October - December 2015
a publication of CANCHAM Thailand
Thailand-Canada Trade Ties
Eric Kenso Ward, ISB Class of 1979
International School Bangkok Bringing out the superhero in each of us since 1951. www.isb.ac.th
2015/2016 CANCHAM Thailand Executives
The TCCC becomes CANCHAM Thailand
H.E. Philip Calvert Ambassador of Canada to Thailand
Officers: President – Ron Livingston Vice President – Derek van Pelt Vice President – John Stevens Treasurer – John Casella Secretary – Dean Outerson Executive Board:
Peter Bessey Surachit (Art) Chanovan Joseph Henry Andrew Kloosterhuis David A. F. Macdonald James MacDonald James McCracken Angus Mitchell Michael White
Embassy Representative: Yvonne Chin
President Ron Livingston elaborates on the change: “The Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce is now entering its 25th year – and with this milestone we felt it an opportune time to refresh our brand and name for the next quarter century! “In our renaming, one of our objectives is to better align with the other Canadian Chambers or ‘CANCHAMs’ in the region – so now sharing a common brand with Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Vietnam and the Philippines we will now be known as CANCHAM Thailand.
Sean Brady Sam Cohen Kobsak Duangdee Don Lavoie Peter van Haren Picharn Sukparangsee
“Our new logo gives a nod to our original brand, continuing to blend iconic Canadian and Thai images which represent our two great countries, but now with a more modern and clean design. Crafted by Peter Robinson, an acclaimed Art Director in Vancouver who spent many years in Bangkok “
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: CANCHAM Thailand 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
Cover Credit; K. Bern, Vivaldi PR.
CANCHAM Thailand membership offers you and your organization many benefits, including: • Access to business briefings on issues ranging from digital marketing, social media, HR, IT security, entrepreneurial workshop and other industry specific topics. • Access to the insight, knowledge and experiences of the chamber, its Board and Advisory Committee, and their extensive network of resources. • Introductions and referrals with the local business community and government bureaucracies • The Chamber is active in organising many business and social events aimed at promoting members business opportunities. The CANCHAM Thailand has over 140 members and conducts more than 30 events throughout the year including speakers events, networking nights, community and sporting events. To become a member or to sponsor the various events we organise, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CANCHAM Thailand News
Canadian Expertise can spur ICT growth in Thailand
Thai ICT Overview
The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in Thailand is strong and growing despite a recent downturn. The value of Thailand’s ICT market was estimated at nearly CAN$28 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow by 3.8% in 2015. Thailand’s wireless market also saw strong growth in 2014 with more than 15.3 million new mobile cellular subscriptions and 21.7 million broadband subscriptions. Thailand is ranked 3rd in ASEAN, after Singapore and Malaysia, and 10th in the Asia-Pacific region in the Information and Communications Technology Development Index (IDI). The Thai government has focused on developing the ICT sector through the promotion of a digital economy and the availability of 4G spectrum licences. 4G mobile phone spectrum licences are to be auctioned in November this year. Telecom companies invested over CAN$4 billion in wireless data networks nationwide in 2014. Mobile data services lead telecom spending and the introduction of 3G and 4G networks is expected to further expand the smart device market and social network users. The financial sector (banking and insurance), retail and manufacturing are the top three IT spenders and leading adopters in Thailand. The launch of 4G services will boost access to high speed Internet services. However, low English-proficiency levels in parts of Thailand will require new software to be translated into the Thai language. There is great potential for growth for Cloudbased data centre, broadband, social media, smart-city with Internet of thing/ machine to machine, big-data , mobile gaming & mobile application.
that produce marvelous imagery for clients worldwide in the entertainment arts and media distribution industries. Hollywood depends on Canadian-developed technology for animation, 3-D scanning and special effects to produce the vast majority of its movies. More than 80% of the world's animation and special effects software come from Canadian companies like Softimage and Discreet Logic. Canada is the 3rd largest producer of the multi-billion dollar video and computer game sector. Canadian game developers have created top-selling products for: Wii Nintendo, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The Canadian Government plays a key role in ensuring that consumers are protected and action is taken to end price discrimination. It has introduced measures to protect Canadians and their families while encouraging healthy competition and lower consumer prices. By Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, the government’s vision is for a thriving digital Canada, underscored by five key pillars: connecting Canadians, protecting Canadians, economic opportunities, digital government and Canadian content. The Thai government has shown strong interest this program and wishes to develop its own based on the Canadian model.
Examples of Canadian Activity in Thailand & Capabilities
ICT Trade Mission to Thailand
From November 23-24 six Canadian companies, sponsored by the government of Ontario, will travel to Thailand to participate in an ICT Trade Mission after attending CommuniCast Myanmar. As part of the services provided to this trade mission, the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok will organize a series of B2B meetings with Thai organizations. In addition, the Trade Commissioner Service at the Embassy will provide market intelligence briefings to the delegates.
