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Free Copy

May - June 2016



a publication of CANCHAM Thailand

Welcoming Three New Board Members

Lloyd Wilson Nitipong Boonsong Sunny Patel

The Ultimate 2016 Beaver Golf


2016 Canada Day Saturday, June 18, 2016 | 04:00PM - 10:00PM at the British Club, Silom, Bangkok Reservation at www.tccc.or.th or 02 266 6085

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

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,


Spring has finally arrived in Canada after a very long and cold winter. I know many expats are starting to plan their summer holidays in Canada during the summer school break. I too am looking forward to getting back to the lake for some water skiing, fishing and those great Canadian BBQ’s. Here in Thailand we have been busy wrapping up the CanCham 2015-2016 year. Finalizing our accounts, conducting the Annual General Meeting and holding our annual elections for the new CanCham Board. I am pleased to provide you with the names of our newly elected board. 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 Advisors: Sean Brady Peter van Haren Dan MacKay David A. F. Macdonald Stephen Janson Don Lavoie Executive Director Kelly Cailes Continued on page 4 May June 2016


President Message

Thailand’s economy accelerated markedly last year and more recent data show that it likely grew at a strong rate in the first quarter of this year. In March, exports expanded again after 13 consecutive months of contractions and business confidence reached the highest level in a year. Earlier this month, the military government unveiled another draft of the new constitution after the one that was prepared in September of last year was rejected. The new draft calls for a Senate that is fully appointed by the military-led National Council for Peace and Order and may allow for the nomination of a non-elected Prime Minister. This draft will be voted on in a referendum on 7 August. The Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) forecasts a 2.8% growth in 2016. A few days after our CanCham Annual General Meeting and the election of the new board, we held a Saturday retreat to conduct our annual planning session to set our Objectives and Activities for the coming year. Our targets for this year are as follows: Mission: To support, promote and enhance member business interests by fostering Thai-Canadian relationships. Objectives: • To provide CANCHAM members with value-added business support, services and benefits • To provide business access to the Thai market for CANCHAM members • To provide business development support activities to raise the profile of CANCHAM and its members • To promote closer business relations between Thailand and Canada Specific measureable activities have been defined under each of our objectives so that we can monitor and measure our progress and success over the year. It will be a busy year as we are committed to providing CanCham members with 44 chamber events and sponsorship opportunities in order to engage 5,000 participants. Our key events this year will include: The Great Canadian BBQ; Canada Celebration; 2016 Maple Leaf Ball; Beaver Golf Tournament, and a Canadian Seafood and Wine Event. This year too, we are supporting Women in Business networking in cooperation with the Board of Trade and our Canadian Alumni. We will also support an event for Canadian Teachers in Thailand and a Canadian Movie Night. Our ongoing cooperation with the Board of Trade, Thai Chamber of Commerce, Board of Investment, Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce, and Canada ASEAN Business Council will allow us to promote foreign investment opportunities and linkages for our CanCham members. Canada Day will be celebrated on the back lawn of the British Club on Saturday 18th June. Please come and join us for some 3 legged races and tug of wars. We will be taking this opportunity to say farewell to Ambassador Philip Calvert who will be heading back to Canada. In closing, as President of the CanCham Thailand I would like to thank all of our members, associates and staff for the active contribution in making a strong and vibrant organization. I would also like to give a special thanks to the Ambassador and his team for all their support in many ways. Finally, no chamber could successfully operate without the dedication and time that the Board Members, Advisors and Executive Director put into it. They truly are the machine that keeps us moving ahead. We encourage our members to get involved and help us in organizing and running the many events that we have 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-thai.com. Also, let us know if you would like a copy of our 2016-2017 Business Plan Ron D. Livingston President CanCham Thailand.



CanCham News

CanCham 2016-17 Board Members Ron Livingston President

President & CEO of International Environmental Management (IEM)

Mr. Ron Livingston serves as president and chief executive officer of International Environmental Management (IEM), which has offices in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. IEM is an international environmental management consulting firm that supports industry by conducting environmental, social and health impact assessments of newly proposed development projects and assists companies in obtaining approval through the regulatory review process. Ron, in support of sustainable development and the promotion of small businesses, has participated as a Board Member of CanCham for 23 years. He has served as a past president of CanCham and was currently CanCham’s President over this past year. Mr. Livingston also served as a past vice-chairman and director of the Board of Trade of Thailand. May June 2016


CanCham News Dean Outerson

Angus Mitchell

Head of Marketing & Communications at Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, Chulalongkorn University

