May - June 2017
a publication of CanCham Thailand
John Stevens CanCham President
2017-2018 CanCham Thailand Board Members Patron: H.E. Donica Pottie, Ambassador of Canada to Thailand
Executive Board: John Stevens, President Dean Outerson, Vice President Derek van Pelt, Vice President Dan McKay, Treasurer Sunny Patel, Secretary
Board of Directors: Peter Baines David Beckstead Nitipong Boonsong John Casella Surachit Chanovan Lawrence Cordes Caroline Kwan Ron Livingston Michael White
Advisors: Sean Brady Yvonne Chin Don Lavoie Joni Simpson Marisha Shibuya
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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Dear CanCham Members and Friends,
It is my great honour to have been elected CanCham President for 2017-8, and to thank our Past-President, Ron Livingston, for his steady leadership and support during his tenure. At our recent AGM, CanCham elected a new board, which includes fourteen returning and six new directors and advisors. We are very fortunate indeed to have such a wealth of experienced business professionals with a wide range of backgrounds leading our chamber. On April 2, the CanCham Board met for its annual retreat to review the chamber’s past year’s performance and to plan the road ahead. We defined the five key functional areas of the chamber, and assigned board members to participate in sub-committees to lead and support the following: • • • • •
Membership & Member Benefits Sponsorship Program Events – Business & Social Advocacy & Outreach Communications & Marketing
In each of these areas many new ideas were discussed – for example, introduce new membership categories such as “start up companies” and “women in business”, establish bespoke benefit packages for our corporate sponsors, focus our Canuck Networking events along commercial themes to attract more interest and larger audiences, and redouble our efforts on advocacy and outreach, both with our Canadian and Thai partners (such as BOI and BOT). Joining a chamber of commerce involves both a time and financial commitment from our members and we are well aware of other organizations and interests with which we must compete for member attention. As such, it is critically important that the value proposition of CanCham membership continually evolves and improves. This is our mandate to deliver. I believe the year has started well with CanCham hosting a number of well attended and received events including our annual Crystal Ball business forum, Women in Leadership panel, Great Canadian BBQ, CanCham Charity Golf Tournament and recent Canuck Connections featuring Export Development Canada. I would also like to highlight the cooperation we have with the Canadian Embassy and especially Yvonne Chin, formerly Counsellor (Commercial) at the Embassy and now Director of Business Development and Sales for Asia for the Canadian Commercial Cooperation (CCC) – she has been extremely supportive of CanCham and instrumental in the successful execution of many CanCham initiatives and events. I look forward to the coming months which includes a very special 150 anniversary edition of Canada Day to be held on June 17 at The British Club. CanCham’s management team led by Kelly Cailes and supported by Jen Meckhayai and Bow Sakulchaipornlert are working hard to make this a particularly memorable affair. See you there! John Stevens
Remarks from Ron Livingston at 2017 CanCham AGM (Outgoing CanCham President addressed CanCham’s AGM at the Pullman Bangkok Sukhumvit with his annual report. The following are excerpts from that speech. Btw, CanCham owes Ron Livingston a huge debt of gratitude as he has served as president twice during his two-decade term on the CanCham board and was worked tirelessly to promote CanCham and the JFCCT).
Thailand is clearly the hub of access to all of SE Asia. If you are keen to access the wealth of the SE Asian markets of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, being located in Thailand provides many advantages. The Asian Development Bank has noted that Thailand Government expenditure and a strong tourism sector played important roles in driving moderately stronger growth in Thailand in the first half of 2016. Growth in gross domestic product for the year as a whole slightly exceed the forecast of 3.2% in March, and for 2017 is still seen picking up to 3.5%. Inflation has returned after 15 months of declining consumer prices. Therefor overall the growth in tourism is, together with weak imports, generating a larger current account surplus than was projected. Thailand has recently evolved into a center for technology startup companies. In the last 5 years investment in technology startup companies has grown from $2 million annually to a projected $400 million dollars to be invested in 2017. Long-term economic aspirations are laid out in Thailand’s recent 20-year strategic plan for attaining developed country status through broad reforms. The reforms address economic stability, human capital, equal economic opportunities, environmental sustainability, competitiveness, and effective government bureaucracies. The World Bank is supportive of the reform agenda.
Thailand’s Cabinet has approved a 45 billion dollar development of the country’s 2017 Eastern Economic Corridor that includes expanded infrastructure aimed to promote connectivity within Thailand and its neighbors in the Asia region. The EEC will include: expansion of Laem Chabang Port; expansion of the Map Ta Phut Industrial Port; development of the Sattahip Commercial Port into an International Cruise and Ferry Port; development of the U-Tapao International Airport and related Aviation Industries; development of high speed and dual track railways and motorways. Within the EEC, some of the new engines of growth industries are next-generation automotive, smart electronics, digital, affluent medical and wellness tourism, agricultural and biotechnology, food for the future, aerospace, automation and robotics, to name a few. For the EEC, Free Trade Zones are to be developed around seaport and airports. These are to include a global business hub with a one-stop business service center, international banking, research and development centers, modern urban planning for expansion of Pattaya, Rayong, and Chachoengsao. Board of Investment development incentives are to include: • Corporate Income Tax – 0% Max 15 years • Personal Income Tax – 15% for IHQ, ITC • Work Permit Visa – 5 Year • Land Lease – 50 + 49 years.
