Page 1

Free Copy

July – August 2016



a publication of CanCham Thailand



th birthday

Tel: +66 (0) 2274 3444 Email: admissions@kis.ac.th

Ron Livingston CanCham President

2016 - 2017 CANCHAM Thailand Board Members Patron:

H.E. Philip Calvert Ambassador of Canada to Thailand

Executive Board: President – Ron Livingston Treasurer – John Casella Secretary – John Stevens Vice President – Dean Outerson Vice President - Angus Mitchell Board of Directors:

Surachit (Art) Chanovan Joseph Henry Andrew Kloosterhuis Michael White Lloyd Wilson Sunny Patel Nitipong Boonsong Derek Van Pelt

Embassy Representative: Yvonne Chin


Sean Brady Peter van Haren Dan MacKay David A. F. Macdonald Stephen Janson Don Lavoie Ann Baines Picharn Sukparangsee

Executive Director Kelly Cailes

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: info@tccc.or.th 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: disraporn@scandmedia.com Advertising Contact: Mr. Finn Balslev, Marketing Director Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. Tel: +66(0) 2943-7166 ext.116 or 08-1866-2577 Email: finn@scandmedia.com

Dear CanCham Members and Friends,


On 18th June, we celebrated Canada Day here in Thailand. This is a few weeks before the official Canada Day on 1st July to ensure we attract expats before they all leave on their summer vacations back to Canada. What a great day. This year, the hard work of the Canada Day Organizing committee was successful in increasing our sponsorship and by attracting over 350 people to this fun event held on the back lawn of the British Club. It is a day with family and friends coming out to enjoy Canadian beer, Caesar’s, ball hockey, volleyball, tug of war and a great BBQ. I was a pleasure to have Stanley Kang, Chairman of the JFCCT as well as 12 guests and friends from the Thai Foreign Affairs Department. We are all proud of Canada, so it is fun to share a taste of Canada with our friends abroad. It was also a nice surprise to receive a letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wishing CanCham a happy Canada Day and commenting on the core Canadian values that distinguish Canadians. “Canada Day is a wonderful opportunity to come together to celebrate our shared Canadian identity. We can take great pride in everything we have accomplished together during our 149 years of existence. We have worked tirelessly to build the diversity and openness that are hallmarks of the magnificent country we all cherish. Canada is a strong country, not in spite of our differences, but because of them; a country where innovation and creativity can flourish; where plurality is celebrated and recognized; and where all citizens are united by common values, such as democracy, freedom, compassion and equality. “I would like to underscore the remarkable contributions of my fellow Canadians living abroad. You are a conduit for the vitality of Canadian society and for our influence on the international stage. I would also like to commend the members of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce for their steadfast commitment to implementing strategic partnerships and promoting business and investment opportunities that benefit all parties involved.” Canada Day was also an opportunity for CanCham and the Canadian community and friends to bid farewell to our Canadian Ambassador Phillip Calvert. Ambassador Calvert has had an accomplished 34 years with the Canadian Foreign Service and has just finished four years in Thailand. While the Ambassador says he is retiring, he has some plans to focus on more fun projects addressing business and relationships with some key Asian countries. We all wish the Ambassador and his family the very best in the coming years. Continued on page 15

CanCham Upcoming Events July: Canuck Connections Networking Date: Monday July 18, 2016 (Tuesday and Wednesday are Buddhist holidays) Venue: See website (www.tccc.or.th) for event date and location August: Canuck Connections Networking Date: Wednesday August 17, 2016 Venue: See website (www.tccc.or.th) for location. September : Canuck Connections Networking Date: September 21 Venue: See website (www.tccc.or.th) for location October : Maple Leaf Ball Date: October 8, 2016 Venue: Swissotel Park Nai Lert July – August 2016


Canada Day

June 18, 2016

Dear Friends: I am pleased to extend my warmest greetings to everyone taking part in the Canada Day celebration organized by the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok. Canada Day is a wonderful opportunity to come together to celebrate our shared Canadian identity. We can take great pride in everything we have accomplished together during our 149 years of existence. We have worked tirelessly to build the diversity and openness that are hallmarks of the magnificent country we all cherish. Canada is a strong country, not in spite of our differences, but because of them; a country where innovation and creativity can flourish; where plurality is celebrated and recognized; and where all citizens are united by common values, such as democracy, freedom, compassion and equality. I would like to underscore the remarkable contributions of my fellow Canadians living abroad. You are a conduit for the vitality of Canadian society and for our influence on the international stage. I would also like to commend the members of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce for their steadfast commitment to implementing strategic partnerships and promoting business and investment opportunities that benefit all parties involved. On behalf of my family, Sophie and I wish you a most enjoyable Canada Day. Sincerely,

The Rt. Hon. Justin P.J. Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada



After a year’s hiatus, the Canadian community returned to celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday at the British Club on Saturday June 18th. And it was a triumphant return, as the rain held off, and all in attendance enjoyed the food, music and activities on offer. On the ball hockey court, the inaugural Gordie Howe Classic was held with Team West Coast defeating Team East Coast 8-5 in a tightly fought game. HE Philip Calvert cut the birthday cake and it was a chance for all to thank him for his service as after 32 years the Ambassador is retiring from the diplomatic corps in mid-August. The big prizes awarded at Canada Day were two Bangkok Airways return tickets to Chiang Rai along with accommodation at The Legend; a year’s membership at the Shane Wilding Golf Centre; a pro bike; and two Bangkok Airways return tickets to Krabi. Sponsors who had booths on the day included BNH Hospital, Rockin’ Jump, Shane Wilding, Borealis, and the Denla British School. The Rolling Stone pizza van was also there, delivering up delicious slices of pizza. The highlight of the event was a note received earlier in the day from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrating Canada Day and acknowledging CanCham’s work and all its efforts. Kelly Cailes and his team along with all the Canada Day committee members (John Casella, John Stevens, Ron Livingston, Dan Mackay, Michael Thomas, Jen Meckhayai & Sunny Patel) deserve a big round of applause for putting on a great show. Music was supplied by Rob Taylor's HaHaHa and Les Walsh's Southern Cross.