Partner and Managing Director Thailand DFDL Legal and Tax


Dean Outerson has worked in Thailand for the past 9 years and has 25 years experience living and working in Asia, having previously lived in Japan and Indonesia. Currently, he is Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, Thailand’s first internationally accredited business school. Dean heads the team that handles the marketing and recruiting efforts of the graduate business school. In his previous position as Director of Publications/Managing Editor at Veritas Graphics, he worked closely for a number of years with the British Chamber of Commerce, Australian Chamber, and the New Zealand Chamber on their publications. He has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Bangkok South since 2007 and has served on the Board of Directors four out of the past five years. He has a background in writing, editing and journalism and has a keen interest in digital marketing and social media, education, literature and history. Born in Tillsonburg Ontario, his family moved to Florida when he was 10 years old, and he graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1990. He grew up playing hockey and soccer, and briefly played in the hockey league in Bangkok, until an injury forced him to retire from the game. He is a long suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan, and an optimistic Arsenal fan.

John Stevens Secretary

Managing Director of Carrot Rewards Company Limited John Stevens currently serves as Managing Director of Carrot Rewards Co., Ltd. Carrot Rewards was launched in 2012 and is the official membership program for Rabbit Card – Thailand’s first smartcard for mass transit and retail payments. Rabbit card and Carrot Rewards are associated brands of the BTS Group. Previously, Mr. Stevens was the Founder & Managing Director of Point of View (POV) Media Group Co., Ltd. – a leading out of home advertising company headquartered in Bangkok. Established in 2001, POV owns and operates extensive static and digital media networks located in hundreds of entertainment and dining venues as well as within Bangkok’s top office towers. Mr. Stevens came to Thailand in 1997 and worked in the trade section of the Canadian Embassy. He later joined Nova Gas before embarking on his own entrepreneurial pursuits including “The Best in Bangkok” entertainment guide and thereafter POV. Mr. Stevens is a Vancouverite by birth and is a graduate of the University of British Columbia. He later attended the Asia Pacific Management Cooperative Program at Capilano College which led to his internship at the Embassy of Canada in Bangkok. Mr. Stevens has served on the board of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce since 2010. He also served between 1999 and 2005. He was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Thai – Canadian Chamber of Commerce in 2000 and is active in organizing Chamber’s events and leading a number of marketing initiatives.




Angus Mitchell has more than 20 years of professional experience as a lawyer in Southeast Asia and North America. Mr. Mitchell is a highly experienced general corporate and commercial lawyer with a particular focus on oil & gas and power projects. Mr. Mitchell holds a JD and a BA (Economics) from the University of British Columbia, and is a member of the Law Society of Alberta. After qualifying in Canada, he began his career in 1995 with DFDL’s predecessor firm in Myanmar, moving in 1997 to the Projects group at Linklaters in Singapore. In 2002 Mr. Mitchell moved to Bennett Jones LLP, a top tier Canadian energy law firm in Calgary, where he was a Partner in the Energy and Natural Resources Practice Group. Mr. Mitchell joined DFDL in Thailand in January 2013 and is the managing director of the Thai practice as well as the head of DFDL’s Oil & Gas Division.

John Casella Treasurer

Managing Partner of PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Ltd. / PKF Audit (Thailand) Ltd. Mr. John Casella has more than 20 years of professional experience in accounting, consulting and management positions for a wide range of companies and projects in S.E. Asia and North America. John is the Managing Partner at PKF Tax and Consulting Services (Thailand) Limited where he has successfully built a strong team over the past 5 years providing a broad range of expertise, including: taxation compliance and tax consulting services, outsourced accounting and payroll, corporate legal support, and risk management services. During the last year, John has also opened PKF Audit (Thailand) Ltd. offering audit and assurance services to foreign and local clients alike. Previously, John spent 10 years providing corporate advisory services for Churchill Pryce Capital throughout SE Asia, including corporate debt restructuring, operational consulting, M&A due diligence, business valuation, etc. Before that, John worked as Operations Analyst in the corporate head-office of the Dusit Group in Bangkok.  John started his career with 4 years as a financial audit for Arthur Andersen at their Canadian head-office in Toronto.  John earned an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor and a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario.  He holds an active license as a Certified Public Accountant in the USA and is an active Certified Management Accountant in Canada.  John is a member of the Rotary Club of Bangkok South. He is also an active member of the Bangkok Flying Farangs and Thai Stix hockey teams.  John is a former TCCC President and TCCC Treasurer.