Thailand Board of Investment is also assisting in introducing “Thailand 4.0 Means Opportunity Thailand”, exploring the new value-based economic model that will transform the country’s competitiveness while the world economic power is shifting to Asia. It is clear Thailand is working hard to promote the development of its economy in 2017. The World Bank released its report titled "Doing Business 2017”. The report covers 11 regulatory areas affecting the business environment in 190 countries. This year Thailand ranks 46th in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report, up three spots from last year. The Board of Investment incentives above too will assist in improving the ease of doing business. In addition the BOI appears to be taking a stronger role in working with the foreign business community to at least talk about measures needed to improve the ease of doing business. The World Bank states that “To remain competitive, Thailand has to embark on extensive reform of the economy to lay down a future for the country in areas such as infrastructure and advanced manufacturing,” said Kobsak Pootrakool, Vice Minister for the Office of the Prime Minister. “At the same time, ensuring that the grassroots can reap the benefits of development.” As the aging of Thailand’s working-age population begins to affect its economy in the next five years, it will be increasingly important for Thailand to harness
Outgoing CanCham President Ron Livingston (left) presenting Sean Brady (right) with his CanCham Hall of Fame plaque and hockey jersey.
new engines of growth, in particular the service sector, to take the country from upper-middle to high-income levels, according to the report. Canadian Business In 2016 Forbes published its annual list of “The Best Countries for Business,” and Canada ranked first among G20 countries, performing well in a number of the sub-indexes Forbes uses to gauge the business climate. Forbes graded 144 countries on 11 factors: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. Here are three reasons Canada landed in the top spot among G20 countries: 1 Canada offers a top-5 business-friendly environment Launched in 2002, The World Bank Group’s Doing Business project com-
pares business regulation environments across 189 economies. Among G20 countries, Canada ranked fifth overall, including: • 2nd for ease of paying taxes, ahead of the U.S.A. (8th) and Germany (10th) • 2nd for investor protection, ahead of India (4th) and the U.S.A (9th) 2 Top 10 rankings in health, education and labour markets drive Canada’s competitiveness The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) ranks 140 countries based upon 114 indicators that help determine productivity. In 2015, Canada moved up two places, ranking fifth among G20 countries, ahead of Australia, France and South Korea. According to authors of the report, Canada’s competitiveness is built upon: • a highly efficient labour market (ranked 7th out of 140 countries)
good outcomes in health and education (also ranked 7th) an institutional environment that boasts of some of the world’s best private institutions (ranked 8th in the world)
3 Canada ranks 2nd among G20 countries in economic freedom The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom ranks 178 countries across ten categories. Overall, Canada placed second among G20 countries and sixth overall for economic freedom, ahead of the U.S.A. (12th), Germany (16th), and Mexico (59th). Canada’s strong performance is underscored by a fifth place ranking among G20 countries in “business freedom” and first place rankings for both “trade freedom” and “property rights.”
May - June 2017
Grant Thornton’s “Women in Recently, CanCham presented the “Women in Leadership” forum sponsored by Grant Thornton, which was held at the Eastin Sathorn, nor far from CanCham’s office, under the theme “Canada stands for gender equality”. Asia is a dynamic and diverse region.
Economic growth has led to transformation of economies and women have an important role to play in contributing to the economy and society as leaders, role models and as women entrepreneurs. There are several business arguments for leveraging further the
female talent pool – due to shrinking workforce (aging population) – evidence on diversity and contributions towards productivity and employee satisfaction, etc. The forum was co-organized and hosted by the Canadian Embassy and CanCham. It aimed to showcase the important contributions of women to the economy and society, pointing out positive progress, while also realizing that there are still obstacles that impede women to achieving their full potential such as norms & attitudes, structural discrimination, occupational segregation, time-poverty due to burden of household work, the undervaluing of ‘women’s work’, policies and programmes that don’t respond fully to the needs of women, low women’s representation in policymaking and decision-making, lack of role models, etc. This session highlighted practical ‘lived experiences’ of female lead-
From left - Joni Simpson, Ambassador Pottie, Pavida Pananond, Gregory Enjalbert, Shannon Kalayanamitr & Ron Livingston.
Leadership” seminar ers and role models, while bringing through some key messages on what still needs to be addressed, drawing from evidence from the ILO report, ‘Women in Business and Management: Gaining Momentum in Asia and the Pacific’.
The moderator was Joni Simpson, Senior Specialist on Gender Equality & Non-Discrimination at the International Labour Organization, United Nations. The panelists included: Her Excellency Ms. Donica Pottie, Canadian Ambassador to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia;
Gregory Enjalbert, vice-president AsiaPacific Bombardier Transportation Rail Control Solutions; Vice-President Dr. Pavida Pananond, Professor International Business at Thammasat Business School; and Shannon Kalayanamitr, founder and Group CMO, Orami. Each was asked specific questions, according to their background, giving them a chance to relate some interesting elements of their career. The focus of the conference was twofold, to increase awareness about the positive contributions of women (Thai and international) to the economy through women sharing their experiences as well as increased awareness about the remaining challenges and needs so that women can achieve their full potential and contribute fully to inclusive growth in Thailand, and the region.
CanCham’s new Board Members & Advisors
Back row, from left: Dean Outerson, Peter Baines, Lawrence Cordes, Ron Livingston, David Beckstead, Dan McKay and Michael White. Front row, from left: Nitipong Boonsong, Surachit Chanovan, John Casella, Derek van Pelt, Yvonne Chin, John Stevens, Caroline Kwan and Marisha Shibuya. May - June 2017
Attracting Trade and Investment from Canada
By Ron Livingston (Written originally for CanCham Bangladesh’s CanCham Review) One reason why foreign direct investment (FDI) is often discussed has been related to the dramatic increase in the annual global flow of FDI and the resulting rise in its relative importance as a source of investment funds for a number of countries. Foreign direct investment is also viewed as a way of increasing the efficiency with which a country’s resources are used. Therefore, to attract FDI, we need to identify good opportunities and find the right industries, companies and investors that are either already wanting to expand into the region or looking at investment opportunities. Timing for Canadian business expansion and investment into Asia is ideal, as previously Corporate Canada was focused on the US Market that is large and close by. But with our neighbor to the south now taking a more protectionist approach, some of the large markets previously open to Canadian businesses, may now be closing. Also, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral rules-based trade bloc in North America, will now be re-negotiated. Only time will tell how this will affect current two-way trade between Canada and the US. So diversification into the Asian markets is a wise choice that will help to stabilize many Canadian industries and businesses. Canada is currently the United States 2nd largest goods trading partner with $575 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $280 billion; goods imports totaled $295 billion. Canada is the U.S.’s largest customer, purchasing US$337.8 (C$431.9) billion in goods and services in 2015. Canada buys more from the United States than does any other nation – including all 28 countries of the European Union. Since the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement came into force in 1989, Canada’s twoway trade in goods and services with the United States has more than tripled.