Thank you Sponsors

July – August 2016


Mamber News

John Casella

a CanCham Cornerstone


John Casella is one of the most well-known, respected and visible members of the Canadian community in Thailand. So much so that Canadians John doesn’t even know will tell their friends to drop in and see him for advice when traveling through the Land of Smiles.

John’s accomplishments are many and varied. Not only is he the CanCham Treasurer (also a former President of the then called Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce), he’s the Managing Partner of PKF Thailand, a global network of accounting firms that in Thailand provides a range of professional services, including: audit and assurance, accounting and payroll, Thai and International taxation, corporate legal support, and corporate advisory services. He’s a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA); the former being the American standard; the latter the Canadian. John is also Treasurer of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand and supports philanthropic causes as he’s the Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Bangkok South. More importantly, he captained the Thai Stix ball hockey team for many years (leading them to four Asian titles) and won regional championships with the Flying Farangs Ice Hockey Club, he organized the annual Mekong Cup ball hockey tournament for 15 out of its 22 years, he founded the Flying Farangs golf tournament (predecessor to “The Beaver”), and he has organized and MC’ed numerous annual Canada Day celebrations in Bangkok. The irony is that John only meant to stay in Southeast Asia for six months when he showed up here to do some traveling and visit his sister back in 1996. He was planning on continuing his travels and had thought of setting up roots in Argentina or Chile. To get a handle on John’s wanderlust, we need to go to his father, Dr. Luigi Casella, who grew up in Italy, on the coast just south of Naples. He became a doctor in Italy, focusing on the laboratory side of medicine, but he decided what he really wanted to do was be a more interactive physician treating patients. So at 28, he moved to the United States, redid his medical exams in English and after a couple years at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital was given the chance to be the Chief Resident at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto (the first non-Anglo-Saxon to be given such an opportunity). It’s worth



Emilia Casella with Bon, John & the kids noting that John’s father is quite an academic, finishing four years ahead of his class and that he’s proficient in five languages. Dr. Casella arrived in Toronto in 1960 with no real plans on establishing roots and he didn’t really think Toronto was where he would settle down. But soon afterwards he met John’s mother, Margaret, the couple married and moved to Boston where Luigi was offered a position with Harvard’s Faculty of Medicine. John’s sister Emilia was born there in 1963. The Casellas had met at a dinner party in Toronto. John’s mom grew up in the Ottawa Valley; her family, the Headricks having emigrated from Scotland in the 1820s. There is an interesting parallel between John’s mother and his wife, Lamthong or “Bon”, who also hails from a rural community, Khon Kaen in Thailand. Both grew up in large families, and both went on to be the only one in their clan to earn Master’s Degrees; John’s mom received a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Toronto, and Bon an MBA from ABAC. And John met Bon at a dinner party. The Casellas came back to Toronto soon after Emilia was born in ‘63 where Dr. Casella did his fellowship in cardiology at the University of Toronto, returning to St. Mike’s Hospital where he worked for the next 51 years until his retirement at the age of 84.

John was born in 1966 and in 1968 the Casellas bought a house on Douglas Drive in Rosedale, being one of the first, if not the first, Italian-Canadian families to move into the WASPy stronghold of Rosedale. By this time, Toronto had grown on Dr. Casella as had his ties to Toronto’s growing Italian community. John went to public school in Toronto before earning his undergraduate degree in psychology at Huron College of the University of Western Ontario. He then went on to do Honours Bachelors of Commerce at the University of Windsor, focusing on accounting as he was always good with numbers. In 1992, upon graduation, he took a job with Arthur Anderson in downtown Toronto. He stayed with the firm for four years, leaving as a senior auditor. By 1996, he had grown restless, and realized he wasn’t happy to spend the rest of his working days running on a gerbil wheel in Toronto. He needed a change. John’s sister Emilia, a journalist, who had been covering Queen’s Park for the Hamilton Spectator had also grown restless in the mid-1990s and had taken a leave of absence from her job to do some work in Cambodia. Emilia had decided to stay in Southeast Asia and had taken a job with CNBC in Bangkok. John had gone to work right after graduating from the University of Windsor, he hadn’t taken a year off to travel for an extended period like many others, but he felt now

