATION EXEMPLIFIES ITS SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS With its 5-star branding, The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok (the former Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel) exists for the pleasure and convenience of sophisticated travellers and trend-setters. But these days its “luxury” label not only applies to upscale indulgences but to being in harmony with the world around it.
The recertification duly took note of further steps the hotel has taken along the road to its goal of complete sustainability such as treating waste water from the hotel’s consumption and reusing it to flush toilets which saves 20% in overall water consumption.
For evidence of the sincerity of its sustainability focus, one needs look no further than the way, back in 2013, it become the first hotel in the world to achieve ISO 20121 “Sustainability Event Management Systems” accreditation for planning and delivering sustainable meetings and events and how it achieved the equally uncompromising recertification in 2016.
As it develops its sustainability, new initiatives take the mission further. Among them, since 2016, is a farm-to-function commitment to only serve organically-grown Thai rice in the hotel’s celebrated restaurants, banqueting and room service and staff canteen. The commitment opened a new chapter in community engagement and sustainability practices as hotel associates and management gained hands-on experience of planting and harvesting as well as cooking and eating the rice.
“Our embrace of the rigorous ISO 20121 standard speaks to how strongly we have long believed that economic growth and the wellbeing of society are inextricably linked to the health of the environment,” explained Ms. ChooLeng Goh, the hotel’s General Manager since 2008.
Testifying to its organic authenticity, the rice carries Organic Agriculture Certification Thailand confirming that the Nonkortung Community Business Group (formerly the Satjatham Rice Project) in Amnat Charoen Province, that skilfully tends the rice, meets the exacting ACT-IFOAM organic standard.
That the policy has proved highly popular is evidenced by the scores of customers who prefer “Green Meetings” packages over conventional packages, and insist on their low-energy, low carbon-footprint, biodegradable, highly organic, but still entirely satisfying features.
“It’s about conserving the environment at all costs,” qualifies the General Manager, “but it complements how culinary excellence is inseparable from the Luxury Collection profile because, after all, organic rice is more delicious.” By extension, the hotel is also a leading participant in the “Farm to Table” and “Farm to Function” affiliations that supports local communities by only buying produce directly from farmers, without involving middlemen and leaving more proceeds for the farmers and their families. It’s what the Hotel has always believed “giving back to society” is all about. Next on the hotel’s sustainability agenda is achieving 100% organic fruit and vegetables service. “As the critical environment issues of air pollution, climate change and deforestation are increasing, it is crucial that we work together to conserve our planet and create a sustainable world for coming generations,” the General Manager emphasizes.
Another environmental preservation measure concerns plastics. Since plastic bottles take at least 450 years to completely biodegrade, and sometimes over 1,000 years, the hotel only uses glass bottles, thereby shaving another 23% of its annual carbon footprint. Guest feedback indicates that they appreciate that the hotel shares their concerns and values. And the hotel repays the compliment by enabling guests to “go green” in Bangkok by providing bicycle and hybrid vehicle parking spaces – a move that is also good for guests’ health since cycling can burn 200 calories an hour.
In other sustainability measures, 8 W LED bulbs that have the same luminary output as 50 W incandescent or halogen bulbs have been installed throughout the hotel. This move alone has cut energy use by over 30% and made the hotel roughly seven times more energy efficient.
Last but not least, when the hotel underwent an extensive refurbishment completed in 2015, its sustainable values were also to the fore. Underpinning the hotel’s unique cache is the fact that it is built on the site of Kandhavas, the former home of a Thai princess. The heritage of the hotel and its predecessor palace is evidenced in original furniture skilfully renovated and repurposed. The lustrous remodeling won the Five Star Asia Pacific Property Award 2015-2016 for “Best Hotel Interior Thailand”.
Moreover, given that around 20% of the total waste generated in hotels is food, mostly the leftovers from buffets, instead of throwing it away, the hotel daily distributes any food that is completely untouched to those in need.
For more information please visit www.theathenee.com and theluxurycollection.com/theatheneehotel
“Sustainability starts from being self-sustaining,” says the General Manager, making another point that the hotel’s water recycling and water treatment projects reduce waste water disposal and prevent depleting freshwater from ecosystems. “We can save both the environment and our future by conserving water”, the GM adds, this time pointing to the low flow valves that have been installed that reduce water consumption throughout the hotel.
COMMUNITY SERVICE INITIATIVE AT CIST Canadian International School of Thailand Grade 7 students recently led a community service initiative in their local district (Bang Phlat, Bangkok). They visited small businesses to offer free translation services for documents such as food menus. Students interacted with the public enthusiastically, developed valuable communication and critical-thinking skills and reported feeling proud of making a positive impact on other people’s lives. Community service is an integral part of our mission to foster an increased sense of social responsibility and provide opportunities to apply academic learning to real human needs.
CIST Grade 7 students are required to complete eight hours of community service. The project was part of an interdisciplinary unit combining Thai Language and English subjects and integrating the Service in Action requirements. Nineteen restaurant/coffee shops/businesses submitted some kind of documentation for the students to translate. www.canadianschool.com
Celebrating 60 Years
A proud tradition of learning excellence
Residential visits form an integral part of our British style curriculum for all students from Year 3 upwards. They are one of the many tools our teachers use to develop global citizens who shape their world through independence, empathy, creativity and critical thinking. 643 Lasalle Road, Bangna, Bangkok (BTS Bangna or Bearing) www.patana.ac.th firstname.lastname@example.org +66 (0) 2785 2200
Bangkok Patana School is a not-for-profit IB World School, accredited by CIS and NEASC
HELPING TO HEAL YOUNG THAI HEARTS The birth of a child is one of life’s most profound and memorable events. Each year in Thailand, close to 8,000 children are born with congenital heart defects; in about half of the cases, surgery will be needed to correct a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. Imagine the fear new parents must feel when told that their newborn has a serious heart defect. Then imagine their desperation after learning that the cost of the operation — which typically costs around THB 650,000 — is far beyond what the parents can pay.