Digital Canada 150
Digital Canada 150 represents a comprehensive approach of ensuring Canadians
Corie McDougall Area Director - Southeast Asia +1 416 325-6663 email@example.com
Canadian ICT Overview
The Canadian ICT industry generates roughly CAN$155 billion in revenues annually. It consists of 32,700 companies - over 80% of them are SMEs. Canadian ICT goods exports to the Asia-Pacific region have constantly increased over the last two years. Currently exports to this region make up roughly 11% of Canadian ICT exports worldwide. Canadian corporations have extensive knowledge and experience in creating and working with low-cost green energy information wireless telecommunication infrastructure and cloud computing. Canada is home to many companies that provide digital media software, or
can take full advantage of the opportunities of the digital age. It envisions a country of connected citizens armed with the skills they need to succeed.
Company Directory - Ontario, Canada
International Trade Branch The International Trade Branch assists Ontario companies in accessing international markets by establishing partnerships and distribution channels, and by providing assistance to foreign parties interested in sourcing Ontario products, technology and services. If you are an international buyer looking to source goods or services from Ontario, visit: SourceFromOntario.com.
ICT TRADE MISSION TO
BANGKOK THAILAND November 23 - 24, 2015
MAKE ONTARIO, CANADA
YOUR NEXT BIG IDEA. Printed in Ontario, Canada on recycled paper. © Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2015
o Celestica Inc: Celestica provides electronics manufacturing services and solutions to OEMs in various sectors in Asia. o Open Text: Open Text provides electronic data exchange platform solutions to modernize e-Customs system, a paperless process between Thai Customs and business operators. o MDA Corporation: MDA’s Information Systems has been working with Thailand’s Geo-Informatics & Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) to extend the life of RADARSAT-2 satellites. These support systems have been critical in serving Thailand’s various resource management (locating illegal fishing vessels) and disaster mitigation applications. o Sierra Wireless: Global leader in devices and cloud services for Internet of Things, specialized in intelligent wireless solutions and technologies. Did you know?... another example of Canadian ICT is IMAX technology, which Jim Patterson and Major Cineplex brought to Siam Paragon, Major Ratchoyothin, and other theatres thrilling Thai moviegoers, and enhancing their cinematic experience. For more information on Canadian ICT expertise please contact Trade Commissioner Pisite Chaiwattanachai at the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok at: pisite.chaiwattanachai@ international.gc.ca.
How poor posture can damage your neck – and how a tiny incision can fix it By Dr. Withawin Kesornsak and Dr. Verapan Kuansongtham, spine surgeons at Bumrungrad’s Spine Institute
Today, we live in a golden age of technological progress that has seen yesterday’s science fiction become today’s reality. Smartphones provide instant access to a world of information, computers can be activated by a human voice, and simply by clicking a few buttons on a screen, people from different parts of the world can interact face-to-face. While these technological advances have made modern life more convenient, they are not without their drawbacks. Whether working on a computer or keeping up to date with their social networks on a Smartphone, people are adopting extremely bad posture for hours at a time. The inevitable results are spinal problems that can often require corrective surgery. Many of the problems that occur in the spine are caused by the process of degeneration. When people move or perform an action, the spine supports their weight. Over time, repeated daily stresses can add up and begin to affect the discs in the spine. The cervical spine is much more mobile than both of the other segments of the spine. There is movement at this joint whenever people nod, shake or bend their head forward to operate a smartphone or tablet several hours a day. If you’re reading this article on a smartphone or tablet, please lift your head up immediately. I’ll let you know the reason now.
nurse who talked to her boyfriend on the phone several hours a day by cradling the phone in the gap between her neck and shoulder, her head bent over to hold it. After several months, she developed a herniated disc that needed surgery. Bending the head forward to operate a smartphone or tablet for a long period of time is no different because the repeated excessive pressure to the disc can also cause early degeneration. So how does a surgeon treat these conditions? The aim is to relieve pressure on the nerve root in patients with a herniated disc or large joints affecting peripheral nerves. In traditional open surgery, the surgeon makes an incision, the size of which depends on each patient’s body size. The surgeon then removes the muscles so that he can see the spine. Next, he removes the herniated disc to relieve the pressure on the nerves.
Excessive movement, pressure and weight support can cause injury to 3 parts in the spine, which are the discs and 2 facet joints located at the top of the spine. These 3 parts help give the spine mobility and movement. When the discs or facet joints degenerate, there will be less flexibility and the joints will then increase in strength by becoming larger due to a natural repair response. The problem occurs when the joints become too large and start to damage peripheral nerves, causing pain that radiates down the arms and even leading to numbness in severe cases. I’ll explain about this mechanism in more detail in the next article.
Fortunately, just as advances in modern technology have caused an increase in spinal problems, advances in the field of medical technology have provided a solution. The development of surgical instruments that make smaller incisions has led to improved patient safety and shorter recovery times. Previously, surgical incisions were large and post-op recovery could mean a long and often worrying time spent in hospital. Today, endoscopic surgery means that very small incisions of as small as 7.9 mm are sufficient. This represents an incredible breakthrough in spinal surgery. Following endoscopic surgery, some patients have even asked me, “Have you performed the surgery yet? Where is the incision?”
Generally, as people age, the spine begins to degenerate from normal wear and tear. However, the negative side of a modern lifestyle is that degeneration can also occur in young people at a much earlier age than was seen before the technological revolution. I once performed surgery for a 26 year-old
To provide an analogy, traditional surgery is like tearing down a large part of a wall and walking through the gap to take what we want from inside a building. With an endoscopy, we make a small hole in the wall and use a long stick to reach inside the building and take what we want.