CanCham News Derek van Pelt

Nitipong Boonsong

Managing Director of Siam Wheels Co., Ltd

Senior advisor in the government relations team at Tilleke & Gibbins

Derek van Pelt has been in the Kingdom of Thailand since 1997 when he came to work for the Thai Royal Family at Chitralada Palace School

Nitipong Boonsong is a senior advisor in the government relations team at Tilleke & Gibbins. Focusing primarily on regional investments and large concessions, Nitipong is sought after by highprofile clients for his extensive experience across the Southeast Asia region and his forward-thinking business acumen.


for a year. Mr. van Pelt is currently the Managing Director of TCCC member company Siam Wheels Co. Ltd as well as a Partner & Director in another TCCC member company, Smiling Albino Ltd. His prior work experience also includes working for TravelGuide.com as well as starting and subsequently selling Datcorp Co. Ltd. Mr. van Pelt joined the TCCC Board in 2010 and currently serves as a Vice President. He is frequently seen at TCCC events either behind the scenes or behind the microphone. He looks forward to continuing his work with, and support of, the Canadian community in Thailand.


Based in the firm’s Bangkok office, Nitipong travels regularly across the region, as he has extensive experience working on projects in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. He is frequently tasked with liaising between private sector companies and government entities to administer and facilitate business initiatives. On numerous occasions, Nitipong played a key role in developments that led to various successful deals. He also frequently joins teams, alongside the firm’s litigators, to serve clients in high-stakes dispute resolution matters. Nitipong has an attorney’s license and he successfully obtained an AEC training certificate from King Prajadhipok’s Institute, as well as a certificate for the Participation in the Promotion of Mediation and Fundamental Legal Procedures Project for the Public. Nitipong has also received training in intellectual property law.

Surachit (Art) Chanovan Director

Managing Director of SuccessCanada.org As an active member of the Chamber’s E d u c a t i o n S e c t o r, M r. S u r a c h i t (Art) Chanovan has been a strong advocate of quality education for Thai students and served as the Country Director of TCCC member company, Canadian Education Centre Network (CECN) – Thailand Branch from April 25, 2002 until the network’s global closure in January 2010. He served as a TCCC Board Director from May 2002 to March 2003 and continued as a Board Advisor until 2012 before rejoining as board director in 2013 until present. Mr. Chanovan received the TCCC’s Business Excellence Award in the “Best Canada-Thai Linkages” Category in 2003 for his efforts in promoting Canadian as education destination. Most recently, Mr. Chanovan became the Managing Director of “SuccessCanada.org” from February 1, 2010 to the present. Like CECN, his new entity is the continuation of his excellent job in promoting Canadian education to Thai students working in alliance with his former colleagues from various countries in Asia. In promoting the Canadian education sector, Mr Chanovan has led and/ or supported annual Canadian education fairs, annual secondary school /post-secondary forums, information sessions for schools throughout Bangkok & upcountry, college/university events and student/agent seminars. He has also provided education/travel counseling to various Thai students, parents and local school counselors and provided linkages to various Canadian institutions’ websites for the benefit of Thai public.

Lloyd Wilson Director

Marketing Communications at Berkeley International School Bangkok Lloyd Wilson born in the UK, I spent many years growing up in the USA. My father's contractual work with the US military saw us spend periods of time in Georgia, Texas and California. Worked for many reputable holiday companies over 20 years in tourism/marketing/sales in central Europe based out of Innsbruck, Austria. Studied theatre arts & physical education on both sides of the Atlantic. Marketing Communications Berkeley International School Bangkok. Organize events around Bangkok. Responsible for media campaigns both social & printed. PR manager within the organization. Networking within the business chambers of commerce. Tripled Berkeley's student enrollment in the last 36 months.

Mr. Chanovan, a US graduate has acquired extensive business competencies in the fields of communications, education, international relations, travel, and transportation. His career path has included work assignments as Regional Manager, Asia Pacific of Amadeus, and as Country Manager Thailand of Air New Zealand, a leading Asia Pacific Airlines etc.

May June 2016


CanCham News Joseph Henry

Michael White

Managing Director, Vivaldi Integrated Public Relations

Regional Director, IMAS Group


Joseph Henry founded Vivaldi Relations in 2004. Vivaldi offers full traditional PR, digital PR, social media management and event services, and has evolved to become one of Thailand’s fastest growing and most successful PR companies over the last few years. Vivaldi’s portfolio includes a range of high-profile clients including Jaguar Land Rover, Cartier, Rolex, Nike, William Grant & Sons, Singapore Tourism Board, ONYX Hospitality, Magnolias Finest Corporation, Saint Gobain, Tourism Authority of Thailand, MTV, TNT Express and Qatar Airways. Joseph holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Marketing from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. He is also a National University of Singapore alumnus having completed the Young Managers programme. He is avid athlete who frequently competes in triathlons, adventure races and marathons. He completed his first full Canada ironman Triathlon in 2012.