CCFT is a nationwide outreach program that helps underprivileged children, mostly from Thailand’s rural areas, who suffer from serious heart defects and heart diseases. Patient referrals come to the foundation from all over the country, and many referrals are for newborns and infants who are in urgent need of surgery.
Inspiration for Rak Jai Thai
Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon-Volunteers
Thousands of families across Thailand understand first-hand what it means to have a child with a congenital heart defect but not have the financial resources to pay for surgery. Their plight provided the inspiration 15 years ago for Rak Jai Thai (“Healing Thai Hearts”), a charity project established in 2003 that continues to be a core activity of Bumrungrad International’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.
It is precisely these urgent cases that are ideally suited to be handled by Rak Jai Thai and the team of Bumrungrad cardiac surgeon-volunteers, which includes Dr. Preecha Laohakunakorn, a pediatric cardiologist at Bumrungrad. Dr. Preecha has been involved with the Rak Jai Thai program from its very beginning. “When we set it up,” he recalled, “we thought we could cut short the waiting list and get those who really needed urgent surgery to the operating room first.”
Through its CSR program, Bumrungrad donates time, money, medical equipment, and free medical services to help Thai people nationwide. Thousands of Bumrungrad doctors and staff have been enthusiastically sup¬porting Bumrungrad charitable activities that serve underprivileged members of the community.
Rak Jai Thai covers all costs for a sponsored child’s treatment, including paying for family members to travel to Bangkok with the child. “The parent of the patient often must leave his or her job to accompany the child,” Dr. Preecha explained, “so the program provides accommodation and a stipend throughout the treatment period. And everything is covered for follow-up care as well.”
In addition to Rak Jai Thai, other CSR initiatives operating through the Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation include a knee replacement surgery program and ARSA Bumrun¬grad mobile clinic, which brings healthcare services and medical treatments to the residents of under-served communities around Thailand.
Nearly 800 Hearts Healed Since Rak Jai Thai’s inception in 2003, nearly 800 underprivileged children from 50 provinces in Thailand have received successful no-cost heart surgeries. Strong support for the program has enabled Rak Jai Thai to extend its help to serve those in need living outside Thailand, provided critical heart surgeries to children from Myanmar and Vietnam.
The Cardiac Children Foundation of Thailand Rak Jai Thai was created as a joint effort of Bumrungrad International, the Bumrungrad Hospital Foundation, the Cardiac Children Foundation of Thailand (CCFT), under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, and Thailand’s National Health Security Office.
Bumrungrad is CanCham’s 2018 Health Partner
WOMEN WALKING THEIR OWN PATH TO LEADERSHIP By David Venn “Today the world, and the world of work, are moving so rapidly. Women are rising up the ranks in many sectors, but there are still blockages happening,” said Simpson. “Social norms and attitudes are not always keeping pace with the aspirations of women. Some fields are still male-dominated, so it’s important for everybody to see and render visible female role models and leaders from various backgrounds and jobs. It’s also important to support and sponsor women who have leadership potential so they may thrive and achieve their best results.” The multi-chamber event in cooperation with the Government of Canada and sponsored by Trends Digital, Bombardier and Tilleke & Gibbins, aimed to open a discussion about what makes leadership possible for women in all sectors of society. More than 250 people packed the ballroom at the Dusit Thani Bangkok Hotel to hear a powerhouse panel of Thai and international women share their experiences climbing the career ladder and breaking through the glass ceiling.
Over the past year, against the backdrop of women’s marches and #MeToo movements, conversations about gender rights and equality (or lack thereof) have taken centre stage. Canada’s government has moved forward with a feminist foreign policy agenda that includes international assistance focused on the empowerment of women and girls. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has set out a range of specific targets for women’s involvement in all levels of decision making. And a range of mentorship and education programs hoping to close the gender gap in everything from science and technology to engineering and medicine are emerging.
For Titiya Chooto, the first Asian women to become General Manager of a Four Seasons hotel, and now Vice President with Dusit International, her journey started from humble beginnings. An unlikely colleague saw Chooto’s potential and encouraged her to apply for a senior position at a new hotel, paving the way for a career in the services industry. “Without at least one person who believes in you, maybe the door of opportunity will not open. But once someone opens that door, it’s up to us women to walk through, elegantly and confidently and with determination,” remarked Chooto.
A growing number of private companies are also starting to engage more women in management and leadership positions, recognizing the many benefits for the workplace: increased efficiency, better productivity, greater accountability, move innovation, higher return on investment, and the tendency for women to hire more diverse teams. Yet despite this progress, the numbers tell a different story. At CanCham Thailand’s recent Women in Leadership Forum on February 21, moderator Joni Simpson, Senior Specialist on Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination with the International Labour Organization, highlighted just how far we still have to go to achieve parity. Drawing on various research, Simpson referenced that women make up only 23% of the world’s politicians, 20% of Fortune 500 board members, and just 32% of women run their own business.
Taking risks and listening to the advice of colleagues also featured as a key theme during the hour-long panel. Her Excellency MarieLouise Hannan, Canada’s first Ambassador to ASEAN, joined the foreign service two decades ago and has followed an unusual career path from computational linguistics researcher to senior trade commissioner to her current role now based in Jakarta. Hannan encouraged those getting started in their careers to be bold and adventurous. “Part of it is being given great opportunities, but also to stop and hear from your peers…Don’t be afraid to take risks. How will you know what you are capable of it you don’t give it your all. Go down that road and explore things that you are passionate about.”