With the endoscopic approach, the incision is small and does not involve removing muscles, thereby reducing surgical pain and shortening the recovery time. After a half day, most patients can walk, return home and have a better quality of life. We doctors are happy to help patients lead a normal life again, but we are even happier when we can help you prevent the problem before it starts. So, it’s time to lift your head up! www.bumrungrad.com
October - December 2015
How to Avoid Getting Run-Over and Ripped-Off by Your Accountant By John Casella
Step #1: Get Your Accountant Working for YOU
The purpose for writing this article (part of a series of articles on “How to Avoid Getting Run-Over and Ripped-Off by Your Accountant”) is to share with you, as an accountant myself after more than 18 years working in Thailand in a variety of roles and situations, some of my observations and experiences about how to get the most out of your accountant. Over the years I have gotten to know so many expats and Thais alike who tell me that their accountant in Thailand has left them without proper systems and controls, resigned without timely notice or explanation, often out-of-pocket to the tax authorities as a result of avoidable mistakes or misunderstanding, and burdened with major administrative headaches to overcome in their wake. So I feel compelled to pen some advice for the local Bangkok business community to share my thoughts on why this happens so frequently. Spoiler alert. Your accountant may be serving a different master. In our first step, we must start by determining whether your accountant is actually working for YOU. Hopefully, you have the mindset that your accountant “is” (or should be) your “Friend” and represents the “Good Guy” on your team giving you the financial information that you need to make sound business decisions and to protect you from spending money unwisely &/or making the wrong financial decisions. If you think your accountant is the “Bad Guy” then you’ve definitely got problems right off the bat, because it’s not healthy for any business to have such a situation. Part of the problem I see in many cases is an “expectation gap” between business persons and their accountants in Thailand. It would be natural to think that your accountant is working for “you” in all cases, after all you’re the one signing their paycheque
every month and who else could they possibly feel a duty towards other than their boss? However, in many cases, your accountant has been educated, indoctrinated, predicated, and dictated to work for the Thai Revenue Department (TRD); not actually working directly for the TRD officers, but rather working to protect you (and themselves) from the constant fear of the TRD audit and the resulting tax assessment that lurks around every business transaction and every monthly or annual tax filing. In fact, there was a time in the past when it could be argued that protecting businesses from the TRD was the only role of a Thai accountant; after all, if an owner is keeping more than one set of books and knows their own business better than anyone else, then the only role that exists for a traditional accountant in Thailand is to prepare a set of figures to be presented to the TRD.
against the threat of the Thai taxman is a good thing, no question that the TRD can be ferocious, but it’s not the single most important thing upon which your accountant should be focusing their attention. The key thing you need from your accountant in Thailand is to see that their duty of care is not to the TRD, but rather to YOU and to your business as a whole. The following are a few major ways in which you can determine that your accountant is working for YOU (not somebody else): - You receive regular, timely and accurate financial reports. - Your Monthly Financial Statements are easy to read and understand. - You know your REAL COSTS and your accountant is able to prove them to you. - You are receiving the information you need for effective cash flow management, with checks and balances to control them.
Times have definitely changed during the years I’ve been in Thailand, however that doesn’t mean the ways that all accountants are taught or necessarily think in Thailand have necessarily changed with the times. In this modern age of Western capitalism, I was brought up to think that an accountant needs to consider ALL the potential USERS of a company’s financial statements, most importantly MANAGEMENT. Yet, I’ve seen so many cases in Thailand where accountants don’t report regularly to management and companies’ Directors don’t even see their year-end financial statements until the following May, just before filing their corporate income taxes to the TRD.
If your accountant is not providing the above-listed sorts of information, then you’re running your business at great risk and you’ve got plenty of room for improvement.
Management might complain, “Where in hell have these financial statements been hiding all year?” but bosses (particularly Foreign bosses) come and go, while the TRD is an omnipresent constant in the Thai accountant’s world. Of course, protecting your company
PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Limited PKF Audit (Thailand) Limited www.pkfthailand.asia and www.pkf.com
For further advice, please contact PKF Thailand in Bangkok at www.pkfthailand.asia.