Mamber News was the time to do so and visiting Emilia in Bangkok seemed the logical place to start. 10 August 1996 was arrival day for John in Thailand; he was two days shy of his 30th birthday (an interesting tie-in to his dad as Luigi Casella had left Italy when he was 28). John was not overly impressed with Bangkok when he first arrived (again, similar to his father’s early perception of Toronto). But John did know he wanted to cycle through one of the countries he traveled through and he hoped to get some hockey in (he brought both a hockey stick and bicycle with him) and he knew he also wanted to travel through Nepal. After spending time with Emilia in Bangkok, he traveled to Vietnam and Laos, deciding that Vietnam would be the country he cycled through. But first he traveled to Nepal in October, trekking to both the Annapurna Sanctuary and the Everest Base Camp. Then, he spent a week in Cambodia before returning to Vietnam and peddled his mountain bike up the 1,800 km coastal route from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. John had originally planned on spending six months in Asia. His parents came out to Bangkok to share Christmas 1996 with John and Emilia, who had just moved into a new apartment and was looking for a roommate. So John decided to sniff around and see if he could come up with any interesting job prospects (this coincided with the Team Canada-Jean Chretien visit of early 1997). John landed a position as an operations analyst with the Dusit Hotels & Resorts Group in February of 1997. He held a similar role as an operational consultant for six-months with The Sheraton in downtown Toronto in the first part of 1996, just after leaving Arthur Anderson and before heading out to Asia. John stayed with the Dusit Group for 18 months, during which time the economic crisis hit in mid-1997 and John’s role went from helping to develop properties and projects to focusing on cost cutting and internal controls. This did not intrigue him as much, so he found a more challenging opportunity in debt restructuring with Churchill Pryce, a boutique corporate financial advisory services company that quickly built a name for itself on many high-profile restructures. Between 1999 and 2000 it restructured more debt than any other company in Thailand.

Bon, John & the kids with John's parents

As one of Churchill-Pryce’s directors John’s tasks in debt restructuring included being a court-appointed planner and plan administrator in bankruptcy reorganizations. He also worked on many corporate financial advisory, operational consulting and venture capital projects. He stayed with the company for a decade but as it started to veer from its core competency of financial consultancy and debt restructuring it was time for John to move on.

John cycling thru Vietnam John was well acquainted with the firm Baker Tilly as it was also a licensed court-appointed planner/plan administrators in debt restructuring in Thailand as John knew them from some of his earlier debt restructuring cases. He had hired Baker Tilly to serve in the role of outsourced accounting, payroll and tax compliance for some of his debt restructuring cases, as well as auditors in other cases. So when Baker Tilly offered John a job in October 2008 as Director of Business Services in their Tax and Consulting Services firm, he already had a good understanding of the company. By the middle of 2012, John because the Managing Partner of Baker Tilly Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. Then, in late 2012, John was introduced by Michael Howard (longtime Treasurer of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce) to his former KPMG boss named John Sim who had just moved into the role of Director for Asia-Pacific at PKF. In a brazen move, John Casella chose to switch the shingle on his door to the letters “PKF” at the beginning of 2013 as he rebranded his company to PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. Later in 2013, John Sim helped convince John Casella to add PKF Audit (Thailand) Ltd. to the service mix. In the same year, John Sim was promoted to Global CEO of PKF International, overseeing the entire PKF network of over 400 offices operating in 150 countries. And

in 2014, they added PKF Advisory (Thailand) Ltd. to the PKF Thailand family, too. In establishing PKF Thailand, John’s responsibilities have broadened to provide a comprehensive and integrated range of professional services to help clients throughout their life-cycle. PKF can help its clients with initial feasibility studies and due diligence; moving to company set-up (including licenses and BOI), work permits and visas, strategic planning, tax efficiencies, outsourced accounting/payroll and tax compliance, audit and assurance services, internal controls and risk management, corporate secretarial and corporate governance, Thai and International tax advisory services, corporate advisory services, investment and exit opportunities, restructuring, and finally liquidation (if required) to close off the cycle. As Managing Partner of PKF Thailand, John enjoys his new position. He says it feels good to help cover his clients’ backs and he enjoys the feeling of really helping his clients. He is dedicated to building PKF Thailand into a thriving practice and to helping his client to strengthen and grow their business is best way to ensure success. This commitment to protecting his clients is reflected in John’s series of blog featured on the CanCham website under the title, “How to Avoid Getting Run-Over and Ripped-Off by Your Accountant in Thailand.” After nearly 20 years in Thailand, John likes to think of himself as a trusted business advisor and friend to his clients and the community at large. And his strong management team of Thais and Expats at PKF Thailand are building a successful practice based the core values of: passion, teamwork, clarity, quality and integrity. On a more personal note, on 24 Sept 2007, John’s life changed dramatically with the birth of his daughter, Vanessa. Three years later, on 3 Oct 2010, John’s world was rocked even further will the arrival of two more girls, Sabreena and Madilynn. He says the adjustment to being a father has been easier than he thought it would be. He knew it would be a big responsibility, he just didn’t know it would be so much fun. His wife Bon works as an Office Manager for recruitment firm McMorran Associates, and is having just as much fun being a mom. John has a lot of determination; when he sets his sights on a goal he invariably accomplishes it and this has held him in good stead in his personal and professional lives. Most Canadians who reside in Bangkok have been touched in one form or another by his good efforts. CanCham is fortunate to have him on our team. John.Casella@pkf.com www.pkfthailand.asia and www.pkf.com

July – August 2016


CanCham News

A bright future for Canadian firms in the Thai aviation sector Story by Darcy Drury and Matthew Kalisz


The Thai aviation industry and that of Southeast Asia's in general is expanding rapidly. With larger aircraft fleets, there will be a growing demand for airport infrastructure, maintenance, overhaul, and repair services, as well as training for pilots, navigators and on-ground personnel. As a world-leader in many of these subsectors, Canadian companies are well poised to take advantage of this opportunity, either through the supply of products and services or collaboration with local Thai firms. This article highlights the Thai and Canadian aviation industries, and outlines potential opportunities for cooperation.