Oranuch Lerdsuwankij also shared her experience growing up in an environment that was supportive of her ambitions. After working for more than a decade in the telecommunications industry, Lerdsuwankij felt inspired by her father’s success and went on to launch her own venture. Today she’s the Co-Founder & CEO of Techsauce Media Co. Ltd. which runs one of Asia’s largest technology conferences. When asked about overcoming obstacles in a sector traditionally controlled by men, Lerdsuwankij’s advice to young women was to do something different, but stay focused. “You cannot know what your strength or weakness is until you take a risk...You should ask yourself: What do you want to be in the next 10 years? If you want to be an entrepreneur or do something by yourself, you should plan it well.”
Hannan also addressed the need to embrace the ideas behind feminism as we continue to tackle issues at the forefront of the gender rights and equality debate. “There is still a pay gap. There are unique considerations to women fully participating at all levels of society. If we don’t continue to promote feminism - that’s both men and women paying attention to these questions - we’re certainly not going to achieve the full potential of our societies.” In the end, what emerged from the discussion and audience questions was a clear sense that it takes a variety of elements to create the conditions for women to excel in leadership positions. A willingness to take risks in sectors traditionally monopolized by men. Opportunity and mentorship for the career aspirations of women. Work environments that support the family caregiving roles of both sexes. More forums for open dialogue about what’s working and what isn’t. Only then can the path to leadership become easier for future generations.
You cannot know what your strength or weakness is until you take a risk.. As one of Thailand’s leading dispute resolution lawyers and one of two female co-managing partners at the law firm Tilleke & Gibbins, Tiziana Sucharitkul has arrived where she is because of the many mentors who nurtured her talents and the hard work she put in along the way. “Opportunities are something that come your way because you have shown people around you that you work hard and are capable of doing things and have potential.” Responding to questions from the audience, Sucharitkul also stressed the importance of balance between family and career enabled by supportive policies and systems within the workplace. “We strongly believe that a happy employee will be much more productive to the firm, than an unhappy employee. And because of that we are very flexible and adaptable in how to help someone achieve both a happy family life and a career.”
THE 5 SOCIAL TRENDS MARKETERS NEED TO KNOW FOR 2018 By Upali Dasgupta, Senior Regional Marketing Manager
THE NEW YEAR OFFERS BRANDS THE CHANCE TO REFINE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY. HERE ARE FIVE KEY TRENDS MARKETERS SHOULD KNOW FOR THE YEAR AHEAD, FROM HOOTSUITE.
1 Digital in 2017, Hootsuite 2017 2 BuzzSumo analysis of 880m posts, 2016/17 3 Source: Digital Training Academy 4 Global Trust in Advertising, Nielsen, 2015 5 Dark Matter, Social Media, and the Number 96, Brandwatch
It is no secret APAC’s consumers are avid social media users. People across the region consume 4.12bn gigabytes of data each month on mobile, compared to the 1.83bn gigabytes consumed in North America, according to data compiled by Hootsuite.1 Still, in 2017 it became apparent consumers are exhausted. Our research found people were frustrated with short-term visual tricks and firms’ haphazard approach to social media tactics. The result is the reach of organic content is shrinking: an analysis of Facebook posts saw the average number of engagements slide from around 340 per post in July 2016, to just over 265 in June 2017.2 This presents an opportunity for those that focus less on the latest gimmick, and more on finding what works – and sticking with it. As the marketing landscape develops at a dizzying pace, we’ve identified some key social trends organisations in APAC need to know in the coming 12 months.
Evolution of social ROI The year ahead could be when brands finally explore the value of social in other places in the customer journey. For years we’ve been predicting the death of short-sighted vanity metrics, but in 2018 we’re seeing this long-promised shift finally take place. Consumers the world over – but particularly those in emerging markets, such as China – already use social as a channel to research products and interact directly with brands. With a wider lens, social can engage, acquire, convert, retain and amplify advocacy. Understand the core business priorities for 2018, and create targets that will help you track social’s contribution against those goals. Some organisations have found success by broadening the value of social across the customer lifecycle. In Thailand, Knorr (part of Unilever) developed a chatbot called Auntie Reply on the LINE app to help parents find and follow personalised recipes for dinner. By using the messaging app in this way, Knorr provided a useful service for busy parents, brand recall rose more than 32%, and its stock cube consumption increased by 50% within three months of the campaign.3
Mobile fuels the growth of social TV
Humans, meet AI
In the attention economy, social media giants are beating traditional outlets at their own game as consumers leave desktop and TV behind. If you’re looking for new social formats, 2018 will offer a multitude of opportunities to innovate with social video content. Some 46% of respondents to Hootsuite’s customer survey already implement social videos, with another 26% planning to follow suit in the coming year.
No rundown of trends for 2018 would be complete without mentioning artificial intelligence (AI). Across industries, organisations are deploying AI or automation to enhance the human experience. Early movers in APAC are already taking advantage – using AI to support the customer journey by plugging information gaps. In 2017 beauty brand Shiseido launched a virtual skincare consultant on Facebook Messenger, which provides product descriptions, asks users about their skin concerns, and makes recommendations. In September, Citibank launched Citi Bot in Singapore – also on Messenger – to answer account queries and frequently asked questions, with plans to roll the chatbot out across Asia Pacific.
Yet, while social is pushing brands to become broadcasters, organisations need to be mindful they are not just chasing video for video’s sake. Social video must align with business goals – not the goals and metrics preferred by networks such as Facebook or Snapchat. Focus on whether video fits your particular audience’s tastes and behaviour before diving in.