John Casella, Managing Partner
For more information email: John.Casella@pkf.com or call +66 2 108 1591
Thanachart Bank Maple Leaf Ball 2015
CANCHAM Thailand Event
October - December 2015
the history and evolution of the world the thoughts and graphic narration of children 9 to 11 years
THE EARLY LEARNING CENTRE FAMILY OF SCHOOLS THE CITY SCHOOL Ages 3-11 years #18 Soi Arkaphat, Sukhumvit Road 49/4, Bangkok 10110 Tel: (662) 381-2919, 391-5901, 712-5338 Fax: (662) 391-1334
THE COUNTRY SCHOOL Ages 2-5 years #44, Samakee Road 20, T.Tasai, Muang Nonthaburi 11000 Tel: (662) 588-1063, 952-4147 Fax: (662) 589-4809
www.elc-bangkok.com culture and architecture
THE PURPLE ELEPHANT Ages 18-36 months #44 Soi 53/1, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 Tel: (662) 662-7653, 662-7654 Fax: (662) 260-5947
CHEZ NOODLES Ages 18-36 months #61 Soi Prommitr, Sukhumvit Road 39, Bangkok 10110 Tel: (662) 662-4570, 662-4571, Fax: (662) 662-4572
Creating a unique destination cinema
Jim Patterson is a Canadian who has been living in Thailand for almost 24 years. He has been in the entertainment business since moving here and is a senior director with Major Cineplex, running numerous projects and was responsible for bring the Canadian made IMAX theaters to Thailand and the region. His latest and most unusual project is the Embassy Diplomat Screens. Located in Central Embassy and opened 15 months ago, these cinemas are still unknown to many and unique globally. This is not a Major Cineplex project and Jim as Managing Director, and Brian Hall, another Canadian, set up the all VIP-screen project with bed seats, large luxurious lobbies, fine food and unrivaled highly personalized butler service. What makes it so interesting is such a cinema is considered economically unfeasible in the cinema industry and yet these two Canadians have found a way to make it highly profitable while offering a very reasonable ticket price. The experience is so appreciated, that it is the highest growing, highest occupancy rate VIP theatre in Thailand, with almost half its customers being regulars with more than 10 visits each. This was accomplished with so little marketing that many of you have probably never even heard of the Embassy Diplomat Screens. Jim explains why it works, “Before we opened I closed long-term sponsorship contracts with AIS, Krungsri Bank, Bangkok Bank, Noble House, Mercedes Benz, Pepsi and Heineken for exclusive sponsorship support. We gave their customers a 20% discount, but all sponsors took an additional ‘pool’ in which they offer further discounts, making the value unbeatable. “It is the highest sponsored cinema in the world, per seat. The published price is about Bt1,200 including food and butler service, but we aim to get Bt1,000 and the average customer ends up paying only about Bt800 after promotions. Central Embassy values the success of the project so much they offer us a reasonable participating rent. It all works so the customers, sponsors, Central and the organizers are happy. The Embassy Diplomat Screens have two large lounge areas for guests to enjoy while waiting for the movie, and they can also be used to host private functions. Charity movie screenings have been held where the lounge was used for pre-movie cocktails and connections. The lobbies are large and elegant – almost an oasis retreat in the middle of Bangkok. For more information: www.embassycineplex.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 02-160-5999
The Harvey Law Group – the Immigration Specialists Voyageur recently had the chance to interview Bastien Trelcat of the Harvey Law Group, below are excerpts from that interview:
1) Please tell us where and when the firm was founded and how it has grown and expanded. The Harvey Law Group (HLG) was founded in 1992 as a Montreal-based office. More than twenty years later, HLG has established a unique presence throughout Asia and the Middle East. HLG’s immigration legal services were initially oriented towards Canada, but no longer. Canada is still a desired destination among investor and entrepreneur immigrants, but HLG, being a pioneer law firm in investment immigration, advises on over ten immigration programs across the world. Today, HLG has evolved into not only a leading international immigration firm but also a respected business law firm with fifteen offices worldwide, including Montreal, Miami, Hong Kong, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. 2) Please tell us a little about yourself, your professional career and how you came to work for Harvey. I obtained a Master’s in Business Law and Corporate Taxation from the Law School of Aix-Marseille University in France in 2002. The following year, in 2003, I received an LLM in International Business Laws from the City University of Hong Kong. In 2004, I become a member of the Paris Bar and then relocated to Shanghai, where I advised several leading companies throughout China and Europe on their M&A transactions, including structuring and negotiation of joint-ventures. I set up the HLG office in Bangkok in 2013 before becoming a partner in January 2014. I am also currently acting as the managing partner for Vietnam and currently working on the opening of our office in Myanmar. 3) Please tell us how you could help Thais immigrate to Canada. Are you active in facilitating immigration in all provinces, or just Manitoba, Quebec and BC? Concerning Canada specifically, HLG is able to provide Thais with immigration services for every province. HLG has extensive resources and experience in facilitating immigration to Canada with different provinces’ PNPs, the provincial and federal Skilled-Worker
programs, the Quebec Entrepreneur and Self-employed programs, etc. If Thai clients are looking for a specific province to immigrate to, or looking for a specific immigration program, HLG can assist them in building their immigration application file, help them submit forms to the proper Canadian authorities and support them through the entire immigration process. 4) What can you do for Canadians seeking to set up a company in Thailand, or for Canadians seeking to married here or looking for permanent resident status? HLG offers a beginning-to-end process starting from advising on regulatory issues of your business until the completion of the company registration. HLG’s assistance consists of gathering and translating all required documents, filling out all necessary applications, drafting affidavits and obtaining licenses for a regulated business. HLG also offers related corporate services such as VAT registration, labor contracts and the protection of intellectual property rights. For Canadians nationals seeking to get married in Thailand, HLG can manage all legal issues related to the marriage from the visa to Thailand, the prenuptial agreement and registration of the wedding certificate. Such services include document preparation and change of status to a permanent resident of Thailand (if applicable). HLG also offers advice to persons applying for permanent residence for investment, employment, or expertise purposes. 5) Please tell us about the areas you specialize when it comes to business law? HLG’s practice covers various aspects of business law, but four of them are paramount. The first is the creation and/or establishment of companies in jurisdictions all around the world. Our firm can provide clients with assistance in starting or re-settling a company in almost every country. Another area of business law where HLG has a great expertise is in assisting companies with cross-border transaction issues. For many years, HLG has been navigating through foreign laws and regulations, customs, tariffs and bureaucracy to make sure its clients are not left with the challenges of reconciling cross-border advice from different entities. HLG also advises on a large range of real estate-related transactions, representing vendors and purchasers, landlords and tenants, lenders and developers, and other parties in various manners regarding major commercial acquisitions and developments.