I. Thailand’s Aviation Sector Growing Passenger Volume surpasses 110 million Thailand’s aviation industry is booming and poised to take off further in the coming decade. Not only is it the second largest aviation market in ASEAN with over 110 million passengers each year, it is growing at an annual pace of over 13%. While the rate of Thai nationals travelling has steadily increased over the past decade, growth is strongest in the inbound tourist sector, reaching nearly 30 million visitors in 2015. These trends have been encouraged by the competitive low-cost carrier (LCCs) subsector which represents 36% of total aircraft movements and continues to gain market share. Airlines and Airports looking to expand capacities Currently there are six major airlines in Thailand, which are supported by 38 airports. Of these airports, Suvarnabhumi (BKK) is the largest and busiest, with over 52 million passengers in 2015. Airports of Thailand (AOT), which operates the six international airports, has taken steps to expand Suvarnabhumi by 33%, with expected costs at THB 66 billion (CAD 2.5 billion). There are also plans to maximize the capacity of the other international airports of Don Mueang (DMK), Phuket (HKT), Chiang Mai (CNX), and Hat Yai (HDY) to accommodate larger passenger capacities. Incentives for FDI and expertise in the budding MRO sector Accommodating this rapid expansion in Thai aviation is the rapidly growing Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) sector. Thailand is strategically positioned in the centre of ASEAN, and located in the middle of major



parts suppliers China and Singapore. With ASEAN fleets expected to double in the next 15 years, the government of Thailand and the Board of Investment are looking to take advantage of the rise of the ASEAN MRO market. The Thai government hopes to encourage investment in the MRO market through both tax and non-taxed based incentives (e.g. import tariff reduction, corporate tax exemption, land ownership, etc.), creating opportunities for Canadian businesses to invest and lend expertise.

employing 180 000 Canadians, contributed CAD $27.7billion to Canadian GDP in 2014, with Canada’s aerospace manufacturing and MRO sectors having grown by 29% and 37% respectively over the past decade. The aerospace industry is also one of Canada’s leading export sectors, sending 80% of its products abroad, including to the US (57%), Europe (21%), and Asia-Pacific (14%) regions. Exports to the Asia-Pacific are growing at the fastest pace, up 190% since 2003.

II. Canadian Aerospace

Specialty Sectors and Major players leading innovation Canadian firms are highly competitive in many areas of the aerospace industry. According to a 2014 study by Frost & Sullivan, Canada ranks first in the world in civil flight simulation, as well as third in both civil aircraft production and civil engine production. In

Industry at a glance: facts & figures The Canadian aerospace industry is a strategically important contributor to the Canadian economy in terms of employment, innovation, productivity, R&D, GDP, and trade. The industry, which is made up of over 700 firms

CanCham News

regards to the expanding subsector of flight simulation, 54% of all exports in this area are to the Asia-Pacific region, which has a growing need for accredited pilot training and development. This area is led by companies such as CAE, which trains over 75000 crew members yearly and reported revenues of over CAD $2 billion in 2013. Major firms in aircraft production include Bombardier Aerospace and Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, which are both considered world leaders in the design and manufacture of innovative aviation products and services for regional, business, and governmental aircraft. In regards to aircraft engine production, Pratt & Whitney Canada is helping to drive global innovation in design and production. Finally, the landing gear market is the undisputed domain of Canadian industry: Goodrich is the chosen supplier of components for Airbus’ A380 landing gear system, MessierDowty supplies landing gear to Boeing for the 787 Dreamliner, and Heroux-Devtek is a reputable supplier of landing gear systems and MRO services for many other aircraft programs.

III. Canadian Activity in Thailand Canadian companies have already made an impact on the Thai aviation industry, and there is great potential for others to follow suit. Nok Air operates a fleet of Bombardier

Q400 aircraft and was the launch customer for the Q400’s high density seating configuration. Many Thai pilots have received training on simulators from CAE of Montreal, and Canadian MRO firms with facilities across Canada as well as in Asia are called upon to service Thai aircraft.

IV. Singapore Airshow 2016 Recap The Singapore Airshow 2016 took place from 16 to 21 February with more than one thousand exhibitors and over 100,000 visitors attending the event, making this Asia’s largest Aerospace and Defence show. Seventy-two Canadian companies, organizations, and agencies participated with an estimated 200+ Canadians in town working the show floor. Canadian VIPs participating in the show included the Commander of the Royal Canada Air Force, Chair of the Board of Directors, and President of the Aerospace Industry Association of Canada (AIAC) Canadian companies, industry associations, and government representatives worked together to match Canadian capabilities to foreign buyers and potential partners. A number of deals were closed at the show and many new relationships were started. As a testament to the importance of the show overall, a total of fifty-one deals were made at Singapore Airshow 2016, includ-

ing eleven with an announced total value of US$12.7 billion and another 40 of undisclosed amounts

V. CASEA 2016 in Bangkok The Southeast Asian aviation industry looks forward to the Civil Aviation Southeast Asia Summit (CASEA) which is scheduled to take place 26 to 28 July in Bangkok. The theme of this year’s event is “Preparing the Growth for Tomorrow”. CASEA 2016 aims to be the platform for all major stakeholders interested in discussing the current outlook for the Southeast Asia aviation industry, as well as the opportunities and challenges posed by the rapidly expanding sector. This event expects over thirty industry leaders and over 200 senior executives of major aviation companies in attendance. All interested companies, particularly those that specialize in services and training, are welcome to attend.