Trust declines, while peer influence rises
AI can contribute to social marketing by delving into and analysing company data, predicting consumer behaviour or providing customer service functions. The rise of the machines is to be lauded. But the truly smart move will be using AI to supercharge existing efforts to serve customer needs by being human, helpful and relevant at scale.
The influence of traditional media and technical experts is falling. More notable is that celebrity influence is waning among consumers. Marketers, too, are tiring of overhyped influencer results and inflated follower numbers. Almost one-third of those polled in our 2018 social trends survey said they couldn’t prove the ROI of influencer marketing.
The promise (and reality) of social data Instead, spheres of communication are shifting horizontally back towards the influencers who have always mattered. A global survey by Nielsen in 2015 revealed 83% of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends and family – the most trusted source – while two-thirds (66%) are swayed by consumer opinions posted online.4 Organisations need to reach down towards micro influencers such as customer communities, family, friends and peers to make their mark.
Organisations struggle with social data. Businesses know it can be of use to uncover customer behaviour and intent – but it is one thing to understand its potential and another to find the needle of insight among the haystack of social mentions. Especially since 94% of all online conversation is unbranded.5 For further information, please contact, Ms Upali Dasgupta, Hootsuite’s Senior Marketing Manager in Asia : email@example.com (www.hootsuite.com)
CANADIAN CRAFT BEER QUENCHING THIRSTS IN THAILAND By Dan Wainwright
This Canadian beer revolution has found it’s way to the heart of Bangkok, thanks to a local entrepreneur, Runganan Chawawiwattanachai of Drink Wise Co, whom recognized the opportunity for Canadian craft beer in Thailand.
In Thailand, Canada is already recognized for a few common characteristics; its scenic natural landscape, it’s cold weather, and friendly citizens. Now, thanks to a bunch of local entrepreneurs, it will also be known as a purveyor of some of the best craft beer in the world.
In partnership with PACRIM Distributors and the Canadian Craft Beer Collective, Drink Wise Co has imported 6 premium craft breweries from Vancouver, Canada and has taken Bangkok by storm. With a prime focus on education, Drink Wise Co is showcasing just why Canadian beer stands above the rest. “Pure Rocky Mountain water from the Pacific Northwest, coupled with premium beer ingredients, expert Brewmasters, and state of the art facilities produce a product that is truly unlike anywhere else in the world”, says Dan Wainwright of PACRIM Distributors. In Thailand, craft beer is burgeoning as a unique passion point for a new generation of Thai beer drinkers. Drink Wise Co focuses on showcasing Canadian beers at unique seminars throughout the city, and often brings Brewmasters from Canada to speak directly with consumers.
British Columbia, Canada is undergoing a craft beer revolution. The BC craft beer industry has seen major growth since 2010 and is now home to more than 150 different craft breweries, each with dozens of unique, premium beers, rife and ready for the tasting. Akin to Portland, Oregon (USA) in the early 2000s, the rapid growth is helping to spur on local social-economies, as well as grow local tourism opportunities around craft beer and certainly around the globe. In fact, Vogue Magazine recently rated Vancouver as the craft beer capital of North America, surpassing Asheville, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; and Denver Colorado; and for good reason. What were once warehouses, bike shops, or industrial facilities in edgy neighborhoods are now occupied by brew houses with chic tasting rooms and driven by an independent spirit and true love of beer. The scene is unlike anywhere else in the world.
“Similar to wine, craft beer is a complex product. It takes time, patience, and passion to truly appreciate” says Chawawiwattanachai. “We’re all about educating our customers, providing interaction with our brewers, and of course, sampling some great beer”.
WE’RE ALL ABOUT EDUCATING OUR CUSTOMERS, PROVIDING INTERACTION WITH OUR BREWERS, AND OF COURSE, SAMPLING SOME GREAT BEER
Among many unique selling points of Canadian craft beer, is the ongoing push for environmental sustainability, both in the sourcing of ingredients, as well as full scale production. One Canadian brewer, Phillips Brewing and Malting, has this embedded into their corporate profile, claiming they produce “Finely crafted beer responsibly brewed by irresponsible brewers”. Phillips concentrates its efforts on water reduction, steam recapture, and glass repurposing, among others. “We’re members of a bottle pool, using recycled bottles for our beer, which means every 341mL bottle of Phillips is reused an average of 13 times” says owner Matt Phillips.
Phillips dresses beer labels with 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and rather than purchasing CO2 created by burning fossil fuels, they actually recapture the CO2 produced from their own fermentation process. The CO2 recapture system is one-of-akind for its size, was built in-house, and earned them the 2015 Master Brewers Association of America’s Award of Excellence in Sustainability. It’s points of differentiation in sustainability, in addition to producing award winning beer that sets Canadian craft beer apart. For Canadian travellers on business or pleasure in Bangkok, or local Thai craft beer enthusiasts in search of the latest and greatest beers, Drink Wise Co will be offering seminars and beer tastings throughout the year with a featured focus on education and beer mechanics.
Dan Wainwright - PACRIM Distributors; the leading exporter of craft beers from Canada. Make sure to check out CANCHAM Thailand’s website for more details at https://canchamthailand.org/
FORECASTING THE FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS LOOK AHEAD AT 2018 TRENDS IN THAILAND By David Venn Thailand shows no signs of slowing down, and business leaders can expect more growth and change ahead in 2018. That was the theme echoed by a distinguished lineup of panelists at CanCham Thailand’s 3rd annual multi-chamber Crystal Ball Business Luncheon. The first premier chamber event of the year hosted at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit brought together more than 165 business leaders from all sectors and offered guests a look ahead at some of the key financial, political, labour market and communications trends likely to impact Thailand’s economy in coming year.