The last main area of HLG’s business law practice is partnerships and joint-venture agreements, share purchase agreements and other strategic alliances. 6) What are your firm’s strengths—what gives you a competitive edge over other law firms? HLG strongly believes that the world is now a smaller place; that the mobility of people, goods and ideas’ should be facilitated with the proper assistance. HLG considers it a mission to ease that mobility and to avoid its clients being confronted with painful situations. We are recognized as mobility and business facilitators and that is why clients not only keep knocking at our door, but come back to us once their immigration process is complete. HLG’s small team size also assures clients’ with direct and efficient communication combined with personalized and thorough legal services. Building the strongest relationship is an HLG priority. HLG’s international presence, along with the immigration and business law experience it has gained in twenty years of practice, are the backbone of our successful and praised legal practice. 7) How many lawyers do you have working for, how are they spread out across the globe and where are your managing partners based? HLG’s team is composed of thirty talented and hardworking lawyers, who are spread out in seven different countries across the world. Among these lawyers, five are managing partners of the firm, respectively stationed in Hong Kong, Beijing, Ho Chi Minch, Bangkok and Miami. 8) Please tell us about your associations and memberships. We take great pride in being, not only represented in various countries, but duly registered as an official law firm in various countries and states around the globe, notably Canada, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam and Florida. HLG’s expertise has also been endorsed and recognized by foreign governments or governmental agencies on mobility and cross-border investment issues. HLG is, for instance, the only foreign licensed law firm in St. Kitts and Nevis. Moreover, HLG is also a CANCHAM member in the Asian countries where it operates. www.harveylawcorporation.com
October - December 2015
Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok – in the Center of Everything
Peter Nicholas Lucas General Manager
Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15 is an upscale Bangkok hotel with easy access to the city's central business district and its major shopping and entertainment areas. Conveniently located in the heart of Bangkok, just off Sukhumvit Road, it is only 5 minutes’ walk from Asok Station, an interchange for Bangkok’s Skytrain and subway systems. This four-star property is one of the ten Starwood Group hotels located in Bangkok. It has 268 stylish, comfortable guest rooms, all ensuring a good night’s sleep with their plush Four Points by Sheraton Four Comfort Bed™. The rooms are equipped with an LCD Flat Screen Television and DVD player plus a dedicated work desk with a plug-andplay station. The Executive Suites provide a spacious, modern living room, a separate king-size bed, a convenient powder room and a deep Jacuzzi bathtub overlooking the bedroom while the Terrace Suites include similar features and have their own private outdoor terrace. There’s free wireless High Speed Internet Access in all guest rooms, the lobby and public areas. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center and outdoor swimming pool, located on the roof. The Eatery™, the all-day dining restaurant, is conveniently located next to the lobby
all with first-class hospitality, ensuring your visit will be a memorable one. Business wise, the hotel has more than 350 square metres of dedicated meeting-room space, so it is a good venue for a product launch, strategic meeting or celebration of a personal or professional milestone. The Pinwheel, the main meeting facility, is located on the lobby level and can be divided in two with a welcoming pre-function area and a private outdoor courtyard, offering a capacity of up to 170 people. offering a delicious buffet breakfast and international favorites throughout the day. The amBar is located eight stories up on the rooftop and offers a relaxed atmosphere. A mix of modern, comfortable couches and beds create the perfect place to watch the sunset while overlooking Sukhumvit Road. You can sit back, sip on a specialty cocktail, juice, or smoothie, and enjoy live entertainment from a variety of different deejays and bands. amBar also holds a very popular monthly amWET Pool Party and “Meet and Greet” Networking Event. Located on the left-side entrance of the hotel sits The Drunken Leprechaun, which has already hosted a CANCHAM networking night. This friendly Irish pub offers delicious pub grub and great drinks from Ireland and beyond. Not only does TDL provide nightly entertainment, live sports on large flat-screen TVs, and a laid-back atmosphere, it also has its own “wee folk” (leprechauns) to serve you
For a different ambiance, try The Breeze, an exclusive function room which sits perfectly on the rooftop on Level 8. With its private courtyard and a grassy area, this unique pillar-free venue is flooded with natural light and can be divided in two as well. Combining both indoor and outdoor areas, this function space can hold up to 300 people, making it an excellent choice for weddings and parties. Not to mention the hotel’s professional catering team who are more than happy to tailormake your event just the way you dream of. The hotel’s management team, including General Manager - Peter Nicholas Lucas; Marketing Communications Manager – Pornprapa “Oil” Tangsakulsathaporn; and PR & Marketing Executive - Prakaikaew “Grace” Loturat, will do their best to ensure your visit to Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok is a great one. www.fourpointsbangkoksukhumvit.com
Can Canada prevent Dutch-Australian disease becoming Maple Tree disease?