Previously, Mr. White was the regional sales manager of DG Capitel, a Bangkok-based provider of communication systems and technical services to some of the world’s leading telecom operators. Mr. White first came to Thailand in 2003 and worked on the head Asia desk of Deutsche Presse, covering all regional news stories including the war in Iraq. Mr. White is a Vancouver Islander by birth and a graduate of the University of Victoria. He has served on the board of the Thai-Canadian Chamber twice previously, both in 2005 and 2011, and is very active in event organizing for both the Flying Farangs hockey and Beaver Golf institutions.

Sunny Patel

Owner, Sway Bangkok

Managing Director at Trends Digital Co., Ltd.

Andrew Kloosterhuis has been living abroad for close to 10 years, with 8 of those years being in Thailand. With his vast network built initially during his time as a teacher and subsequently as a business owner in the hospitality industry, Andrew's connections and contacts will offer great added exposure to the chamber's events and other initiatives. A problem solver and a leader, Andrew believes in teamwork, communication and perseverance. He is willing to go the extra mile to be successful and to be better than the competitors. The mantra of 'no task is ever too big or hard, if it means results' is something Andrew lives by. Andrew has used his experience as an owner of a restaurant in Thailand, with its many challenges, as a way to improve, adapt and grow his business. His strong work ethic, creativity and experience in Thailand will help support the Thai-Canadian Chamber reach and possibly go beyond our goals.


Michael White currently serves as Regional Director of IMAS Group, a leader in business data analytics and retail productivity projects.

Andrew Kloosterhuis Director




Mr. Sunny Patel is Managing Director of Trends Digital Co Ltd, a Social & Digital media company based in Bangkok serving international clients. Prior to Trends, Sunny was an Investment Analyst for Global Asset Management (GAM) in London and an Associate at Towers Perrin in Toronto involved in Investment Strategy. Sunny has his MBA from INSEAD, is a CFA Charterholder, and holds a a BA in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario.


What to do When You’re Too Young for Knee Replacement Surgery


If you’re suffering from chronic knee pain because of overuse, an injury, or a degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis, what are your options for relief? Although many patients, particularly those that are middle aged, fear that the immediate and finite answer is knee replacement surgery – this shouldn’t be the primary choice. During knee replacement surgery, surgeons replace the damaged or diseased knee joint with a mechanical implant made of metal and plastic composites that act as a joint. Since this is an invasive procedure and requires a lengthy recovery period, both patients and doctors agree that this should be only offered after other less obtrusive treatments have been explored. This is especially true for younger or active patients, which include people between the ages of 45 and 60 who show signs of chronic knee pain, but are looking for relief without surgery. Here are several alternatives that can relieve chronic knee pain: Lose weight One of the quickest, most effective ways to reduce knee pain is to lose weight. Excess weight puts unnecessary stress and pressure on the joints, particularly those of the lower body such as the hips, knees, and ankles. Even shedding a few kilograms can lead to a noticeable reduction in pain.

and can last anywhere from two to three months. However, these can be harmful to your joints if used too frequently. Hyaluronic acid injections provide lubrication between the joints, which is necessary for the bone and cartilage of the knee to glide smoothly across each another without grinding together. Hyaluronic acid also acts as a shock absorber. However, this is typically offered to people after they have gone through steroid injections and physical therapy without success, or if they are allergic to certain pain killers. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is another option for young patients with articular cartilage lesions. The injected of concentrated platelets accelerate the body’s own healing process in the knee joint.

Physical therapy Working with a physical therapist can help to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee, as well teach you the proper positioning and form when doing exercises.

Holistic therapy Natural supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin provide temporary joint pain relief by creating a cushion between the diseased or degenerative bone and the surrounding tissue.

Injections There are several different injections that temporarily lessen or eliminate chronic knee pain, and increase mobility as well:

Another popular technique is acupuncture. This traditional Chinese medicinal technique uses long thin needles to alleviate pain by impacting nerves.

A steroid or cortisone shot reduces pain, fluid buildup, and inflammation of the knee joint, giving your body a chance to heal. The effects are nearly immediate

Arthroscopic surgery This type of surgery, which is much less invasive than total knee replacement surgery, is used to repair tendons and

cartilage in the knee, as well as flush out bone fragments or cartilage pieces that may be causing pain. This is done by using a very thin tube with a special video camera on its end to view the condition of your knee. Every patient is different. Speak with your doctor to see which treatment is right for you. Your doctor will take into account any complications of which you are at risk, along with the degree of pain and impaired function. Conclusion However, if a patient has gone through consecutive failed treatments, it is then appropriate to proceed with knee replacement surgery. Knee replacement surgery is now possible in younger patients because of the improved quality of knee prosthetics, along with the improved surgical technology and surgical techniques – which altogether increase the longevity of the prosthesis.