Following a strong 2017 that saw global markets climb, Mr. Jooste expects the U.S. Federal Reserve to lose its monopoly on monetary value, and believes interest rates will rise over the coming year. The Fed has already started to raise interest rates and tighten monetary policy, leading countries like Canada and Britain to do the same with other economies around the world likely to follow.
Media veteran Pichai Chuensuksawadi, former Editor-in-Chief of the Bangkok Post, moderated the panel of four who were largely optimistic about the future of Thailand, yet cautious that a looming election and rapid pace of technological change could pose some uncertainties ahead.
One financial prediction to watch for this year is a spike in inflation. Mr. Jooste suggests that the market has essentially ignored inflation since the 2008 financial crisis and that a correction has been overdue for two or three years. “We’ve seen labour markets tighten and industrial capacity being used up everywhere in the world, and we haven’t seen inflation go higher. 2018 might be the year that inflation comes back into play.”
Inflation overdue, but financial growth continues Johan Jooste, Chief Investment Officer with the Bank of Singapore, took to the stage first to present a steady and balanced picture of key financial trends to watch for in 2018.
Economic growth also appears positive, with no signs of a recession on the horizon, says Mr. Jooste. “We don’t think there is going to be a global recession in 2018. We see more than enough things happening in Asia, Europe and the United States to continue the growth expansion we saw in 2017.” Despite lots of concern, last year’s geo-political tensions and populist movements had little impact on the overall strength of the market, leaving doubts as to whether they will have any effect again this year.
2018 might be the year that inflation comes back into play.
Looking at other areas of the global financial picture, Mr. Jooste was cautious but not bearish, highlighting that while credit defaults will likely be subdued in the absence of a recession, fixed income valuations are rich and equity markets are priced for perfection. With her finger on the pulse of Thailand’s new political landscape, the luncheon’s second speaker, Dr. Deunden Nikomborirak, Research Director of Economic Governance with the Thailand Development Research Institute, shared her forecast for the country’s upcoming election and current economic policies.
Delays could push election into 2019 According to the government’s roadmap, it’s anticipated that Thailand’s election may take place in November 2018, but Dr. Nikomborirak believes that a number of “open-ended delays” are likely to postpone the general election and formation of a new government into the first half of 2019. Constitutional support and Royal endorsements are still both needed to move the election bills forward. According to the Constitution, at least 95% of MPs must also be elected during the general election before Parliament can convene to select a new Prime Minister. Any possible delays surrounding these events or failure to meet the constitutional requirements could very well slow the election timeline and push the creation of a new government into next year warns Dr. Nikomborirak.
Looking ahead, Dr. Nikomborirak unpacked the possibility for two of the country’s new economic policies. A National Strategy which will come into effect in 2018 will guide the country’s policymaking over the next 20 years and set a direction for the newly elected government. Plans behind the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) also hold great promise for transforming the country, but should not be seen as a silver bullet. “The EEC is one of the best policies of this government, but whether it is enough to revive the Thai economy is a question. Our prediction is that the EEC will matter for the expansion of existing industries.”
One item worth watching for on the political front is whether the revamped MP voting system will have an effect on the government’s makeup. “The new system is different. It’s based on popular vote, for the entire country, for every district. This is a new innovation. Even small parties that get only 5% of the vote will now have representation in the Parliament,” says Dr. Nikomborirak. A new election system that favours smaller and mid-sized parties could lead to a coalition government. Thailand’s political system will also depend heavily on the Senate, which is also influential under the new constitution.
More technological disruption on the horizon The labour market in the ASEAN region is changing rapidly, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Thailand. Today’s industries are both growing and evolving at a rapid pace, fuelled in large part by the adoption of new technologies. Gary Rynhart, Senior Employers Specialist South East Asia with the International Labor Organization, believes that although disruptive technologies have always existed, there are three reasons why we should be paying more attention now. The first he emphasizes is speed. The time between innovative ideas hitting the mainstream and adoption in the firm or factory has increased dramatically. Pointing to examples like Uber and AirBnb - companies that have turned the taxi and hospitality industries upside down - Mr. Rynhart highlights that today’s technology is being used to disrupt traditional sectors faster than ever before.
Another reason why things are different now has to do with skills. In the past, technology has had a particular impact on lower skilled jobs, but that’s no longer the case says Mr. Rynhart. “This wave of technology is eradicating a lot of those jobs and it’s also impacting on every single skill level. So, it’s no longer just the lower, repetitive type skills, it’s also affecting higher skills across all sectors.” The challenge will be for policy and education to keep up, training today’s workforce for tomorrow’s labour market.
reusable and more adaptable, presenting a viable opportunity for all sectors to improve productivity. This shift, however, is not without its obstacles. In textiles manufacturing for example, the use of automation technology to produce clothing and footwear is becoming so affordable that it’s eliminating jobs in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh. If one thing is for sure in 2018, we can expect technology to continue to disrupt existing industries, and pave the way for new ones to emerge.
Finally, Mr. Rynhart points to cost as another key factor in why technological disruption will have a greater impact in this day and age, particularly on the millions of low skilled jobs in ASEAN’s manufacturing sector. Companies that may have been reluctant to invest in robotics in the past because of the expense can now do so. The technologies have become cheaper,
KIS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL WINS ULTIMAKER EDUCATION CHALLENGE APAC 2017 Ultimaker together with Septillion company, leading 3D printing companies, recently recognised KIS International School as winner of the “Ultimaker Education Challenge APAC 2017”. The prize for KIS was an Ultimaker 3D printer with accessories and an invitation to join the Ultimaker Pioneer Program from the United States.