Canada’s Top 10 Exports The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Canadian global shipments during 2015. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Canada. 1 Oil: US$77.8 billion (19% of total exports) 2 Vehicles: $60 billion (14.7%) 3 Machines, engines, pumps: $31.1 billion (7.6%) 4 Gems, precious metals: $19 billion (4.7%) 5 Electronic equipment: $13.2 billion (3.2%) 6 Plastics: $12.5 billion (3.1%) 7 Aircraft, spacecraft: $12.3 billion (3%) 8 Wood: $11.8 billion (2.9%) 9 Aluminum: $8.2 billion (2%) 10 Paper: $7.7 billion (1.9%) Exports accounted for about 25 % of total Canadian economic output. Overall, 78% of Canadian exports (by value) were delivered to its North American Free Trade Agreement partners, United States and Mexico. Europe bought an 11% share of Canada’s exports in 2015, followed by Asian importers at 8%. A Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement has been discussed only, while specific bilateral free trade agreements with Thailand for example are not progressing. So, the bottom line is that Canada’s participation in Asian markets can be expanded. Canadian Outward Foreign Direct Investment to Asia Statistics Canada notes that in 2015, the total stock of Canadian outward investment increased almost 22%, while the stock of Canadian outward investment to Asia increased by 23%. In the past two decades, our portfolio has become more diversified, at least on a regional basis. For example, the share of Canadian investment abroad in the United States has fallen from around 63% in 1980 to just 45% today. Canadian outward Foreign Direct Investment to Asia has tripled since 2000 to 2015 which is at 73,000 (C$ millions).
So what is currently being done to identify Canadian opportunities in Asia? Canadian Chambers of Commerce in Asia There has recently been a rebranding of Canadian Chambers of Commerce in Asia such as CanCham Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh. CanCham Thailand’s Mission, as an example, is to support, promote and enhance member business interests by fostering Thai-Canadian Relations. Our objectives are to: • 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. CanCham Thailand provides its members with 14 chamber events and sponsorship opportunities in order to engage 1,800 participants. These initiatives help to build partnerships in order to attract FDI from Canadian companies to Thailand. Cooperation with CABC The Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) mandate is to promote and increase trade relations between Canada and ASEAN. The council has three primary offerings for its Members: to provide/produce region-specific educational materials, act as an advocacy engine to Canadian and local Governments, and facilitate high-level networking opportunities between Canadian and ASEAN companies. The core mission of CABC is to provide its members with concrete commercial opportunities to build and grow their companies. So this too may be a conduit for FDI The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT) is another
Member News example of cooperation, as 31 foreign chambers or business associations operating in Thailand, represent more than 9,000 companies, working to promote trade and foreign investment. The JFCCT works with the Thai government and various government agencies such as the Board of Trade, Board of Investment and the Federation of Thai Industries and many sector-specific agencies, and by way of advice and recommendation to foreign governments – for the benefit of the Thai economy. The JFCCT aims to contribute to the economic development of Thailand in a positive way, across all sectors of the economy. Through education, discourse and collaboration. Thailand’s Economy Long-term economic aspirations are laid out in Thailand’s recent 20-year strategic plan for attaining developed country status through broad reforms. The reforms address economic stability, human capital, equal economic opportunities, environmental sustainability, competitiveness, and effective government bureaucracies. The World Bank is supportive of the reform agenda. Thailand’s Cabinet has approved a 45-billion-dollar development of the country’s 2017 Eastern Economic Corridor that includes expanded infrastructure aimed to promote connectivity within Thailand and its neighbors in the Asia region. This is an FDI target. The EEC will include: expansion of Laem Chabang Port; expansion of the Map Ta Phut Industrial Port; development of the Sattahip Commercial Port into an International Cruise and Ferry Port; development of the U-Tapao International Airport and related Aviation Industries; development of high speed and dual track railways and motorways. Within the EEC, some of the new engines of growth industries are nextgeneration automotive, smart electronics, digital, affluent medical and wellness tourism, agricultural and biotechnology, food for the future, aerospace, automation and robotics, to name a few. For the EEC, Free Trade Zones are to be developed around seaport and airports. These are to include a global business hub with a one-stop business service center, international banking, research and development centers, modern ur-
ban planning for expansion of Pattaya, Rayong, and Chachoengsao. Board of Investment development incentives are to include: • Corporate Income Tax – 0% Max 15 years • Personal Income Tax – 15% for IHQ, ITC • Work Permit Visa – 5 Year • Land Lease – 50 + 49 years. Thailand Board of Investment is also assisting in introducing “Thailand 4.0 Means Opportunity Thailand”, exploring the new value-based economic model that will transform the country’s competitiveness while the world economic power is shifting to Asia. It is clear Thailand is working hard to promote the development of its economy in 2017. The World Bank released its report titled "Doing Business 2017”. The report covers 11 regulatory areas affecting the business environment in 190 countries. This year Thailand ranks 46th in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report, up three spots from last year. The World Bank pointed to providing electricity to newly established businesses, dealing with construction permits and paying taxes as areas where Thailand needs to improve. The Board of Investment incentives above too will assist in improving the ease of doing business. So, while Thailand is