AMCHAM Committee Roundup
Committee Leadership: Jim Grunewald, Redbird; John Brasch, Triumph Aviation Board Liaison: David Carden, Fedex
2015 Accomplishments: This newly- formed committee was established in October 2015 and its initial kickoff meeting was held on November 10. As this was the only meeting to date, the committee focused on the 2016 plans and areas of concentration. Aerospace is one of the fastest growing industries, and Thailand is well positioned to expand its market share in business aviation, regional training and asset management in coming years. Thailand is recognized as one of the expanding commercial and commuter air hubs in Asia and will continue to encourage investment as a key asset both for innovation and growth in numerous industries, particularly aerospace and supply- chain management. Thailand nascent Aerospace capabilities include airframe maintenance, engine overhaul, component and structural repair. The Aerospace Committee looks forward to working through the many issues proposed for the committee’s activities in the coming year.
Chair: Mark Kaufman, Ford Motor Company Other Council Leaders: David Nardone, Hemaraj Land & Development; Thomas Chambers, Continental Automotive; Philip Cook, Thai Summit Automotive Board Liaison: Marcos Purty, General Motors
2015 Accomplishments: I. Sustaining advocacy on the three priority issues of the Council The Council, led by its Leaders and the three Working Groups ( Policy, Labor and Infrastructure), continued its focus on three priority topics that are strategic to the competitiveness of U. S. investments in the Thailand auto industry: a. Automotive Policies − Monitored closely the formulation of guidelines to implement the CO2 emission based tax structure that becomes effective in January 2016; − Shared the status and implications of proposed excise tax law reform and various consumer protection related bills; − Regular updates on the performance of the Thai automotive industry.
b. Building the supply of skilled workers − Monitored status of amendments to the Labor Relations Act and Labor Protection Act, ensuring that Auto Council views are relayed to the appropriate channels for consideration; Shared compliance practices in connection with Section 11/ 1 of the Labor Protection Law; Provided info on collaborative student / worker training programs. c. Expanding critical road networks in the Eastern Seaboard − Advocacy continues. Despite changes in government, decent progress has been made in some road infrastructure projects. II. Monitoring developments in ASEAN Shared status of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement, which if approved by ASEAN, will have bearing on both the carmakers and parts makers covered by mandatory technical standards. III. Organizing annual briefing in Eastern Seaboard Continued the practice of holding an annual Auto Council meeting/ briefing in the Eastern Seaboard area. Collaborated with the Eastern Seaboard Committee in organizing a seminar on May 15. The two part program featured a panel discussion on the ASEAN Automotive Outlook that was led by briefing by LMC followed by a lively Q& A panel discussion featuring resource persons from the leading car and parts manufacturers.
BUSINESS ECONOMICS COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Peggy Creveling, Creveling & Creveling; Teera Phutrakul, JTFP; Ken White, Pacific Siam Strategic Consulting Board Liaison: Somboon Krobteeranon, Visa
2015 Accomplishments: Overall, 2015 was another satisfactory year with a slight increase in the number of attendees at the committee meetings. Altogether, the committee held 10 meetings in 2015. Just like in previous years, the committee’s monthly speakers focused on issues relating to government economic and investment policies, analysis of macro- economic trends, and review of developments in key industrial and services sectors.
Much of discussions this year were focused on the economic policies of the current administration and investment outlooks both domestic and offshore. Some of the notable speakers included: Dr. Kobsak Phutrakul, Bangkok Bank’s Chief Economist; Rahul Bhalla, Managing Director of Vanguard Investments Singapore; Adithep Vanabriksha, CIO of Aberdeen Asset Management Thailand.
In addition, the Business Economics Committee also heard from James Pitchon of CBRE on the annual property outlook and review; Mongkolnimit Auacherdkul, Public and Government Affairs Manager of Esso ( Thailand) also briefed the committee on the energy outlook to the year 2040. Returning speakers included Bob Fitts, political consultant and retired Foreign Service officer and Jonathan Blaine from Baker & Mckenzie who gave an update on the newly enacted inheritance and gift tax laws.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Jonathan Fryer, Mazars; Jan Van Ekeren, Bank of Ayudhya Board Liaison: Darren Buckley, Citibank
2015 Accomplishments: In 2015, the Community Engagement Committee, along with AMCHAM staff and other AMCHAM committees, raised Baht 8.1 million for the AMCHAM Thailand Charitable Foundation ( ATCF), which used the funds to achieve the following:
• Award 200 university scholarships to underprivileged and qualified Thai students at 31 institutions of higher education throughout the country; • Matched Baht 999,972 in Adopt- a- School donations; • Completed 3 Adopt- a- School projects; • Administered 10 ongoing Adopt- a- School projects; • Provided 12 teachers to understaffed primary schools; • Held the Fedex Career Camp - 60 final year scholarship students came together in Bangkok for a three day program to prepare them for their future careers; • Held the Student Scholarship Orientation Camp - with a strong focus on community service and social responsibility, the camp gave 71 new scholarship students an opportunity to meet with and learn more about AMCHAM and its members. The highlight of the camp was the visit to a Samut Sakhorn School where students spent the day doing community service by building a brain- based learning ( known as BBL) playground.