International School the best of luck with their new Ultimaker 3D printer, which is a perfect accompaniment to developing key skills in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).” KIS International School places importance on innovation and the use of advanced technology in the classroom, allowing students to express their creativity and solve problems in inspirational ways.
“I was very honoured when I received the news that my “Board Game Pieces” lesson won the ‘Ultimaker Education Challenge APAC 2017’. I firmly believe that my lesson will open up an exciting opportunity to students in the school and I am thrilled to be given this wonderful opportunity by Ultimaker and Septillion. I will definitely be able to use the excellent features of the Ultimaker 3 3D printer to bring out the creativity and skills of our students”, Philip Toews, the representative of KIS school and the winner of the challenge said.
About the Ultimaker Education Challenge APAC The Ultimaker APAC Education Challenge was open to educators in several Asia-Pacific countries, and winners were decided by a panel of distinguished judges such as Julia Haried, Co-founder of Maker Girl; Aric Rindfleisch, Executive Director of Illinois MakerLab, and Ruben Brandsma, Accessibility expert.
About Septillion A leading 3D importer and distributor in Thailand, established in 2013, Septillion is the best-known 3D printer importer for the best high and premium quality at an affordable price. Over the years, Septillion has developed many top leading clients both in Thailand and Vietnam. At present Septillion is expanding its business to neighboring countries.
Ultimaker supports creative and innovative educators who boldly pioneer new technology in the classroom and curate their inspiring lesson plans to share with other teachers using the Ultimaker Pioneer Program - Ultimaker’s own education platform. CEO Jos Burger explains: “We find it important to set the engineers, artists and designers of the future on the right path, and to support their learning along the way. We wish KIS
Dear Members & Partners, Welcome to the new-look Voyageur, thanks to the inspired design and lay-out of David Norcross and his creative, young team at Lexicon. Our magazine now comes out quarterly and has increased in size to 36 pages. In each issue, we will have a special focus. In the current one, it’s Cleantech and Innovation; the next issue will feature Transportation and Finance and the final edition of Voyageur 2018 will cover Education and Leadership Development. You will also notice several new magazine contributors - our valued members writing about the fields or industries in which they specialize. Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the 4th CABC Business Forum “Accelerating the Partnership” in Singapore. This event, hosted by the Canada-ASEAN Business Council, brought together 300 leaders from the public and private sector of Canada and SouthEast Asia. It was an information-filled event with many enlightening break-out sessions and opportunities for networking.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
The inspiring message from Canada’s Minister of International Trade, the honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne was clear: these are exciting times for international trade with new levels of opportunities in ASEAN for Canadians (CPTPP etc.). Trade in ASEAN, Canada’s 6th largest trading partner, will increase, include women and should not be at the expense of the environment. There is more Canadian representation in ASEAN than ever before and Canada sees ASEAN as a pivotal consumer market with tremendous growth opportunities in the region. Minister Champagne’s message; “We are here to stay. The chances for a Canada-ASEAN trade agreement look very promising and I encourage all Canadians in the region to Dream Big and Be Ambitious!”. It’s been an exciting first quarter for me as ED of CanCham Thailand. I’m thankful every day for the support of the chamber’s very active and involved Board of Directors, especially re-elected President Mr. John Stevens. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to our newest board members: Khun Natasak Rodjanapiches, Managing Director of Oracle Thailand and Mr. Kelly Cailes, former CanCham ED and COO of My Internship Asia. I look forward to working with all 2018 board members and advisors to continue to grow and develop CanCham. For 2018 so far, we have collectively increased the number of annual partners by 7 and have gained 28 new members. We are very grateful to all our partners and members for their support. With our goal of 150 members for the year, we are off to a good start. We are always looking at ways to increase our value proposition to members, and to this end have recently introduced a new discount initiative with Bumrungrad Hospital. As well, CanCham has launched a co-working space for member use and will soon provide access to qualified interns. I look forward to welcoming you at CanCham offices, and if you have any questions or input, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rose Swagemakers Executive Director | CanCham Thailand
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT AV TECHNOLOGY FOR YOUR COMPANY By Jean Renaud
Audio Visual technology keeps increasing at a fast pace, but clients have a difficult time understanding the technology and its proper application. Audio Visual Integration is a professional field, which helps clients achieve the desired results to increase their company’s efficiency and performance.
Many innovative PRO AV products allow employees to conduct their business as simple and easy as if they were using their smartphones. Whether it’s a videoconferencing, audio conferencing, live video feeds, wireless presentation from your smartphone onto your company’s AV system or streaming content from your company to the outside world, PRO AV has secure products to allow those interactions.
A few decades ago, AV used to be about wires and cables, and the complexity of different devices. Staff would need to be trained to operate the equipment. Now it’s all about “user experience” as AV equipment MUST be easy to use by anyone, without much specialized training.
Here is an example: this new high-tech product is now available and offers a very powerful tool for clients. This cloud-based media collaboration software allows anyone from anywhere to connect with any device. This yearly subscription allows users to collaborate in real-time sharing high quality voice, video and data. While sharing content whether it’s data, pictures or videos, everyone using a video device like a smartphone, computer or tablet will receive the content being shared to their appropriate device. It doesn’t matter if you have an old phone, a new smart phone or an iPhone, there are no settings to change, no specific requirements—it’s simply all done automatically. Simple and easy to use every single time you need to communicate with multiple individuals.