By Sr Gp Capt Dr. Chumroonkiet Leelasestaporn, Orthopedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Center, Bumrungrad Hospital.

May June 2016


Member News

Beaver Invitational Charity Golf


A big thank to our sponsors and the over 200 participants who attended the event, including golfers, guests and friends from the attending Chambers. The Beaver provided an outstanding platform for our sponsors both on the golf course as well as at the event’s Friday Joint Chambers Eastern Seaboard networking event and Saturday night’s awards dinner at the Amari Orchid Pattaya. The event wouldn’t have happened without the support of key staff at the Amari Orchid Pattaya and we want to thank General Manager Richard Gamlin; Senior Sales & Events Manager Parichart “Pla” Suksawas & Event Coordinator Karina “Sai” Baker for all their efforts. Logistics-wise Neil Chiu and his company Allied Pickfords were a god-send. As always members of the Flying Farangs hockey team, even if some were committed to a tournament in Bangkok, contributed in a big way to ensure the tournament went well. Our long-term partner, the Canadian Embassy, again pitched in by donating wine and Ambassador Philip Calvert, who unfortunately couldn’t golf, but attended the awards ceremony, handed out the Ambassador’s Cup. SPRC pitched in and sponsored the Beaver Express, which was huge, enabling golfers to imbibe without having to worry about driving afterwards. The Beaverettes stole hearts on the course and did a great job of selling raffle tickets throughout the 2-day event. Specials thanks to the Beaver Golf Committee consisting of Chair John Stevens, Les Walsh for course management, Andrew Kloosterhuis, Adrian Meyers, & Michael White for sponsorship and player recruitment, and John Casella & PKF for accounting. The CanCham team of Executive Director Kelly Cailes, Events Manager Jen Meckhayai & intern Alex Tsai Goodman, handled the overall organization and really stepped up and made sure all ran smoothly. The official charity of CanCham Thailand is the People Eye Care Foundation (PECF), an organization that provides funding for doctors and nurses in to perform cataract surgeries upcountry Thailand (http://www.pecf.or.th). The PECF has restored the sight to thousands of surgery recipients and CanCham Thailand through the Beaver Charity Golf Tournament provides proceeds of up to 100,000 baht annually.



Member News

Tournament huge success

May June 2016


Member News

Hong Kong Islanders triumph in 22nd Mekong Cup


With a 2-0 final victory over Bangkok’s Thai Stix, the Hong Kong Islanders ball hockey team captured the 22nd Mekong Cup held at the Centara Karon Resort Phuket.

took advantage of the Thai Stix’s confusion and quickly popped in another goal to take a commanding 2-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

The two teams met in the final two years ago and Hong Kong won that match-up too though the Thai Stix did defeat Singapore last year to clinch the 2015 championship. The tourney saw five teams compete for Southeast Asia’s most coveted ball hockey trophy: the Phuket Pucks, the Thai Stix, the Singapore Chili Crabs, the Hong Kong Islanders, and a joint team called the Toronto Asian Stars, composed of a group players from Toronto, Ontario, mixed with other players based throughout Asia.

Yves Gaboriault did an outstanding job in his second year as tourney organizer; referees John Casella and Dave Krough did a great job of maintaining order, as there weren’t any serious incidents throughout. Though this was the 22nd Mekong Cup, it was the only the second time a team from Phuket had entered the competition. Credit

After round-robin play in the morning, the Phuket Pucks (0-4-0) had to make a hasty exit, finishing fifth overall. The semi-finals were held simultaneously; one saw the top-seeded Thai Stix face off against the fourth-seeded Toronto Asian Stars with the Thai Stix advancing to the final with a 7-2 victory. The other semi-final pitted the second-seeded Hong Kong Islanders against the third-seeded Singapore Chili Crabs, with Hong Kong defeating Singapore 6-1 to reach the final. That set up a championship between the Thai Stix and the Hong Kong Islanders. Hong Kong jumped into an early 1-0 lead, and then though the Bangkok squad thought they had scored to tie it up their goal was disallowed by both referees and the goal judge at the Hong Kong end. Hong Kong