providing the vision, there are still many inconsistencies in the implementation. Making it easier for foreign business to operate in Asia, will help to attract more FDI. In the area of goods traded between ASEAN members, many customs tariffs have been reduced already and are historically very low – this has been the case for a number of years now. However, countering this aim and successful implementation has been a tendancy by ASEAN members to increase Excise Taxes or create other Non-Tariff Barriers to replace lost national revenue. Most ASEAN countries generated significant portions of their national revenues via customs previously. There are also many areas where inconsistent standards and definitions have not yet been harmonized between the countries, and even worse, double tax treaties are not as we would expect and are thus creating confusion and lost opportunities. Investments The effect of the Investment agreement (ACIA) is that ASEAN investors in ASE-
AN countries other than their own will be given the same opportunities and protections as the investors from the other ASEAN country. The aim is therefore to promote intra-ASEAN investments and thus rely less on FDI from the US, Europe and Japan over time. Thailand has long allowed any foreign entity to own manufacturing operations (with the Japanese being the largest), and this has been facilitated by the Board of Investment (BOI). This means Thailand complies with the AEC Investment aims for the headline purposes. Thailand has also stated to the JFCCT that Fisheries, Agriculture and Mining would also be opened to ASEAN ownership. Unfortunately, no changes have been made (again in the Foreign Business Act) to facilitate this commitment and we have been unable to discuss these concepts with other departments to date. There are also other problems in terms of protections and taxation that remain unresolved. The service sector too remains protected. Capital In Thailand as an example, banking and stock market areas remain protected, with limited licenses granted to foreign entities. Some controls on money flows still exist. The aim here is to grow the market size of the local stock markets to assist with national wealth creation and generating more confident and consistent foreign investment. Mutual and retirement funds can then be used in ways that contribute to national and ASEAN regional growth. So in conclusion, respective countries in Asian need to market the opportunities they are providing to foreign investors and provide incentives along with a business environment that makes it relatively easy to operate in. No private entity will risk funds on FDI where there is substantial political or economic risk. As such government and business needs to play a very real role in screening these projects, verifying the validity, and guaranteeing returns. Successful FDI is your best attraction for increasing future FDI. From the discussion above one can see that there is still a great deal of work to do. In the interim, Canadian businesses are interested in Asian market opportunities.
May - June 2017
CanCham Charity Golf Tou
May - June 2017
More awards targeted for Four Points by Sheraton by Destination Group
Riding on the back of its successes in 2016 where the Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok was awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and won the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards in four categories including: Best 4-Star Hotel, Concierge Excellence, Housekeeping Excellence, and Service Excellence (Accommodations), Destination Properties, a part of the Destination Group, has targeted new goals for this high potential property in 2017. “Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok targets 2017 as the year to drive major growth in its MICE business by leveraging the hotel’s unique location on Sukhumvit and in between Asoke and Nana, its strong corporate production, and capacity to host the most exciting array of F&B offerings of any hotel in Sukhumvit,” says Peter Nicholas Lucas, General Manager of the Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok. “The strong PR visibility of Four Points has enabled the hotel to become the ‘go to’ hotel and holds the majority of the city’s social and networking events including various Chambers of Commerce, sporting events and hobbyist group events,” the GM notes. “Examples of the last category would be our close cooperation with the Bangkok Salsa Latin community and Bangkok Full Metal Dojo.” In addition to its presence in the MICE industry, the hotel’s Irish pub - The Drunken Leprechaun, placed a respectable third in TripAdvisor’s ranking of Bangkok’s best pubs and bars in 2016. Given the venue’s potential to attract more guests, Destination Properties’ President Peter Lucas, adds that Destination Group’s aims for the Drunken Leprechaun, a brand owned by Destination Eats which is part of the new F&B arm of Destination Group, is to achieve the award for the capital’s top chain restaurant in 2017. With the team’s track record of winning regional awards over recent years, there is certainly more scope to expand and build upon the ongoing cooperation with
many longstanding customers in the hotel’s complementary MICE and food and beverage businesses. About Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok The hotel is owned by Destination Properties, a part of the Destination Group. Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok is conveniently located in the heart of a residential and commercial enclave in Sukhumvit Soi 15, the Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok is a great value business hotel with MICE facilities, ideal for savvy travelers seeking a central location with easy access to business and entertainment venues. The hotel features 268 rooms furnished with Four Points by Sheraton Comfort Beds, a well-designed spacious workspace with desk lamp, executive chair, a Plug & Play station and an easy view of the 32-inch LCD television. Complimentary internet, tea, coffee, and bottled water are also offered. Dining options include The Eatery which offers all day dining, the awardwinning Irish pub The Drunken Leprechaun offering a selection of Best BrewsTM, or enjoy sunset snacks and cocktails at the rooftop pool venue amBar. A 24-hour in-room dining service is also available.