Dutch Disease was the phrase coined by The Economist magazine to describe the phenomenon of over-concentration of one sector of the economy. It came about after a large natural gas field was discovered in the town of Groningen in 1959. The Dutch economy became too focused on the natural resources sector, at the expense of a balanced economy. That scenario can accurately describe what has happened in Australia in recent years, with its huge reliance on exporting iron, coal and gas to China. What does that have to do with Canada? Well, Canada and Australia have a few things in common. To start with, there’s the huge land mass with low density populations (according to the UN, Canada is 230th, Australia 236th in the world, in terms of population density). Consequently, both countries have a large volume of natural resources, which have made them prosperous places to live, yet also prone to global economic recessions. Whilst both countries have modern economies, with over 70% of their GDPs made in the service sector, around a quarter of their economies still comes from industry. Not only that, they also have more or less the same customers – the US, China and Japan are all in the top 5 recipients of both countries’ exports. When Japan, then the US were hit by bad times, China was able to use the global financial crisis as an opportunity to buy minerals and other natural resources to help fuel its remarkable economic expansion. This didn’t shield Canada from the global crisis but it did help the country recover relatively quickly. Australia fared better: its iron ore and copper resources kept it in positive GDP growth even in the worst year, 2009. It was at that time that natural resource prices were at their highest. Given the huge hit the services sector was taking at the time, it’s understandable that both countries began to rely on metals and coal. The problem today is that, despite what their central bankers may say, the Japanese and US economies have made little ground towards recovery. Now China is losing confidence in the face of a huge debt bubble that is increasingly looking as if it may be ready to burst at any time. The IMF expects Chinese economic growth to drop to a 25-year low of 6.8 per cent this year; however this is all based on official Chinese figures. These numbers had 2014 growth at 7%, which
many observers doubt is plausible given the circumstances. This is an important reason why raw materials prices have taken a nosedive. This isn’t some short-term reaction to a bit of bad news: after the initial drop, prices have remained low in resources such as iron, copper, aluminum and coal for over a year now. All that, plus a gloomy global economic outlook, has meant that the two countries have something else in common: in the October edition of its twice-yearly World Economic Outlook, the IMF has revised down its 2015 and 2016 economic growth forecasts. Not only that, Canada takes by far the worst hit of the two: this year’s expected GDP growth dropped by 52% between the April and October editions and the 2016 forecast has reduced by almost 20%. A look at the current account balance shows the import/export market is being heavily hit. Of course it’s not totally coincidental that the IMF’s statistics on current accounts are measured in US dollars. In July 2014, the greenback turned the corner against the loonie and has been particularly strong since the end of last year, making it even harder for Canada to measure up on international comparisons. However, it does mean that Canadian exports are cheaper right now but is there anyone who is able to buy them in large quantities? With that gloomy picture painted, it’ll be interesting to see how the economy can get out of its slump. That would require several important things to happen. Firstly it’s important to recognise that this is potentially not only a Canadian but a global economic malaise. Doing business with the world’s largest economies is great in the good times but it also leaves you at the whim of their central bankers and governments. If they are hell-bent on following policies that clearly don’t work, then that means you’re negatively affected in the bad times. Thus real economyshrinking policies such as zero-interest-rate policies in the US and Japan, as well as the Chinese government’s encouragement to whack up corporate debt (meaning yet more loan payments on the balance sheet) indirectly hit Canada. Whilst global conditions are out of the Bank of Canada’s and the government’s hands, they can do their bit back home. For starters they can get raise their own ludicrously low overnight lending rate of 0.5%. This may have
been implemented to stimulate the economy by giving people and businesses cheaper access to money, the actual results in Canada, the US and the Eurozone show that it doesn’t necessarily filter from the banks and, if more private debt is taken on, disposable income is reduced because debt payments increase. If the new government is really serious about rebooting the economy it and genuinely wants the country to get ahead of the rest, it should implement a debt jubilee. A new boom really could sweep clean, even if the name is very familiar. If people and businesses had more money in their pockets, they would logically be more likely to start spending again. Average inflation over the last three years (2012-2014) has been at around 1.33% (according to Statistics Canada), which reveals the danger of debt deflation: low prices = low profits = low wages but debt payments remain the same. Stimulating consumption would bring inflation back up to a healthier level and the wheels would start turning again, having a knock-on effect on many different sectors of the economy. That may sound over-simplistic but there are some well-respected economists, such as Prof. Steve Keen – my colleague at IDEA Economics – who feel that this is the not only the most credible way out of the slump but the only way to avoid a looming crisis which could perhaps be even more catastrophic than the GFC. Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, I cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur. My views may not necessarily reflect the house view of MBMG Group. Views and opinions expressed herein may change with market conditions and should not be used in isolation.
Paul Gambles (co-founder of the MBMG Group)
For more information: Tel: +66 2665 2536; email@example.com; Linkedin: MBMG Group; Twitter: @MBMGIntl; Facebook: /MBMGGroup October - December 2015
CANCHAM Thailand Events
Canuck Connections at the Drunken Leprechaun Kind enough to host our Canuck Connections on August 19th, the Drunken Leprechaun (TDL) is located in the Four Points Sheration, Bangkok. This new pub offers a wide range of Irish food and local and international brews along with a fun and laid-back atmosphere.