VI. A Final Note The potential for Canadian companies to become players in the Thai and ASEAN aviation industries is vast. With fleets expected to double in the coming decades, all facets of the aviation industry will need to grow rapidly alongside them.

July – August 2016


CanCham News

Professional Skill Building in the Heart of Southeast Asia:

The Lasting Value of an Internship in Bangkok By Michael Thomas greater focus on practical details and the latter a greater focus on theoretical ones, my position at CanCham benefits from the theoretical perspective gained during my education while amplifying the professional skills I have developed through the MGA. It is in this understanding, this knowledge that I can spend the summer strengthening my professional skill set in such a holistic way, that I find my internship to be so important.

Michael Thomas MGA candidate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Commercial Coordinator at CanCham Thailand


Settling into the cool relief of office air-conditioning following my scorching commute, I open my laptop and go over today’s priorities. In my new role as the Commercial Coordinator at CanCham Thailand, my daily goals are distinct from those I would pursue on a typical day of studying in Toronto. They are not, however, unaffected by lessons learned in my academic life. As a Master of Global Affairs (MGA) candidate at the University of Toronto’s Munk School (or “Munk” as it is commonly referred to by its students), I have spent the past year immersed in a combination of academic and professional skillbuilding exercises. The MGA program focuses on bolstering students’ abilities to use this combination of skills when approaching problems that are global in nature. In typical academic fashion, the program’s classes aim to do this by delivering a theoretical understanding of various global topics. However, the MGA is unique in its aim to match these theoretical teachings with the development of practical skills that are essential in the professional world. It is within this context that I recognize the relationship between the priorities I set at CanCham and the education I have received at Munk. While the former may require a



Back in Toronto, I came to realize this importance more and more. With this in mind, I set out in the spring to find an organization with which to intern. When I was presented with several options at the end of the semester, the mantra of global problem-solving preached by Munk’s faculty factored heavily into the decision to pack my bags and relocate to Bangkok for the summer. Having spent some time in Bangkok in 2014, I understood on a basic level some of the globalized challenges Thailand’s metropolis faced. Bangkok is chaotic. It is unpredictable. It seems, in many ways, entirely backwards. While these factors presented the city as an environment that could deter even the most risk-savvy CEO when looking for new market to expand into, Thailand as a whole did show some encouraging indicators. It seemed to have relatively well-established infrastructure networks, a sizeable workforce, and a more welcoming environment for business than neighbours such as Myanmar or Laos. These characteristics presented counterbalances of deterrence and attraction in the realm of foreign direct investment, modernity and inefficiency in the realm of technology, and hope and pessimism in the realm of general economic development. The observations made on that first visit stuck with me after I returned to Canada, and when the time came to start thinking about internships, they combined to frame Thailand as a perfect country in which an MGA student could put their global problem-solving skills to the test. So at the conclusion

of the program’s first year when I was presented with internship offers in Washington, Shanghai and Bangkok, I decided to return to Thailand without hesitation. Arriving here for the internship, I immediately noticed that things didn’t appear the same as they did during my initial visit to the country. Maybe this was due to the changing political times, or maybe it was just the softening of culture shock that can occur when you’ve already witnessed the other side of the world. The impact of these factors is probable, but what I now recognize as the definitive factor that altered my perspective on Thailand this time around is the heavier importance I placed on global problem solving following a year at Munk. Without taking away from the chaotic magic of Bangkok, the lens through which I now view the country is one that constantly takes into account the relationship between Thailand and Canada, the mutual benefits that can come from the relationship, and the problem that this relationship is not as strong as it could be. In my role at CanCham, I am constantly learning through meetings, discussions and assessments about the specific factors that allow this problem to persist. At the same time, I am learning about potential solutions. In my first month of work at CanCham, I have found myself asking new questions about the Thai-Canadian relationship that I hadn’t considered before. Is Bangkok’s proximity to Singapore deterring Canadian companies from establishing operations in Thailand? Is Thailand’s ageing population a potential issue for Canadian direct investment? Will the ASEAN Economic Community have an impact on trade relations? By discussing such questions with those who work in the field of Thai-Canadian relations every day and by constantly gaining exposure to the workings of this partnership, I have been able to develop a more well-rounded view of the ways in which barriers to Thai-Canadian relations can be solved. This would not have

CanCham News

been possible without my internship at CanCham. Each day, I find myself gaining a better understanding of the issues facing Thai-Canadian relations, meaning that my work at the Chamber has now started to affect my academic life in the same way that my studies in the MGA have affected my professional life. The gains from this situation are matched by the opportunities CanCham has provided me with to develop the hard professional skills that no hands-off education can deliver. Presenting plans in board meetings, managing budgets, finding new ways to generate revenue and promoting my organization’s brand are skills that only time spent in the professional world can deliver. They are experiences that I know will benefit me long after I have received my MGA degree. So as I settle into my desk this morning and look over my priorities, I feel fortunate for the opportunity I have been given. CanCham is a great organization in which to build my professional capabilities into more than just a theoretical understanding of global problem solving. Bangkok is an incredible city in which to understand new approaches to problems that are global in nature. I am grateful for the opportunity that CanCham has given me to strengthen my professional skills and learn more about Thai-Canadian relations, and I am equally grateful that the MGA program sees internships as such a crucial component of a professionally-oriented education. I see immeasurable value in this. So going over my priorities for the day, the summer, and even the next year, I find myself understanding even more that the complimentary relationship between my education and my internship will have invaluable lasting effects. Advanced education in global problem solving is increasingly important in today’s interconnected global environment. Having the opportunity to experience global problem solving first hand through an internship on the other side of the world is something truly special.