The ATCF also supported 22 American Fulbright English Teaching Assistants ( ETAS). The ETA program places Fulbrighters in classrooms to provide assistance to local English teachers. ETAS help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U. S. There are now 22 ETAS in Thailand and it is the ambition of the Committee to expand this program in the future.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ( CSR) COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Richard Bernhard, Kenan Institute Asia; Alex Mavro, Sasin Board Liaison: Waewkanee Assoratgoon, Yum Restaurants
International 2015 Accomplishments: The Committee’s signature event was the ninth annual AMCHAM CSR Excellence ( ACE) Recognition. ACE recognition helps to identify AMCHAM members’ best practices by understanding the linkages between business operations and society so as to conduct business in a way that creates both long- term economic and social value. In 2015, a record of 62 AMCHAM members received ACE recognition, including 10 SMES. This year, ACE included the second set of 8 firms receiving Gold level recognition, joining the 13 firms from last year exhibiting excellence in CSR for five consecutive years. There were 13 firms exhibiting excellence in CSR for three consecutive years to receive the Silver level recognition. They join the group of 38 companies qualifying for Silver recognition over the past few years. In addition, a creative partnership
designation was provided in partnership with the U. S. Embassy to recognize 26 firms with innovative and creative business practices in the spirit of the Thai – U. S. Creative Partnership.
Throughout the year the CSR committee shares the best practices of ACE awardees. Speakers this year included representatives from Marriott International, AIA, Raja’s Fashions, Fedex, Mead Johnson Nutrition, IBM and Conrad Bangkok. In addition, the CSR committee presented an overview of the requirements for member companies to apply for AMCHAM’S CSR Excellence ( ACE) Recognition to interested members.
CUSTOMS AND EXCISE COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Kittipong Jangkamolkulchai, Phillip Morris; Florina Vistal, Ford; Paul Sumner, Pricewaterhousecoopers Board Liaison: David Carden, Fedex
The Committee completed a revised AMCHAM position paper on customs issues, leveraging a renewed effort of the Customs Department to revise the penalty and reward regimes and advocating for a long- term goal of total elimination of the problematic system.
Provided information to AMCHAM members on customs and excise developments; continued advocating with the U. S. Government and the Royal Thai Government; and met with various Chambers and business groups including the U. S. Trade Representative office ( USTR) to discuss customs reforms. • Received Board approval and support of the JFCCT, British, South African, Australian, Canadian, and Thai Chamber of Commerce on our Customs position paper. • The committee continued its advocacy with the U. S. Government and the Royal Thai Government leveraging our position paper to continue to keep pressure on the Thai Government’s pending customs reforms that are now working their way through the governmental political process. • Held eight monthly meetings.
EASTERN SEABOARD COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Michael Diamente, American Axle Manufacturing; Vincent Pourre, Wall Street English Board Liaison: David Nardone, Hemaraj Land & Development
2015 Accomplishments: AMCHAM’S Eastern Seaboard Committee held monthly networking functions in partnership with other foreign chambers.
In February, the Committee held a joint networking event in Pattaya, sponsored by Hemaraj. The event was hosted by AMCHAM and held in conjunction with Austcham Thailand, the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand ( BCCT), German- Thai Chamber of Commerce ( GTCC), the South- African Chamber and the Belgian- Luxemburg Chamber ( Beluthai).
In May, the Eastern Seaboard Committee hosted a joint meeting with the Auto Council committee, with a guest speaker from LMC Automotive who gave an update on the industry in Thailand and ASEAN. The Committee also had guest speakers from Ford, General Motors, Thai Summit, and Hemaraj who presented updates on policy and labor regulations in Thailand, as well as road infrastructure and development projects in the Eastern Seaboard. The Auto council meeting was followed by a networking function cosponsored by PCS and Wall Street English.
Looking forward to 2016, AMCHAM and the Eastern Seaboard Committee will be organizing networking functions in February, June and November. The Committee has also planned a site visit to Caterpillar’s factory in February and a joint event with the Auto Council and Transportation & Logistics committee in June.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Mongkolnimit Auacherdkul, Esso; Pairoj Kaweeyanun, Chevron Board Liaison: Neil Hansen, Esso
2015 Accomplishments: The committee continued working with other committees to organize activities to meet key objectives. The committee kicked off with a planning session and hosted an update on Energy Outlook - A View to 2040 by Exxon Mobil Corporation. Various speakers from government agencies were invited to present a series of country energy roadmaps starting with the Thailand Integrated Energy Blueprint ( 2015- 2036), the 2015 Power Development Plan, the 2015 Alternative Energy Development Plan, and the 2015 Gas Plan. Good feedback was received from member companies on the series of reviews on the country energy roadmaps which helped to increase understanding on the country energy roadmaps as well as guide future advocacy efforts to support member companies’ businesses.