Anders Olofsson of thai Stix (white) in action

must go to Joe Burgess of Nok & Joe’s Bar/Restaurant who organizes ball hockey every weekend in Surin (you contact Joe at atchara1986@hotmail.com). This year the Phuket team featured four players from Montreal Coupe Burrows, the team that won it all in 2013, but even with the help of the Quebec players the Pucks couldn’t manage a victory, though they did lose a hard-fought game 6-5 to Singapore in their final match of the tournament. The Hong Kong Islanders now hold the record for the most Mekong Cup championships with six; and Hong Kong’s goalie Craig Roussel, who was superb throughout, was the tournament MVP, netting three shut-outs along the way. Hong Kong’s Jeff Wall was inducted into the Mekong Cup Hall of Fame joining fellow honorees Geoff Boyd (2015) and John Casella (2014) as the only other members. A charity auction at the awards banquet raised Bt41,000 for the Vivian Slot scholarship fund (http://www.unizg.hr/ vivianscholarship). Attending the event and playing for the Phuket team was Roman Torok, the ISBHF Senior Vice-President & Vice-President of the Slovak Ball Hockey Union along with his wife Veronika Torokova and their son.

Singapore player (red) in action against Hong Kong

The tournament was staged at the Centara Karon Resort Phuket at Karon Beach for the fifth straight year; the resort did a great job as host, and put on a lavish and sumptuous buffet for the awards dinner.

Member News

Sasin MBA Team wins Stu Clark Investment Competition


MediQuip, the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration MBA student team, recently won the Stu Clark Investment Competition, earning CAD$20,000 in cash prizes. The competition, now in its 12th year, is the most prestigious postgraduate competition in Canada. From 58 teams that applied to the competition, MediQuip was one of 16 (and the only one from outside of North America) to be invited to compete in the semifinals in Winnipeg. MediQuip beat out teams in their track from Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, and Arkansas to enter the finals where MediQuip then won over all-Canadian teams from Manitoba, Waterloo, and Windsor. The win earned the team CAD$20,000. Other teams also competing included MIT, Oregon, and Louisville. Earlier, the MediQuip team also came 3rd in the "logo competition" during which judges quizzed the team about their logo design. That win carried a CAD$250 cash prize. MediQuip is in the process of commercializing a proprietary medical device called “Ctcure” for the surgical treatment of Carpal

Tunnel Syndrome, the most common compression nerve injury. The technology would revolutionize the medical industry by providing a faster, better and more cost-effective solution to treat CTS. The MediQuip team includes Papob Koykaewpring, Varittha Siwawej, and Suryansh Pandey from the Sasin MBA2015 class, and Saichalee Chongkolratanaporn from the MBA 2014 class. The team's faculty

advisor is Nick Pisalyaput, co-founder of the Sasin Entrepreneurship Center (SEC). This is the fifth time Sasin joined this competition in Winnipeg and the third time Sasin has won—a record unequalled by any other schools. The first Sasin team to win here was Siam Organic in 2011; that venture is still in operation to this day and scaled up to expand into the US market earlier this year.

May June 2016



Is the Bubble about to Burst?


By Paul Gambles

Sitting here in cramped Bangkok, it seems strange that the world’s second largest country with the second lowest population density has been experiencing a consistently rapid increase in house prices since 2009. If you factor in the boom-and-bust errors which could be learned from Canada’s immediate neighbours to the south (or what must feel like on all sides for those in Windsor ON), it is positively incredulous. Yet that’s exactly what’s going on: an overall increase of nearly 18% in the last 3 years, close to 30% in 5 years and over 70% in the last decade. Al this while price rises in the US have steadied (see charts).

Low rates and high insurance

Officials in Ottawa may like to suggest that the situation highlights the relative prosperity of the Canadian economy but I’d agree it actually shows how badly it is being run. Various governments have played an important role in creating a housing bubble by using two instruments: interest rates and backstopping. Since early 2009, the Bank of Canada’s benchmark lending rate has not been higher than 1% and is currently at just 0.5%. Maintaining extremely low rates was meant to be an emergency measure, designed by central banks in practically every major economy, to give a boost to demand. The idea is that lower lending rates to commercial banks encourages them to offer discounted rates to customers. This is all well and good in theory; however, there was already a massive amount of private debt around – and Canada has the largest debt-to-income ratio amongst all G7 countries since 2000.1 With all that private debt in play, there are two likely outcomes: already burdened by hefty debt repayments, consumers and businesses resist the temptation to take on cheaper debt, demand does not increase, thus the economy slides slowly into debt-deflation; or, people and businesses take on yet more debt, inflating the bubble further until the day it bursts with even greater consequences. Given the rate at which house prices are increasing – particularly in Vancouver and Toronto – it’s apparent that Canadians have