Meeting and banquet facilities totaling 400 square meters are on the ground floor and rooftop levels, each with their own private courtyards and glass walls that bring in ample natural light. The venues collectively accommodate up to 120 people in meetings and 350 people for banquets. All meeting spaces offer Wi-Fi and stateof-the-art audiovisual equipment. A fullservice Business Center is available to support guests’ business needs. Other facilities include a rooftop outdoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and free services at the Business Center. All public spaces have access to free internet services. The hotel is a few minutes walk from both Asoke Skytrain Station and Sukhumvit Subway Station, allowing easy access to much of Bangkok, one stop from the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre and two stops from the major shopping and entertainment districts. For find more about Four Points by Sheraton, visit www. fourpointsbangkoksukhumvit.com For further information and reservations: Tel: +66 2 309 3000 Email: fbadmin.sukhumvit15@ fourpoints.com
ASEAN marks 40 years of partnership with Canada
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAAN) conveys the warmest greetings to the government and people of Canada on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Canada Dialogue relations. Since the first formal meeting of ASEAN Directors-General and Canada Senior Officials of Economic Co-Operation held in Manila on 3-4 March 1977, ASEAN-Canada relations have developed in all three ASEAN community pillars. Canada has demonstrated active engagement in the Southeast Asia region, including through ASEAN’s mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). The Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-Canada partnership adopted in 2009 frames current engagement in a comprehensive, action-oriented and forward-looking manner alongside a plan of action for 2016-2020 that guides concrete cooperation between both sides. Both ASEAN and Canada remain committed to addressing traditional and
non-traditional challenges, upholding international law, and maintaining peace and security in the region. ASEAN values Canada’s commitments and interests in furthering strengthening relations with ASEAN as well as its continued support for ASEAN centrality and community building efforts. Economic links between ASEAN and Canada exhibit a steady, positive trajectory. Two-way trade continues to expand, while Canadian direct investment exceeds that in some neighboring economies. ASEAN lauds the Canada ASEAN Business Council (CABC) for channeling private sector attention to business and investment opportunities in ASEAN’s ten member states. While fostering economic integration for mutual benefit and prosperity, ASEAN-Canada socio-cultural engagement continues to grow. Canada funds support for various initiatives on disaster management, climate change, health and pandemics, education, youth, culture, and people-to-people
exchange as well as human rights of migrant workers, women and children. This 40th anniversary coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN’s establishment, which is a testament to the long-standing relations between ASEAN and Canada. ASEAN recognizes Canada’s diplomatic presence in all ASEAN member states as a demonstration of its commitment to this region. In the course of 2017, ASEAN welcomes commemorative activities to celebrate 40 years of flourishing relations with Canada and the successful convening of the 14th ASEAN-Canada Dialogue to be held in Ottawa in May of 2017. ASEAN is confident that in years to come Canada will continue to be a reliable and constructive partner both in supporting the ASEAN-centered regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific, and realizing ASEAN’s Community Vision 2025 and its blueprints.
May - June 2017
The People Eye Care Foundation (PECF)
The PECF is a voluntary welfare organization helping poor people with blindness, especially if caused by cataracts. The PECF team offers free cataract removal surgeries, treatment of diabetic retinopathy and training in the methods of natural eye vision improvement, at remote community hospitals throughout Thailand where such treatments are not readily available. This may be because the provincial hospital does not have specialist physicians able to perform such treatments or the necessary equipment, or if the treatment is available there is a lengthy waiting period, restricted budgets and heavy workloads meaning patients may not receive treatment until
it is too late and they have become permanently blinded.
resident medical team at the Tipitaka Eye Hospital in Myanmar.
In most cases, the patients receiving help from the PECF cannot afford to travel to tertiary level health care facilities where treatment would be more readily available. Without help from the PECF team patients in these remote communities face many hardships caused by impaired vision and blindness which may include the inability to work and maintain a living leading to isolation, loneliness, a sense of hopelessness and depression.
Each cataract removal surgery costs on average 7,000 baht (200 USD) – this includes a replacement intraocular lens (5,000 baht), sterilized surgical equipment, pre-and – post operative medication and transportation by bus for the team.
Since 2014, the PECF has been providing help and support to the
The PECF teams of ophthalmologist surgeons, nurses and non-medical volunteers operate on between 80– 20 eyes over a 3-day period during a typical monthly eye mission.
Since being established 27 years ago, the PECF has restored vision to over 35,000 eyes. PECF Fundraising Projects: The 'Eat Pad Thai to help pad-Thaieyes - กินผัดไทยช่วยคนให้มองเห็น๗' project ... for schools, embassies, chambers of commerce, community groups, businesses and individuals We are asking schools, embassies, community groups, associations, businesses and individuals to organize Pad Thai Lunches or Parties where they charge a high ticket price for a dish of delicious Pad Thai - a relatively cheap meal to prepare - the difference generated by the event is then donated to the People Eye Care Foundation. The British Women's Group organized a Pad Thai Lunch in September at the British Club which raised 31,000 baht enough to pay for 5 cataract extraction operations at the PECF eye camp in Sawankhalok Hospital, Sukhothai province.
... for Thai Restaurants We are also asking Thai restaurants in Thailand and overseas to add a surcharge (e.g.1, 5, 10 or 20 baht in Thailand, 1 GBP, 1 USD or 1 EURO in overseas countries) to their Pad Thai dish. They will include a remark on the menu advising that the surcharge is optional and if the customer agrees to pay it, a donation will be made on their behalf to the PECF to help cover the cost of restoring eyesight to those blinded by cataracts. The Photo-Logo 1 Million Baht Challenge The PECF has a furry mascot called Nicholas Bear. Last year, after mentioning he was experiencing blurred vision in his right eye, the PECF team removed a cataract which had been causing the problem. Nicholas Baer is so happy to be able to see clearly again he wants to help others have the same experience and has created a fundraising project to raise 1 Million Baht for the PECF. He is hoping that companies and schools will support his Photo-Logo 1 Million Baht
Challenge by making a donation (5,000 to 10,000 Baht) for a unique promotional photograph. Nicholas Bear will visit companies (or schools) and help create a very special photograph. He will happily wear uniforms or t-shirts (he enjoys dressing up), pose in team photographs and promote products and company brands and logos. The Photo-Logo 1 Million Baht Challenge is a fun way to support the PECF - the more creative the photograph the better. The 'Photo-Logo' picture will be posted and shared on PECF's social media with a message of thanks. Contact Info Angela Stafford (Mobile: 0830 616622) International Development Coordinator People Eye Care Foundation 2 Soi Soonvijai 7, Bangkok Hospital, 5th Floor, New Petchburi Road, Bangkok 10320 Website: www.pecf.or.th; Facebook: www. facebook.com/ peopleeyec
May - June 2017
Six knife edges
The Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” seems the perfect phrase for the world today, for several reasons.
only that, real-term prices today are way higher than they were for almost two decades up to 2004 (see chart).