The AEC and its Impact on Thailand’s HR: Opportunities and Challenges On August 26th, CANCHAM Thailand staged a seminar at the Pathumwan Princess Hotel entitled “The AEC and its Impact on Thailand’s HR: Opportunities and Challenges”. Presentations were made by Dr Nakarin Amarase (Bank of Thailand); Dr Boonwara Sumano Chenphuengpawn (TDRI); Sukich Udindu (the Minor Group) and Simon Matthews (Manpower Thailand Vietnam and Middle East). The event was moderated by Peter van Haren, a founding Partner of XPC Cross Pacific Connections.
The what, why and how of digital marketing success On September 9th, CANCHAM Thailand board member Joseph Henry, the Managing Director of Vivaldi PR, moderated this event, held at the Landmark, Bangkok. Vee Charunnunsiri, Deputy General Manager of GrabTaxi, and Jérôme Le Louer, the founder of Wishbeer, were the guest speakers.
Doi Chaang Coffee Honored by Fairtrade Canada Fairtrade Canada has awarded Doi Chaang Coffee Co. the Licensee of the Year Award for outstanding contributions to promoting the Fairtrade systems and certified products. Since being founded in 2006, Doi Chaang has supported farmers living and working in a northern Thailand village with steady access to running water, electricity and improved infrastructure. Doi Chaang has an equal partnership with Doi Chang village, in northern Thailand, meaning its farmers receive 50 per cent of the company’s profits. While Fairtrade partnerships provide fair working environments, wages and labour rights, Doi Chaang goes a step futher by providing 50 per cent ownership to the workers involved, which they’ve coined Beyond Fair Trade®.
Thai Cultural Festival at Dundas Square For the second consecutive year, the Royal Thai Embassy in Ottawa organized a Thai cultural festival at Dundas Square, Toronto, during the Toronto International Film Festival. Former CANCHAM Board Member Daniel Fraser of Smiling Albino was once again asked to be emcee and join a special dinner with Thai Ambassador Vijavat Isarabhakdi and the Thai Embassy staff from Ottawa, the Board of Trade, TAT, and the Thai Consulate of Vancouver. The Dundas event was a full day street-style festival, with dancing, games, food, various forms of entertainment on stage from Thai-Canadian trivia to fruit carving, Thai massage, Muay Thai, and more. Dozens of exhibitors paid for booth space ranging from Doi Chaang Coffee and Singha Beer to over a dozen local Thai restaurants, travel services as well as various Thai commercial and government entities.
Mechai Viravaidya Opens the Learning Commons at NIST NIST recently announced the opening of The Mechai Learning Commons, an educational space created to support information technology, online learning, tutoring, exploration, content creation, reading and study. The facility, made possible through the generous funding of Khun Mechai Viravaidya and family, builds upon the more traditional library model. In addition to standard reading materials, it also includes a community café, mini-amphitheatres and reading nooks—all designed to facilitate shared learning. During the opening ceremony, Head of School James MacDonald recognized not only Khun Mechai’s generous contributions to NIST academically and financially over the years, but also to the growth of NIST’s community during its formative years. Khun Mechai served as the Chairman of the NIST International School Foundation from 1993 to 2002 and 2005 to 2009. A well-known figure in Thailand, he is also celebrated for his advocacy in family planning and rural development, and still serves as the founding chairman of the largest non-profit in Thailand: the Population and Community Development Association. Khun Mechai’s work includes a strong focus on the need to support disadvantaged communities and children, particularly those in Thailand’s rural regions. His passion for
helping others strongly impacted NIST’s own mission and values, leading to the creation of many of the school’s community initiatives. These programmes—studentinitiated and driven—include Dreams We Believe In, the NIST Development Bank, FairNIST Coffee Co. and the Maeramit Development Group. Each of these have allowed poor communities to access NIST’s facilities and resources, share and learn from NIST students and staff, and grow through educational and financial support. Through the vision, inspiration and generosity of the Mechai family, NIST has not only been able to support continued academic and
personal excellence for its students, but also extend this mission into the surrounding community, empowering and enriching others. “Three key words that are taken from our philosophy statement are provoke, extend and enrich. We feel that these words can truly be attributable to Khun Mechai, as when teaching and having conversations with our elementary students, he always provokes inquiry from the students and helps extend their thinking, and eventually our students go on to enrich other people’s lives.” – Mr. Brett Penny, Head of Elementary - NIST International School October - December 2015
Sisters' Helping Hands - A Manulife Global Women's Alliance Initiative
Inspired by Manulife’s Global Women's Alliance movement, employees in Thailand are giving back to a community of women that face a daily struggle with homelessness and poverty. Female employees of Manulife Thailand are leading a local charitable push as part of Manulife’s Global Women's Alliance, donating clothes and raising funds for the Thanyaburi Home for Homeless Women. Volunteering time out from their weekend, more than 20 employees and agents made the journey to the outskirts of Bangkok to spend the day with the charity and its residents. Making the July visit even more special for the female residents was the fact that employees also turned up with a large selection of donated clothes and a cheque for THB$35,000. Leading the charge on the day, Regional
CEO for Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, Indren Naidoo, said the event was a great example of living and breathing Manulife’s Global Women's Alliance initiative at local level. “I think we all have an important role to play in the communities in which we live and work and the employees of Manulife Thailand should be proud of the charitable work they are doing,” said Indren. “Our support of the Thanyaburi Home for Homeless Women is a great way of helping women overcome barriers to upward mobility, while ensuring we are also giving back to society at a grassroots level.”