largely taken the latter of these options. That could be put down to further government incentives for people to buy property, such as backstopping. Backstopping has nothing to do with Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin but is instead an underwriting of a security – in this case offered by public agency Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), to support people who put only 5% down on mortgages. I’m all in favour of avoiding a scenario like in Spain, where by 2014 banks were evicting hundreds of people from their homes every

day. However, I’d prefer to see governments and central banks pay out money directly to reduce private debt, and also quasi-private debt – a debt jubilee. With this everyone benefits without a bubble. Michael Hudson, my colleague at IDEA Economics,2 has probably done more than anyone to prove that a functional economy, with a more equal share of the pie, not only benefits the weakest in society but also produces greater wealth for the richest. However, the lethal combination of low interest rates and CMHC backing encourages demand in the sector of the economy where prices are already at nosebleed levels. In 2014, the Crown Corporation insured 175,169 new home loans worth C$41.7billion, around 54% of the whole market. Whilst that number fell to about 50% in 2015, it still seems exceptionally high to me. Some parts of the media suggest that this isn’t a bubble and the Canadian housing market won’t crash – partly because of the CMHC’s insurance. However that is to ignore experiences around the world in the past and the present. According to a recent study by Demographia, Vancouver is the third least-affordable city – after Hong Kong and Sydney – in the 367 markets and nine countries researched. Apparently the median price of a house in BC’s largest city was 10.8 times greater than the median household income.

1 http://business.financialpost.com/investing/outlook-2016/canadians-householddebt-highest-in-g7-with-crunch-on-brink-of-historic-levels-pbo-warns 2 http://www.ideaeconomics.org/a-modern-jubilee/



Several examples – of which Japan in 1990 and the US in 2008 are just two – show that such imbalances are not sustainable. At some stage, prices reach a level which people can no longer pay and this can be exacerbated by worsening economic circumstances overall. Between 2002 and 2014, soaring demand – and thus rapidly increasing prices – in Canada’s abundant natural resources poured money into the national economy. This was largely due to the Chinese economic boom and commodities bubble and helped further fuel already increasing house prices. China experienced a rough 2015, however, with a stock market crash and official reports announcing poor economic results (which many experienced observers suspect to be heavily understated). Added to that, commodities markets have dropped to record lows and stayed there for the last two years and show few signs of recovery. Then there’s the impending global financial crisis. It is impossible to forecast when this will happen but it will. Although if analysts continue to insist it will occur in 2016, it could well become a self-fulfilling prophecy as investors draw back in anticipation of the pending disaster. Putting all this together points to a bubble burst in Canada’s housing market sometime in the near future. The CMHC may be liable to pick up the tab for this but don’t be surprised if Ottawa panics at the sudden hole in national coffers and launches austerity measures which cripple the economy even further into a the vicious cycle of debtdeflation. After all, that is what has happened in Japan, the Eurozone, the UK and the US. As one analyst pointed, however, one slight counterbalance to a Canadian bubble is that even if property prices are overvalued, healthcare is mostly free. http://video.cnbc. com/gallery/?video=3000500718

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

Fifty years! And growing from strength to strength With an empire stretching across six continents in nearly 60 countries, and some 5,000 employees, Crown Worldwide Group share a common quality – the experience and insight to accomplish anything, from the complex to the routine.

Jim Thompson, founder and chairman of the Crown Worldwide Group, left the USA in the mid-60’s with a real desire to see the world and after traveling for a while he settled in Japan to work for a moving company. After a short period of time, he had the opportunity to set up on his own, so on February 4, 1965, he set up a moving company with US$ 1,000. The company was located in a rented room, in Yokohama, Japan. Business grew steadily in the early years and within five years it had a turnover of US$ 1 million. Through acquisition and new startups, Crown Relocations developed operations throughout Europe, The Middle East, Africa, Australasia, North and South America. Growth in Asia moving into China in the early eighties then into other developing countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and India. In 1992, the business set up an operation in Thailand offering a full range of Relocation & Mobility Management Services.

Controlled growth has always been Jim’s philosophy and investing in the markets that Crown operates has been a strategy for the past 50 years. Crown now owns many of the warehouse facilities used to store customers precious possessions and many other valuable items. These are purpose-built and in many cases, the finest and safest found in a particular market.

Another Crown brand that has been operating for the past 15 years is Crown Fine Art, a specialist service for packing, crating and transportation of fine art on behalf of museums, galleries and private collectors. Crown Fine Art has moved famous pieces including the “Mona Lisa”, Magna Carta, Rembrandt’s “Nightwatch” and the “Girl with the Pearl Earring”, by Dutch artist Vermeer.