There used to be a big difference between consumer electronics and professional AV equipment. However, the quality of consumer AV equipment has increased drastically with smartphones and voice-activated commands. You can do almost anything with your smartphone nowadays. On the residential side, you can now operate almost anything you want with a simple command. Example: turn on the lights, close the blinds, play the MP3 player, turn on the TV, show directions to the nearest electronic store. Employees expect to do the same in the work environment. But every organization’s main concern is security. Without security in the workplace important information is at risk. We are not talking about viruses. We are talking about the flow of information from the company’s network onto personal devices like smartphones and vice-versa. In the PRO AV world, manufacturers keep designing new innovative products with data encryption and security in mind to help employees use their personal devices while keeping the company’s network as safe as possible.
Another innovative product available recently is an Extron’s Room Scheduling Device that connects to a customer’s network to facilitate scheduling for any kind of room. You can make on-demand reservations from this touch panel, computers, smartphones or tablets that connect to Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 and Google Calendar. Simple to use, from any device, it allows you to schedule a specific room for a specific day and time. This touch panel, installed outside your room, will display if the room is available with two green LED lights or two red LED lights when the room is being occupied. These LED lights can be seen from down the hall to save you time from walking to the display to see if the room is scheduled, or available. This cool touch panel is equipped with a sensor and is usually in sleep mode to conserve energy until someone walks in front of it. When someone is near the touch panel it turns on to allow the participant to view and edit the display’s information. This information is immediately changed on your calendar (whether you use Google Calendar, Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange). This new cutting-edge technology allows simplicity, convenience and security. This product has no monthly fee, and no yearly subscription. You simply buy it outright. You can have as many as you want on your network for all your boardrooms, classrooms, meeting rooms, etc.
The very popular Crestron Mercury is a small powerful unit intended for huddle spaces and small boardrooms. This colorful touch panel allows you to make audio/video calls through VoIP as well as Bluetooth using your mobile phone/tablet/laptop. The Mercury has four built-in microphones, one loud speaker and a wired/wireless presentation capability. That’s not all! It allows you to connect your laptop or tablet via a USB cable to allow the use of your camera, microphone and your speaker to convey a meeting for participants to hear, see and speak. Once your smartphone is connected via Bluetooth you can dial, increase, decrease or mute the volume from your phone or even from the Mercury’s touch panel. The unit can be gently touched to mute your microphone during a private discussion. It comes with a two HDMI cables: one connects to your laptop/tablet to allow presentation to your display/projector or you can choose to send a presentation wirelessly; the other HDMI cable connects the Mercury to your display/projector. Easy to use, all in one solution. It comes in two models: the basic and upgraded versions with a video camera and necessary cabling for all your video calls. Works with any solution, like Go to meeting, Skype, Jabber, WebEx, Blue Jeans, Cisco, Zoom, etc.
Please consult your Audio-Visual Integrator to get the proper solutions for your organization. Don’t assume off-the- shelf products will work within your organization. If you can buy an AV product in the store, or online, there is a chance that it was not intended to be installed in your workplace. Therefore, you are putting your company’s data at risk. www.astroserve.asia
Having a conference room table clutter free with no cables or wires is everyone’s dream. Well you can now enjoy a remarkable ceiling array microphone. It has seven microphone lobes built in. It requires proper setup in order to work well in your environment. It is truly a top-notch product, which of course comes with a price. The sound quality is beyond remarkable. There is nothing like it on the market: the all new Shure, MXA910 ceiling tile array microphone.
Jean Renaud is an Electronic Engineering Technician who works for Astro Serve Thailand, a professional audio-visual systems integrator.
GENDER PAY GAP = PENSION HOLE
Retirement pots in Canada have reduced in recent years, whether owned by men or women, because fewer companies offer guaranteed defined benefit (DB) pension income plans nowadays. As DB income comes from obligatory contributions, whereas other replacement contribution schemes, allow employees to miss payments: which they invariably do. In 2011 only 40% of women were covered by either a DB or DC plan. Although this was a slight improvement (4%) on the 1977 figures, it has actually crept above the percentage for men, which has declined rapidly from 52% in 1977 to 37% in 2011. Nevertheless, many people are not attached to such a scheme and therefore need to have a decent plan in place, if they’re to reach their retirement goals.
By Paul Gambles Justin Trudeau may encourage parents to raise their sons to be feminists1 but there are still plenty of gaps in Canada when it comes to financial equality between men and women.
Achieving targets has been hampered over the last nine years by the Bank of Canada’s sustained low base interest rate. Even after the rise in early January, the Bank Rate – which Canada-based financial institutions generally use as a yardstick for their own interest rates – is still at just 1.25%. This has consolidated an already depressed market. For example, Canada Savings Bonds, have dropped and stayed down since their peak in 1981.
Laws on pay equity – the principle that employees in maledominated and female-dominated occupations of comparable value must be paid the same, if working for the same organization – are currently in place in six provinces. Also, three other provinces which have not passed a pay equity law have put frameworks in place to negotiate pay equity with certain publicsector employees2. Nevertheless, the latest annual data (2016) shows that the median wage for women is 18.2% less than for men; making Canada the eighth worse performer of the 38 countries surveyed by the OECD. There are many explanations for this, including around the working habits and the type of job differences between men and women. Added to those, it doesn’t help that legislation in four of the six provinces which do have a pay equity law covers the public sector only. Alberta has neither passed a pay equity law, nor developed a framework for negotiation3. The gender pay gap is compounded by its long-term consequences. The less women are paid, the less they can save: no joke, given the fact that the increase in life expectancy – 2 years alone between 2005 and 2015 – means either living longer on savings or retiring much later. Understandably, Canadians are increasingly opting for the latter; although, how much a couple of extra years at work would cover all the years of retirement depends on the effectiveness of your retirement plan and how much interest your savings have compounded over the years.