Taking their charitable experience one step further, the volunteers also served up a hearty lunch for the 500 plus residents of the shelter. After spending time mingling with the women and hearing their heartbreaking and inspirational stories, Manulife employees were treated to a special musical performance in appreciation of their efforts. “What is so amazing about these women is that despite the adversity they face day in and day out, they are still motivated to break free from this cycle of poverty and change their situation,” said Indren.
Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s Legendary Bamboo Bar Reopens
The Bamboo Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok recently reopened its doors following extensive refurbishment. The legendary establishment now has a more contemporary look but retains its iconic character. Originally opened in a tiny room in the hotel’s renowned Authors’ Wing in 1953, the Bamboo Bar has grown into an institution frequented by world high society. The essence of the old bar inspired the new design created by Thai designers, P49 DEESIGN. Bamboo is used for the bar, chairs, and wall and ceiling finishes. The bar’s original black rattan armchairs have been restored and replicas of rattan seating shown in early twentieth century photos created. Tiger skin print patterns are retained on bar stools and some armchairs. Hanging on the wall are historical images of the hotel and bar, and pictures of former patrons, including Louis Armstrong, Mick Jagger, and Audrey Hepburn. Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s General Manager, Amanda Hyndman, said, “Our objective was to weave the past into the future. Old friends will recognize familiar pieces throughout the space that create a real sense of place. The new design better meets the changing needs of our sophisticated clientele, offering more intimate seating and comfort, and clever integration of the outdoor
space and the adjacent Cigar Divan.” The Bamboo Bar’s beverage and liquor concept places renewed emphasis on exclusivity and small production, which includes having one of the largest collections of single malt Scotch whiskies in Thailand. The famous Thaijito and other Bamboo Bar originals created by the bar’s legendary barkeeper for three decades, Sompong Boonsri, remain on the cocktail menu, along with the classics that are still mixed according to their original recipes. New cocktails are classified under Exotic & Sweet, which plays on Asian flavours;
Sophisticated & Contemporary; Mature & Robust; and the dessert-like Fruity & Mellow. The Bamboo Bar continues to be inspired by its longstanding reputation of being the best live jazz spot in Bangkok. The Bamboo Bar is open from 5pm until 1am Sunday through Thursday and until 2am on Friday and Saturday. A live band and resident jazz singer perform from 9pm Monday through Saturday. F o r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n p l e a s e e m a i l firstname.lastname@example.org or contact +66 (2) 659 9000. For room reservations, please visit www.mandarinoriental.com.
CANCHAM Thailand News
Canada concludes free trade agreement with Trans-Pacific partners
The Government of Canada recently announced that the members of the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) have successfully concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement that will benefit Canada’s economy. The TPP agreement will give Canada preferential access to dynamic and growing Asia-Pacific markets. Tariffs and other barriers faced by a wide range of Canadian products from various sectors will be cut; these sectors include agriculture and agri-food, fish and seafood, forestry and value-added wood products, metals and mining, and manufactured industrial goods. The agreement will also provide improved access in areas such as financial, professional, architectural and engineering, research and development, environmental, construction and transportation services. The Government of Canada also announced a new, comprehensive set of programs and initiatives to benefit and support supplymanaged producers and processors throughout the implementation of the TPP. In the TPP, the government successfully protected the three pillars of Canada’s supply management system, which will remain intact. The TPP, for the first time in a Canadian free trade agreement, will have a dedicated
chapter with specific measures to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them take full advantage of the opportunities this agreement will create. This reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to significantly increasing the number of Canadian SMEs exporting to emerging markets. The largest trading bloc in the world, the TPP will deepen Canada’s trading relationships with dynamic and fast-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as strengthen Canada’s traditional partnerships in the Americas. The TPP will strategically set the terms of trade in this important region. As a founding member of the concluded TPP, Canada will have a deciding voice as additional countries seek membership in the “open architecture” agreement. This trade agreement bolsters Canada’s strategic position in the global economy. The TPP and trade agreements with the European Union and South Korea make Canada the only G-7 nation with free trade access to the United States and the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Quick facts • Trade is equivalent to more than 60 percent of Canada’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), with one in five Canadian
jobs linked directly to exports. • Twelve countries make up the TPP: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. • The TPP membership represents a market of nearly 800 million people and a combined GDP of $28.5 trillion. • Eighty-one percent of Canada’s total exports already go to TPP members. • TPP countries include some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and this is expected to continue to be the case. • Many of the TPP members are wealthy economies. The average per capita GDP in TPP countries is nearly $35,000. • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to represent two thirds of the world’s middle class by 2030 and one half of global GDP by 2050. • Canada has concluded free trade agreements covering 51 nations. • Canada’s new free trade agreements with the European Union, South Korea and TPP countries will give Canadian businesses preferential access to over 60 percent of the world’s economy and more than 1.3 billion consumers. (Source: Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development Canada)
October 2014 â€˘ ScandAsia.Thailand 37
CANCHAM Thailand's bi-monthly publication.