Darcy Drury Joint MBA/MGA candidate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Commercial Section Intern at the Canadian Embassy in Thailand.


“I believe an internship should push me outside of my comfort zone and have me learn how to adapt to a completely new environment. While this can happen anywhere, coming to Bangkok has truly lived up to my expectations and I would recommend this experience to anyone looking to grow personally, professionally, or emotionally. Interning at the Canadian Embassy, I experience the intersection of business, politics, and international relations on a daily basis. There is so much to be gained by improving the relationship between our two countries and sharing our values to make the world a better place.”

Tessa MacNeil MGA candidate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Political Section Intern at the Canadian Embassy in Thailand


“Interning in Bangkok allows me to work and learn in what I truly believe to be a future pillar of ASEAN and Canada’s gateway to Southeast Asia. It’s a bonus that I get to experience a wonderfully chaotic, vibrant and friendly city with a diverse cultural landscape that has a lot to offer anyone. Thailand’s political environment is nothing short of complex, and Bangkok in particular is a hotbed for political activism. In my role as intern, I conduct research and write reports on challenging and sensitive issues, like Thailand’s ongoing political instability, that are impacting Canada-Thailand relations. Canada’s Embassy in Bangkok works tirelessly to determine whether bilateral files can be advanced in a secure and stable manner, ultimately to ensure the interests of Canadians are at all times protected; an objective I am proud to be a part of, even if only for the summer.” July – August 2016


CanCham News

Bojana Radan MGA candidate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Regional Intern at Youth LEAD Bangkok


“I chose to intern at Youth LEAD because of my passion for global health with the specific interest to help provide access to healthcare for the most stigmatized and marginalized populations. My undergraduate degree was in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology with a specialization in infectious diseases; therefore, working with Youth LEAD provided me an outlet to connect my passion in science with my passion for human rights and equitable healthcare. The cherry on top was the fact that this position was in a major metropolitan hub of Asia. I wanted to be challenged during my time abroad and get out of my comfort zone and I believed that working in Bangkok would allow me to do just this. Not only does this type of environment provide me the tools to successfully foster future collaborations and partnerships, but it also allows me the opportunity to explore the different cultures of Southeast Asia, one of my primary goals during this internship. I truly look forward to the rest of the summer and a bright internship at Youth LEAD.”

Olivia Sonnenberg MGA candidate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Regional Intern at Youth LEAD Bangkok


“During my internship, I have had the opportunity to help document and promote Youth LEAD’s training workshop and Regional Dialogue on raising young voices within the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria grant application and implementation process. I have also had the privilege to support Youth LEAD’s advocacy efforts with regard to the UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. As I intend to pursue a career in the field of human rights advocacy, I look forward to further opportunities to engage with policy makers and young activists in pursuit of gender equality, LGBT rights, an end to stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), the expansion of harm reduction policies, and enhanced sexual and reproductive health and rights across the Asia-Pacific region. As it is my first time in Asia, I also look forward to travelling throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia generally, for both business and pleasure.”

Profile: Youth LEAD


Youth LEAD is a regional network of young key populations affected by HIV/AIDS (YKAP). YKAP include young sex workers, injection drug users, men who have sex with men (MSM), people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), and transgender youth. Youth LEAD seeks to be the catalyst of change and empowerment for young key populations at higher risk of exposure to HIV by providing them the tools needed for capacity building, advocacy, and education.



President's Message

President's Message Continued from page 3

One of the last requests we made of Ambassador Calvert was to address the JFCCT President’s Council, as CanCham only hosts this luncheon once every three years. It is an opportunity for CanCham and the Embassy to give all of the other foreign chambers of commerce a taste of Canada. The Ambassador did a great job by presenting to our foreign colleagues a review of the core Canadian values that help to brand what Canada is all about. The Thai economy accelerated in the first quarter of this year, providing some relief to the military government that is working to revive the economy. In Q1, GDP expanded on the back of an improvement in the external sector’s contribution to overall growth as exports accelerated markedly and imports tallied a steeper contraction compared to Q4’s figures. In addition, growth in government spending almost doubled the previous quarter’s reading amid an aggressive fiscal stimulus. Conversely, high household debt weighed on private consumption and the recent severe droughts has impacted the economy. While Q1’s acceleration is a sign of improvement, the economy’s prospects remain dismal as exports and private consumption—the two main growth drivers—remain sluggish One issue affecting most expats working in Thailand is the requirement for 90-day reporting. CanCham is working with the JFCCT who’s Policy is to remove 90-day reporting and report changes only. A new Immigration plan expands 90-day reporting to include providing information about social media used, clubs frequented and bank accounts. A submission has been sent dated 25 April to

five key government officials and posted on the JFCCT website. Indications are that Immigration may not require all information listed but the Phuket administration is pressing it. Further it appears that the same questions will be used for all foreign entrants (presumably not for visitors but most likely for those with a work permit or visa supporting work). This needs to be monitored and further dialogue is needed. CanCham and the JFCCT are working to have the government review old laws and make efforts to improve the efficiency of doing business in Thailand. Improved business efficiency will support an increase in investment in Thailand. In closing, as President of the CanCham Thailand I would like to thank all of our members, associates and staff for their active contribution in making a strong and vibrant organization. I would also like to give a special thanks to the Board Members, Advisors and Executive Director for their hard work in promoting and implementing our many events. We encourage our members to get involved and work with us throughout the year. If you have any comments or suggestions and would like to contact me directly, please feel free to do so at ron@iem-global.com. Ron D. Livingston President CanCham Thailand.