The difficulty in finding value for money is apparent in stock markets as well. Many people equate high share prices with prosperity; including former Federal Reserve chairmen and the current President south of the border. However, true value for money in shares is in the price-earnings ratio of an index. The higher the ratio, the less value for money a stock market index represents. For example, the Shiller PE Ratio for the Wall Streetbased S&P 500 index is currently very high – the highest point in history, except for the peak prior to the Y2K bubble burst, in fact. Unhelpfully, Statistics Canada has stopped publishing the PE Ratio for the Toronto Stock Exchange. We can imagine, however, that it is hasn’t been value for money in recent months: although it has dropped off in recent weeks, until the end of January, the S&P/TSX was at an all-time high.
However, working an extra year doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll earn an extra year’s retirement money. For example, if someone began working at 21 years old and, instead of retiring at 63 (the current average retirement age in Canada), decided to work an extra year, that would give them a 2.4% increase in the total number of years worked. But, an extra year of life-expectancy based on a 20-year retirement is a 5% increase. If we factor in taxes and a decade and counting of low interest rates, we can see that it would take several years work and some smart investment to bridge the gap.
Of course, investment is not restricted to Canada; yet as markets become more open to investors, the more we are influenced by events overseas. The global picture is therefore similar to that in Canada. The current unpredictability of markets, means that finding value for money in investment is exceptionally difficult. In fact, I see it at the moment as more a case of protecting what you have, rather than trying to make a large return.
Meanwhile, the best thing men and women can do for themselves is put a sound financial plan in place, by setting out goals, expectations and find out how to meet these.
All this means is that demographics and global finance are making it hard to stock up enough money for a sizeable pension plan. These unpredictable times make it is even more complex for women playing catch-up because of income inequality. Nevertheless, both individuals and government can make the necessary steps to bridging the gap. Rather than tinker with interest rates, the Bank of Canada could help bridge that gap by printing money to boost peopleâ€™s pension funds. That may sound fanciful, but it would give people a higher disposable income, in order to boost consumption and get the economy going again, without exasperating Canadiansâ€™ massive debt problem.
Paul Gambles is co-founder of MBMG Group MBMG Group is an advisory firm that assists expatriates and locals within the South-East Asia Region with services ranging from Investment Advisory, Personal Advisory, Tax Advisory, Corporate Advisory, Insurance Services, Accounting & Auditing Services, Legal Services, Estate Planning and Property Solutions. Paul can be contacted at: Tel: +66 2665 2536 e-mail: email@example.com Linkedin: MBMG Group Twitter: @MBMG_GROUP Facebook: /MBMGGroup
1 https://globalnews.ca/news/3797971/justintrudeau-raise-sons-feminists-like-daughters/ 2 http://www.haygroup.com/ca/services/ index.aspx?id=43781 3 ibid
NEW DESIGN STRONG IDENTITY Before starting design work on any brand identity project, itâ€™s important for me to spend time getting to know the propositions and values that I need to convey and the most appropriate ways of doing so.
These values can be spread across multiple touch points, including stationery, packaging, online communication or environmental design. The aim is to create a concept that is multidimensional, rich and cohesive, while also remaining faithful to the spirit of the client. For Voyageur Magazine, we met with the CanCham team to learn about their expectations for this issue. After reviewing their Design Brief, we explored many different elements that are unified under a consistent style and aesthetic. Weâ€™ve included a quick look at this design process below.
Design Implementation Layout Design Previous version
a publication of CanCham Thailand
Photography & Image Style
Brand identity is the DNA of every company and should be consistent across all communication channels. Successful businesses have recognizable branding and tell clear, memorable stories about who they are and what they do.
Khachonyot Yaempradit is the Creative Director at Lexicon. Give him a visit at www.lexiconthai.com
At Lexicon, we support our clients through every step of the marketing process, including brand building, strategy, web design, copywriting, visual design and social media marketing. Lexicon is a Gold Sponsor of CanCham Thailand. You can contact them at www.lexiconthai.com or 02 235 8868
PREVIOUS EVENTS RECAP The Great Canadian BBQ
CanCham’s office renovation
Happy raffle-prize winner at the Canadian BBQ
CanCham board members celebrating our new-look office
On Saturday January 27th, H.E. Donica Pottie, the Canadian Ambassador to Thailand, Laos & Cambodia opened up the official residence for CanCham’s Great Canadian BBQ. A great time was had by all as CanCham members and guests enjoyed an acoustic band, delicious food and exciting raffle draws.
Led by President John Stevens, CanCham’s office in the Sethiwan Building on Pan Road received a long-needed makeover. The new look gives the CanCham team a bright and friendly environment to work from. CanCham’s Board recently showed up to celebrate the launch of this new bright office.
CanCham’s New Board
Celebration of Craft Beer
Cancham’s new board at the Hansar Hotel
A few of our hooured guerts enjoying the Canadian Craft Beer Extravaganza
At CanCham’s AGM, held at Bangkok’s Hansar Hotel. CanCham’s the new board for 2018-19 was elected. Members include from left top row: Kelly Cailes, Lawrence Cordes, John Stevens, Derek van Pelt and Dan McKay. From left, bottom row: Natasak Rojanapiches, Ron Livingston, Rose Swagemakers (ED), & Art Chanovan, Caroline Kwan, David Beckstead, Dean Outerson (Missing John Casella, Sunny Patel, Peter Baines).
CanCham Thailand, Drink Wise and PacRim Distributors joined forces to learn about and sample a variety of craft beer from Canadian micro-breweries. A great business networking opportunity and FREE FLOW OF BEER was enjoyed at CanCham’s rst Canuck Connections Networking event of 2018 – the Canadian Craft Beer Extravaganza, held Thursday, March 29 at the Sky Terrace, Hansar Hotel in Bangkok.
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