Crown’s heritage business of household goods moving developed into providing full services to expatriate families in the early 1980s, from helping them find a home and schools for their children, to supporting immigration and getting settled into their new home. Over the last decade Crown has developed again in the area of mobility. Its Crown World Mobility brand consults with multinational organizations in the area of talent mobility.

In 2015, Crown Thailand moved to a new office and warehouse facilities which serve the growing demand for its relocations and records management services. Last year was also the 50th Anniversary of Crown Worldwide, so what does Jim Thompson consider to be the likely future for his company? “The future is very bright,” says Mr. Thompson, “because we’re stable, so financially secure and have a solid management team to continue to take the company forward. It’s a brand people trust, which has for 50 years upheld important values.

Also in the 1980s, Crown diversified into managing archive storage and retrieval of corporation and government records, through Crown Records Management. This business helps organizations with their information management requirements for the life-cycle of any critical or important documents and digital information. Today Crown records management is the world’s third-largest provider of this service.

For more information about Crown Relocations Thailand, visit www.crownrelo.com/thailand

Member News

Absolute Hotel Services Announces Second Eastin Grand Hotel in Bangkok CEO of Absolute Hotel Services Group Jonathan Wigley is delighted to announce the second Eastin Grand Hotel in Bangkok and third in company’s portfolio. The Eastin Grand Hotel Phayathai Bangkok will be a mixed use complex with hotel element and office space with some retail. The hotel’s targeted date of opening will be in second quarter of 2019. The Eastin Grand Hotel Phayathai Bangkok has a great location with direct access to Phayathai BTS skytrain station and will consist of 394 rooms and suites, ranging from 34 sqm – 154 sqm, including superior rooms, deluxe rooms, suites and a honeymoon suite. Plus 175 serviced apartments consisted of one and two bedrooms. Other facilities will include a 1,200 sqm all day dining market style restaurant, a wine bar, a specialty restaurant, seafood market by ‘Chef Man’ Chinese restaurant, Starbucks, outdoor large swimming pool with pool bar, gym and executive lounge. Functions and event spaces of a total of 4,285 sqm will be one of a kind in

“We are very excited about this project as it will have everything for all purposes and to be expanding Eastin Grand brand portfolio in Thailand, offering our guests the very best service and facilities coupled with our brand promise of value for all occasions.” said Mr. Wigley.

Jonathan Wigley CEO of Absolute Hotel Services Group

Bangkok with modern high technology to serve all sorts of functions and special events. The hotel will also have a 285 sqm wedding studio to cater full services for any couples.

About Absolute Hotel Services (AHS) Absolute Hotel Services (www.absolutehotelservices.com), whose head office is based in Bangkok, provides a unique range of hospitality services and consultancy on an a la carte basis that includes marketing/feasibility studies, owner representative services, master planning consultancy, pre-opening consultancy, brand creation/consultancy and training as well as hotel management services from technical services and pre-opening assistance to management contracts for U Hotels & Resorts, Eastin Grand Hotels, Eastin Hotels & Residences and Eastin Easy, the hotel brands of Absolute Hotel Services. Absolute Hotel Services 1091/343, 4th Floor, New Petchburi Road Makkasan, Rajthevee Bangkok 10400 Thailand Tel: +66 2 255 9247 Fax: +66 2 273 8509 www.absolutehotelservices.com

Feedpoint Café = AROY MAK!! Feedpoint opened in late November 2015, with the intention of providing authentic NY and Montreal-style deli foods. It specializes in kettled (boiled) bagels, smoked salmon, mini-pies - especially tortieres - and "comfort foods" like brownies and carrot cake. The Cafe was designed to be informal, relaxed, and airy, with a white motif. The primary goal has been to attract repeat customers to a "neighborhood sandwich shop". The Cafe is also utilized as a showcase for items that it can provide on a recurring wholesale basis. CanCham and the Canadian Embassy have been very supportive in particular. It has also proven popular with longtime resident American ex-



pats, as well as Australian, Indian, and Japanese families in the Sukhumvit Soi 23 "Prasanmitr" area. The name "Feedpoint" reflects both owner Eric Seldin’s decades-long experience as a former television cameraman (videotapes were transmitted from a satellite "feedpoint") as well as a separate, though unusual, reference to a casual place to "feed" oneself. Feedpoint is pleased to offer pleased to offer a 10% discount on any purchases to CANCHAM members who mention their membership. www.facebook.com/feedpoint; feedpoint.bakery@gmail.com

Eric Kenso Ward, ISB Class of 1979

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

May June 2016


Profile for CanCham Thailand

Voyageur May-June issue  

Voyageur May-June issue