May Canuck Connections

Revolucion Cocktail Bangkok, the hip and happening new bar on Sathorn Soi 10, hosted May’s Canuck Connections in conjunction with both the Singapore-Thai and Irish-Thai Chambers of Commerce. A good time was had by all in attendance.

July – August 2016



Huge degrees of debt? Not necessarily!


As I’ve mentioned in previous Voyageur articles, even after the experience of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, levels of private debt may have to some extent deleveraged but it’s still massive across G7 countries – especially in Canada. The vast majority of that debt is locked into mortgages and that’s not likely to change until the property bubble eventually bursts. That was underlined in March when Statistics Canada reported that there had been a 6.3% increase in home-loan debt in 2015 alone. However to concentrate solely on mortgages would be to overlook important other types of household debt: in December 2014, 5.4% of all household debt was in credit cards, for example. That’s a hefty amount but can be reduced relatively quickly by consumers simply deciding not to spend for a while and pay off the cards. What causes concern over the longer term though is students starting out their – often low-salaried – professional lives saddled with large amounts of debt. Between 1999 and 2012 the total value of outstanding student loans rose by almost 44%. More worrying still is the haziness of the real figures. That’s because some loans are taken out through the federal loans system, some through the provincial governments and others privately. Then there are students who use lines of credit and/or credit cards to pay their way. Actual levels of debt are therefore tricky to track on a macro level. Still, if we take a look at the federal loans system alone, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) reckons that the total amount students owed to the government was already at CA$15 billion in September 2010 – the ceiling set in 2000 under the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act. The CFS claims that, to avoid surpassing this limit, the then government altered the definition of the term student loan to exclude over CA$1.5 billion in federal student loan debt. The limit was still surpassed, so the government shifted the ceiling to CA$19 billion in 2011. If all that is true, it’s merely a case of massaging the figures: common practice amongst governments worldwide. The key issue, though, is how affordable it is for Canadians to offer their children post-secondary education.



Here, the big question is whether your daughter or son holds Canadian citizenship or not. A Canadian citizen would normally pay an average of CA$6,000 a year in tuition fees, whereas a non-Canadian would usually have to put down a minimum of CA$14,000. Even if you qualify for the lower amount, the CFS calculates that Canadian students usually come out of post-secondary education with debts of between CA$13,000 (Québec) and CA$28,000 (Ontario and the Maritimes) – not a comforting start to life after study. These amounts depend on many factors, including which academic institution you choose, in which province it is located and in which course your son or daughter is enrolling. However, the overall picture seems to discredit the much vaunted argument that overall Canada is still a cheap place to live; and that the heady valuations of the property market should be considered reasonable within an overall framework that promises much more cost-effective education and healthcare than Canada’s much more vocal neighbour. Surprisingly, given the amount of investment potentially involved at home and a traditional love of travel, very few Canadians decide to study abroad. The most recent statistics (2014) show that only 3.1% of full-time undergraduate students actually took the leap to leave the country to attend university. By the term abroad, you may assume I’m talking about institutions in the US, UK or Ireland – paths well-trodden by Canucks. Frankly, you’re unlikely to find fees in those three countries anywhere near as good value as in Canada. However, if you look further afield, you’ll find that there are many courses taught in English and/or French throughout Europe, irrespective of whether these are official languages in that country. The Netherlands was the pioneer in offering courses taught purely in English; although fees start at around CA$7,250 if you can’t pull out an EU-country’s passport from somewhere. However, just across the border in Belgium, fees start at just CA$1,300 a year with monthly living expenses slightly below that of Canada. Down the road in Germany – where it costs roughly the same to live as the combined average for the 10 provinces and 3 territories – fees can be as little as CA$218 a year. If you want overall value, a Greek university course can cost around $CA1,450 a year

with just CA$12,500 annual living expenses. Institutions in the biggest cities – Athens and Thessalonica – offer a wide range of degree courses taught in English and the universities have a good reputation. Although whether you’d like your beloved taking their education fund to a land of all-night bars and beach parties is a totally different matter! For undergraduate courses taught in French, the Belgian regions of Brussels and Wallonia offer famous institutions at good value for money – as mentioned above. Annual fees in France start at just CA$275, irrespective of nationality. The cost of living is – as you would expect – higher in Paris than the Canadian average; but around CA$580 a month less than Canada in the university town of Toulouse, for example. This is just a general picture of some of the possibilities out there and each case is different. As in Canada it depends on the type of course, if financial assistance is provided by the institution, nationality and, more importantly, your family’s own priorities. Nevertheless, it goes to show that there are some interesting alternatives out there and – if you’re a parent to a younger child – it’s time to start looking at putting money away into an education savings plan before it’s too late.

Paul Gambles, 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. For more information: Tel: +66 2665 2536 e-mail: info@mbmg-group.com Linkedin: MBMG Group Twitter: @MBMGIntl Facebook: /MBMGGroup 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.

What’s new in global mobility trends? It is an exciting time to be a mobility professional, particularly if you are able to embrace and lead change. 3. LGBT moves The increase in the global reach of many companies is the recognition that not all locations where companies do business are safe or legal for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) assignees. Supporting LGBT assignees requires mobility teams to be informed and to adjust policies to support same-sex couples and other assignees who may require special preparations and considerations.