Firstly, the times are indeed interesting: right now it is impossible to forecast with any confidence what will happen in the global economy in the coming months. Secondly, in this world of fake news and alternative facts, there’s no evidence that the curse I’ve quoted is even Chinese. The earliest mention of it was in English newspaper Yorkshire Post, attributed to British statesman Sir Austen Chamberlain (half-brother of Neville) in 1936, who’d apparently heard it from a diplomat who’d worked in China.1
That said, relative to the last ten years, the price has been persistently low. That may seem like a good thing: giving people more money in their pockets to spend on other things. However, such drops don’t necessarily reflect in petrol prices, because of refining costs and the huge tax many governments add on. Also, we’ve seen that a sudden drop often harms the global economy: investment and spending in the oil sector suffers and R&D and exploration budgets are slashed. This can undermine, global equity and corporate bond markets and oil-producing countries can quickly become destabilised, with widespread socio-economic and geopolitical fallout. A sharp rise in oil prices doesn’t help either: bringing higher operating costs for businesses and a big bite out of the disposable income of consumers. The impact obviously varies - Japan, for example, imports practically all the oil it uses, so a sudden rise has been, and would again be, another contributory factor to its 25-year slump.
One thing that is certain, however, is that the world economy and its markets are currently facing a range of problems which could destabilise the whole system – as if we were sitting on six knife edges. To start with, there’s the question as to whether the US Dollar can stay in the narrow parameters of what I call the Goldilocks range – in other words, not too strong, not too weak. If the USD is strong, it will make US-exports more expensive, thus affecting their industry and Trump’s America First policy.2 Any slow-down in the American economy would most likely have a domino effect, negatively affecting global capital markets and making economic recovery more difficult. Similarly, while a weaker global Dollar, especially relative to Emerging Market currencies, such as Thai Baht, tends to coincide with a more expansionary outlook, if the USD is too weak, it could make imports into the US too expensive and thus the rest of the world’s competitiveness may suffer in that huge consumer market that mainly lies to the south of Canada.3 It’s practically the same story with oil. Although there’s a popular narrative that we’re in a new normal of low oil prices, 2016 saw values more than double from a low of US$26.19 in February to a high of just over $US54 in late December. Not
What the world probably needs right now, is a slight, sustained increase in prices, to get the oil investment flowing back in – but no extreme swings in either direction. China is also on a knife´s edge right now. Growth is nowhere close to what it was in the 2000s. Its high tide mark was in 14.2% in 2007; whereas the IMF measured the country’s GDP growth at below 7% in 2015 and forecasts it will drop gradually to 5.8 in 2021. To cynics like me these numbers are still massively over-optimistic. The government seems hellbent on pouring stimulus to boost the economy, whilst ignoring the massive amounts of personal and corporate debt that are inflating the asset price bubble even further – with last year witnessing an increase in debt last year alone that amounted to almost 1/3 of GDP.
The Eurozone is, of course, at breaking point as well. The cocktail of zero and negative interest rates, an easing policy that would look aggressive if we didn’t have China as a comparison and a currency, which seemingly can’t be internally devalued (even if that assures its ultimate destruction), has given rise to a deflationary cycle with stagnated consumption and high unemployment. It’s fast becoming a new Japan, as Europe too could easily end up losing a quarter of a century, unless something breaks first. Global capital markets are performing their own balancing acts. Many are priced for perfection, close to all time highs. Even if we somehow achieve economic nirvana, this is already priced on so a move higher relies on being able to sustain and grow that nirvana. Remembering that nirvana means ‘blow out’ and that many markets reek of animal spirit, the risk of profit-taking needs to be guarded against in many assets, even if we don’t encounter economic disappointments along the line. For many assets, perhaps most notably high yield debt where high trading volumes in ETFs have almost decimated the liquidity in underlying assets, there’s no guarantee that there will always be enough buyers during the dips. The last of the six knife edges is the flattening yield curve between shorter and longer-term US Treasury Bonds. That means little reward for current investors and no incentive for potential new ones. Not only that, banks’ tendency to borrow short, lend long and pocket the difference, means they’re less likely to expand their balance sheet, which consequently hits their profits. I won’t shed a tear for banks’ profits per se, but it isn’t helpful to an already depressed economy. Overall, there’s a very fine line that can be walked now without falling one side or the other. You could even say there’s a minuscule space left between rocks and hard places. It’s very hard to see how this can continue to be walked. This is espe-
1. http://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/12/18/live/ 2. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/16/us-dollar-in-focus-as-traders-watch-g20-finance-minister-meeting.html 3. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-weak-ollar-39297.html 4. http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/004343.html
cially the case in Canada, where debt is increasingly being recognized as a problem now. Housing prices are excluding many from the market and yet so many economic players are heavily invested in the market – i.e. home owners, banks, the whole real-estate construction, sales, refurb and secondary sectors – that they can’t afford to have any major downturn either. As Stein’s law says: “if something cannot go on forever, it will stop”. It’s hard to see that we can keep balancing on these precarious knife edges indefinitely. This environment heightens dangers for investors and businesses but in doing so, it also creates opportunities as well. We’re often told that the 2 characters that comprise the Chinese word for ‘crisis’ 危機 mean danger and opportunity. However, it turns out that this is fake news too. 機 apparently doesn’t translate as opportunity – apparently we have another politician, JFK, to thank for popularizing that.4
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: email@example.com Linkedin: MBMG Group Twitter: @MBMG_GROUP 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.
“A better er future starts with one perso person who ca cares about a bet better world.” Fran Grade 10 Fran, 10, designed a sustainable building for his personal project.