4. Flexibility and employee choices Flexibility for the company may mean different levels of benefits for different assignment types. Flexibility for employees may include a cash allowance in place of some services, such as choosing a furniture allowance in place of shipping household goods.

5. Risk and compliance

Technology is pivotal, leading to the “überization” of just about everything, including our growing desire for real-time data and mobile services. Another industry changer stems from large demographic shifts and a growing corporate focus on recruiting and retaining talent. We see the impact of this on corporate benefits, like expanding maternity and paternity leave, flexibility in the workplace environment and shifts in mobility program design. Where does this leave us in mobility in 2016? Here are some of the latest trends in global mobility that will help you plan for next steps and strategies:

1. Recruiting talent Businesses are more often finding that their next growth location is in a new country, this means that many of the skills needed to successfully launch the initiative may come from international assignments or transfers, and requires a strong relationship between mobility and recruiting. We anticipate that Mobility Consultants will work more directly with recruiters and potential hires to establish the high-value candidate’s needs.

2. Über mobility In the age of Über, mobility apps and technology are a leading development in the world of employee mobility and finding the right combination for smart mobility. Companies that ran with self-help approaches now require more of a balance – such as an upfront program orientation to identify needs and respond to employee and family questions.

Companies have begun to integrate corporate risk management into their mobility programs and duty of care considerations for their employees. Immigration and business practice compliance are critical to a business’ success – and an employee’s well-being.

6. Permanent transfers Applying a permanent relocation policy in lieu of a temporary assignment policy has cost advantages. Unfortunately, this may also open up a company to tax and immigration liabilities. Companies that are seeking a lower-cost alternative to temporary assignments would be better served by developing a local plus temporary assignment policy, instead of a permanent relocation policy.

7. Self-initiated moves Millennials want international experiences – and many are willing to do it without extensive support or expectation of repatriation. Companies want employees to have international experiences without the full cost of a typical expatriate assignment. Self-initiated moves serve both interests, with basic policies primarily emphasizing compliance-related support and limited assistance.

8. Family considerations Addressing the needs of dual-career families, split-families, single or divorced employees with child custody and same-sex couples – as well as providing support for employees’ parents who are recognized as dependents.

What to know about deep vein thrombosis before flying


By Dr. Veeravorn Ariyakhagorn Specialist for Vascular Surgery, Bumrungrad Hospital. Airplane travel is extremely safe but for some people there is a risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Learn what causes it, its symptoms, and how to avoid it with these tips from Bumrungrad International Hospital. What is deep vein thrombosis? Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of blood clots in the deep veins within your body, most often in the legs. The danger with DVT is that the clot can come detached and travel to the lungs and block essential blood flow, which is known as a pulmonary embolism. Immobilization for long periods of time can lead to the development of deep vein thrombosis. This is why sitting on long flights is a concern, particularly for those at risk of developing DVT. People with hereditary diseases in which their blood clots easily, who are pregnant and therefore have increased pressure on their pelvic and leg veins, who have an existing injury to their veins or the adjacent tissue, or who lack mobility due to old age or obesity are at highest risk of developing DVT during a lengthy flight. Deep vein thrombosis symptoms included swelling of the legs with redness, warmth, or tenderness. You may experience symptoms in only one leg and not both.



However, DVT may also occur without any obvious symptoms. If a blood clot has occurred and has dislodged itself, it can cause a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms of a blood clot blocking a major lung artery include: chest pain particularly when taking a deep breath or during a cough; shortness of breath; rapid pulse; feeling dizzy or lightheaded; and coughing up blood. Tips to preventing deep vein thrombosis There are several simple ways to prevent the onset of deep vein thrombosis while flying. Incorporate light exercises and movement during long flights. Get up and walk around when the seatbelt display light is off. While you are in your seat, do neck rolls, arm stretches, and ankle turns. At the very least, move your lower legs by extending them

straight out at the knee and then returning them to a bent position several times. Do not cross your legs or arms during the flight as this can restrict blood flow. Take your prescribed medication, particularly if you’ve just had surgery and have been prescribed blood thinners. After speaking with your doctor, you may also want to take aspirin or other similar medication that help prevent clots. compression stockings or socks while flying is an excellent way to reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. These come in a variety of pressures (from light to strong) and lengths (from knee high to thigh high). These work by applying pressure that helps move blood upwards to your heart and prevents blood pooling in your lower legs and feet. It significantly reduces leg swelling and, to an extent, lessens blood clotting. Contact Bumrungrad if you think you are suffering from deep vein thrombosis. If you believe you are suffering from deep vein thrombosis because you experience the symptoms as described above, please contact your doctor. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and determine which preventative measures and treatment are right for you.

Eric Kenso Ward, ISB Class of 1979

International School Bangkok Bringing out the superhero in each of us since 1951. www.isb.ac.th

July – August 2016




Celebrates Global

















From 194 Selective universities and colleges (Data correct as of 23/05/16. Southern hemisphere application process has not yet commenced)


in the Top 25 of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16

UK Universities

USA Universities

Imperial College London

Carnegie Mellon University

London School of Economics and Political Science

Johns Hopkins University

University of Edinburgh University College London

Rest of the World University of Toronto, Canada

Northwestern University University of California, Berkeley University of California, Los Angeles University of Chicago University of Michigan University of Pennyslvania

Our mission is to ensure that students of different nationalities grow to their full potential as independent learners in a caring British international community. 643 Lasalle Road, Bangna, Bangkok | T: +66 (0) 2785 2200

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


Profile for CanCham Thailand

Voyageur july august 2016  

Voyageur july august 2016