At KIS International School all students can shine. The midsize, caring community allows KIS students to be confident and to be appreciated as an individual, with unique dreams and strengths. The school is a full IB school, offering the International Baccalaureate Programmes for all age groups (IB Primary Years Programme, IB Middle Years Programme and IB Diploma), ensuring an academically rigorous curriculum that not only prepares students to be successful at university, but also teaches important life skills. KIS, it’s all about Knowledge, Inspiration and Spirit. Check out the students’ videos to learn more about their passion www.kis.ac.th
Tel: +66 (0) 2274 3444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
May - June 2017
Canadians Perform Hockey Diplomacy on British Club Soil in Bangkok By Rockefeller St. Bernard
When a Quebec Nordiques fan (and native Quebecer) stood in front of over a hundred (mostly) hockey players to auction off an Eric Lindros Philadelphia Flyers jersey, I knew the 23rd Annual Mekong Cup ball hockey tournament at the British Club had found its theme: samakee! (Thai for “unity.”) Some may not know the Nordiques nor Lindros. I won’t dwell too much on that story (a Google search will get you all you want) other than to say, there is lingering pain in that hockey past. Rejection and abandonment; anger and frustration; yes, that’s a part of sports. And when it comes to hockey (indeed, all sports), some things – controversial or not – just hang around for a while. Well, what was hovering over the British Club from dawn until way after dusk on February 18th, 2017 was not only hockey history, but hockey healing as well. Yves Gaboriault, a man of many talents – legendary French-Canadian goaltender, Bangkok based friend to all, highly experienced business consultant – put together a Mekong Cup that attendees will not soon forget. Competition is a funny thing. It brings out the best and the not-so-best in us. But, ultimately, we hope there is camaraderie in competition. Canadians are
of course proud of their hockey roots. Fortunately, we have plenty of camaraderie in our celebration – as the Americans, Brits, Finns, Russians, Czechs, Swedes, Australians, Singaporeans, Hong Kongers, Japanese, Bhutanese, Iranians, and Thais (to name a few) at this year’s Mekong Cup can attest. I have personally witnessed the growth of the Mekong Cup. Seen the nurturing of its humble beginnings. A tournament that started because a hockey-loving-
homesick-for-the-Stanley-Cup-or-anycup-expat named Richard Meiklejohn faxed (whatever that is), another Canadian in Kuala Lumpur and said, “No ice, let’s play some street hockey in Phuket.” Three faxes (so, the paper comes out of a machine…or…?) and the Mekong Cup was born; every year since that day Phuket has played host – featuring teams from not only Asia, but occasionally Europe and the Canadian hinterland as well. When John Stevens, Bangkok hockey uber-legend, led the construction of Thailand’s first purpose-built ball hockey court at the British Club (making Bangkok the only British Club in the world with a true ball hockey court), the Mekong Cup had to eventually find its way to the Chaopraya. And so, 2017, the stage was set to make history, celebrate history, and prepare for future history: welcome to Bangkok. The stars had aligned…something unique was about to happen. Hootsuite, the global social media powerhouse, a Canadian company that knows exactly how to assess a great story, came onboard as the Mekong Cup’s sponsor. The world is indeed round, and who best to be
Hootsuite’s Asia ambassador than the Mekong Cup’s original founder. Yup, Richard Meiklejohn returned to lead both the Hootsuite Team and the free beer for all players (Canadians apparently love beer with their hockey). The man who once faxed (is that even a word?) people to play his favourite game, was now making magic with a smartphone; the results of which also included several other original Mekong Cuppers – including hall of famer, John Casella, the tournament’s head referee and keeper of general Bangkok hockey order. The first ball dropped early on Saturday morning and the games were, as expected, intense. Six teams, two from Thailand (young players with smartphones and old guys with wood sticks), Hong Kong, Singapore, Chiang Mai and Hootsuite, a team so ahead of its time, some of their players actually weren’t even in Bangkok; participating instead as Facebook holograms, an ingenious player strategy fitting of both the Mekong Cup’s emergence into the 21st Century and Hootsuite’s ability to make social media hockey magic happen. When the Hootsuite Owls defeated the Highlanders of Chiang Mai
in one of the tournaments best games, we knew hockey was starting to enter into the truly transformational (cue Winnipeggers shouting, “See, we told you so!”). There it was, at the game’s final buzzer, the first Eric Lindros jersey sighting: number 88 levitating in black, orange and white next to the paid-forby-Hootsuite-thank-you-very-much free beer. With Hockey’s mysticism growing in the back of the British Club, the crowd had gathered for the two semi-finals. The Thai Stix (a team as old as the tournament itself – except with players who were barely born when the first tournament fax was sent) vs. Singapore’s feisty Chili Crabs. The young Stix came out victorious to face the winner of the Bangkok Wood Styx (captained by an older-than-JaromirJagr-Kelly-Cailes) vs. the always hard charging Hong Kong Islanders, winner of several Mekong Cups. A physical battle ensued (all players comforted by the fact that a professional Bangkok Nursing Hospital (BNH) nurse was in attendance throughout the day), the Islanders stood tall…the final was set. Skill, speed, intensity. Free beer flowing, crowd cheering, back and forth the score line, everything tied up until the tournament’s MVP, Canadian Marcel
Bouwens snuck one in from a sharp angle and the seconds wound tensely down until the very impressive Thai Styx came out deserving champions. Quoting captain fantastic, Devin Keer (standing next to a Scotty Murray hologram), “It wouldn’t be right for us to lose the Mekong on the Chaopraya.” An exciting tournament’s end, an evening’s darkness, a big spread of delicious British Club food…players, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, children and the curious at their tables on a tropical club lawn. How would this tournament wrap-up? Samakee, of course! Eric Lindros, you are welcome to come to Bangkok to drop the opening ball next year (and please bring Rod Gilbert). The Land of Smiles is home to not only forgiving, kind Quebec Nordiques fans, but a whole bunch of others (including a very generous Thai-Canadian who successfully bid on your jersey at the charity auction), hockey loving faithful who, through a decades old tournament in Thailand, have managed to celebrate history, make peace with the past, and prepare us all for a great hockey future. Samakee!
May - June 2017
WHY JOIN CanCham Thailand?
Membership Services CanCham Thailand has a member network of Canadians, Thais and other nationalities from a wide range of sectors. We offer business related speaking engagements, themed events, golf tournaments and our Business oriented “Canuck Connections” held the third Wednesday of every month. All of these events and functions create opportunities to meet professionals from all walks of life. As a member, you receive member pricing to our events which saves about 20% - 30% off nonmember prices. Membership to CanCham Thailand offers FREE access to educational resources, advocacy support and the opportunity to participate in networking events throughout Southeast Asia. The CanCham continually partners with think-tanks and stakeholders throughout Canada and ASEAN to produce high-quality, high-impact studies that analysis the health and growth of the Canada-ASEAN economic corridor. In addition to these studies, the CanCham Thailand works closely with local governments and has enjoyed a productive and lasting relationship with the Canadian government. By coordinating closely with our government partners in Canada and throughout ASEAN, we are able communicate our member's concerns to decision-makers in the region. Lastly, the CanCham Thailand is focused on providing high quality Networking Events that bring together key opinion leaders and decision makers active in the region within both the public and private sectors. Community Voice Through the CanCham Executive Director, Board of Directors and other members, we work to address matters affecting members' ability to run a successful business and/or organization in Thailand. CanCham Thailand in conjunction with the JFCCT (Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce in Thailand) and other Chambers of Commerce have the authority to write policy papers with the influence of your community voice. The JFCCT offers various committees such as Tourism, ICT, Education, International Trade and SME. Join a committee and get involved today. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Last year, CanCham donated 934,000 Baht to the People's Eye Care Foundation, the Thai Red Cross and the YWCA. By being involved, as a member or sponsor, you are giving back to the community by supporting our charitable donations. We also support various Alumni organizations and have placements for Interns and Externs at the Chamber office. Key Benefits: • Access to CanCham’s network • Invitations to CanCham Thailand events, along with ASEAN summits and conferences • Timely and relevant information about business and regulatory developments in the region • Networking opportunities with local and multinational firms operating in Thailand and Southeast Asia • Access to regional decision-makers in both Canada and ASEAN TO JOIN, please follow this link: http://www.tccc.or.th/20-great-reasons-join-tccc/
The power in nurturing a child’s mother tongue language More than half the people in the world use two or more languages regularly and as the world becomes more globalised, the ability to do this is becoming more important. When enrolling their children in an English medium International school, many parents have questions about their child’s mother tongue, or native language. “Should we switch to English at home if we can?”“Will learning English interfere with the native language?” “Should my child use her native language at school or be in a class where she can’t so that she learns English more quickly?” These concerns are understandable. Fortunately, there has been a lot of research into this area over the last thirty years and we can answer these questions ZLWK JUHDW FRQ¿GHQFH )RU example, Allyssa McCabe, Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts states quite directly: “The best way for a child to excel at English is to be good at their own native language. The message from academic research is that, at home, smart parents should stick with the language they know best. Speak that with your children – even if you can’t read it with them. English will take care of itself in time – and be better as a result.”
“We want to encourage our young people to be proud of their language heritage, and help them maintain and further GHYHORSWKLVVLJQL¿FDQW resource.”
Studies have shown that the brains of those who speak two or more ODQJXDJHV ÀXHQWO\ GHYHORS differently to those that only speak one language. They show that there are numerous FRJQLWLYH EHQH¿WV RI multilingualism. Bilinguals seem to be more adept at certain kinds of puzzles and this NLQG RI FRJQLWLYH ÀH[LELOLW\ was seen in children as young as 7 months old in a 2009 study.
At International School Bangkok (ISB), our curriculum is developed based on such research and we highly value language learning. We also have a very international student body. We want to encourage
,W LV FOHDU WR VHH WKH EHQH¿WV RI maintaining and developing children’s native languages when looking at school performance. Bilingual children are able to think more deeply about language itself which leads to increased metacognitive and metalinguistic skills. Even at an early school age, knowledge of two languages seems to increase early literacy skills including phonemic awareness, decoding, and use of words with similar roots. Students ZKR DUH ÀXHQW LQ WZR RU PRUH languages in their youth are also seen to have higher academic achievement.
our young people to be proud of their language heritage and help them to maintain and further GHYHORS WKLV VLJQL¿FDQW UHVRXUFH But we can’t do it alone. We encourage and support parents to take an active role in this development as well. ISBs mother tongue program has grown to support classes in Swedish, Danish, Hindi, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Dutch, German, Mandarin, Spanish, Thai and French, with more added each year. Students are able to focus on their mother tongue language regularly each week, while still EHFRPLQJ SUR¿FLHQW LQ DQRWKHU language. We want our students to receive DOO WKH EHQH¿WV RI ODQJXDJH development and to feel culturally and linguistically at home. Visit www.isb.ac.th to learn more.
Our Guiding Statements and values lead us to continuously improve our studentsâ€™ learning experience at all stages of development.
From August 2017 our new Early Years learning spaces will further enhance the experience of our youngest students through: Even more time to inquire
Even more opportunities for
Even more early years
outdoor learning, creative role
experts inspiring each
play and physical development
with an extended
in our inspiring new facilities
Scan the QR code or visit www.patana.ac.th/childcentred to find out more.
Celebrating 60 Years of British International Education
www.patana.ac.th email@example.com Tel: +66 (0) 2785 2200
Bangkok Patana is a not-for-profit, IB World School, accredited by CIS and NEASC