FOOD & AGRI- BUSINESS COMMITTEE
Committee Leaders: Dee Richmond, Agrisource; Alan Adcock, Tilleke & Gibbins; Jirawat Poomsrikaew, Dupont; Mark Kujawa, Diamond V Mills Board Liaison: Dhanakorn Kasetrsuwan, La- Z- Boy
2015 Accomplishments: The Committee held the following events to accomplish its mission:
• Regulatory Impingements of IP Rights: Briefing and discussion by Kittipong Jangkamolkulchai, Philip Morris; Jirawat Poomsrikaew, Dupont; Rachanatorn Laohaphan, Diageo Moet Hennessy; • Afternoon at the Races - Thoroughbred Horse Racing in Thailand: Lunch and briefing by Theresa Kujawa, Royal British Sports Club Racing Committee and Equine Consultant; • Future of Rice in Thailand: Briefing by Dr. Amar Siamwala, Thailand Development and Research Institute; • Thai FDA and Department of Livestock Development - Legal and Regulatory Update: Briefing by Naruemol Chatsanga, Food
Control Division, Thailand Food and Drug Administration; Atthachai Homhuan, Tilleke & Gibbins; Siradapat Ratanakorn, Tilleke & Gibbins; • Visit to Animal Science Learning Center, Kasetsart University: Briefing and tour of Learning Center and discussions with Faculty of Agriculture; • Meeting with Pediatric Nutrition Manufacturer Association ( PNMA) about Ministry of Public Health draft regulations on expanding advertising restrictions on pediatric nutritional replacements; • Meet the Vets: Briefing by Dr. Jakaphan Wannawong and Dr. Thitiporn Pliansamai; • Joint Healthcare and Food & Agri- Business Committees – Are Gluten- free Eating and Foods a Fad? – Briefing by Kitiya Suvannasankha, Bumrungrad International, and Teeranat Limpichotikul, SGS Thailand; • Key U. S. Agricultural Trade Issues: Briefing by Bobby Richey, the
new U. S. Agricultural Counselor for the U. S. Embassy; • Round table discussion with Christine Brown, USTR Director for
Southeast Asia and Pacific Affairs; • Meeting with Thailand Crop Protection Association ( TCPA); • Ebola and other Animal- Related Diseases: Briefing by Dr. Pawin Padungtod, Veterinary Medical Officer, Global Disease Detection Regional Center Thai MOPH.
GREATER PHUKET CHAPTER
Committee Leadership: Bill Barnett, C9 Hotelworks; John Magee, The Phuket Gazette
On January 26 the committee, in conjunction with C9 Hotelworks, held the fourth Annual Thailand Tourism Forum 2015 ( TTF) at Intercontinental Bangkok. This year’s attendance exceeded 500 travel and tourism participants. TTF 2015 provided a forum where hospitality leaders and experts candidly discussed the economic impact of political changes and the shift in tourism trends globally and in the region.
In September an event on China’s high- end tourism was held at the JW Marriott Phuket. Over 150 participants gathered as David Johnson and Vanessa Zhu of Delivering Asia Communications spoke about tapping into Mainland China’s vast social media network to promote inbound tourism to Thailand. Vanessa, DAC’S Digital Marketing Specialist and Communications Director for China, unveiled how to attract high- end Chinese outbound travelers to hotels and resorts in Thailand through a range of communications strategies.
October saw a tourism event at the Outrigger Laguna Phuket focusing on Phuket tourism by the numbers. STR Global’s Area Director for Asia Pacific, Jesper Palmqvist, and Mark Simmons, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Outrigger Resorts, spoke to 100 attendees on destination tourism performance and provided insight into strategy in a volatile marketplace.
In November and December the Angsana Laguna Phuket hosted twin events with a special Thanksgiving business networking lunch on November 26 and a Family Christmas party on December 9. The Phuket Chapter continues to focus on high- profile events that are well attended and help promote the Chamber.
Committee Leadership: Siriwan Chuenchomsakun, Pfizer; Sudi Narasimhan, Bumrungrad Hospital; Thavirap Tantiwongse, GSK. Board Liaison: Christian Malherbe, Pfizer
The Healthcare Committee held a planning session to come up with a yearly plan of activities along with a policy position developing session. The committee highlighted key policy issues to ensure Thailand’s competitiveness and improve patient care and quality of life.
The priorities were: ( 1) recommending against cost containment policies that covered fixing of pricing in private hospitals which limited treatment options and investment in new technology; and ( 2) advocating against the use of an inconsistent methodology to set maximum procurement price of the medicines which could potentially limit access to innovative medicines. Additionally, evolution and transparency of government procurement were also encouraged by recommending the removal of Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organization ( GPO) privilege and opening the market for fair competition.
Lastly, the committee strongly advised the Thai government to review draft drug bill provisions which required confidential data of patent and price structure disclosure as part of the approval criteria and which leads to discrimination against innovation and foreign companies.
The committee also set up two key luncheon events in August and November that covered the following topics: ‘ Can Artificial Intelligence Help Doctors Plan More Effective Treatments’ by an expert from Bumrungrad International Hospital, Dr. James Miser, and ‘ What future lies ahead for Thailand’s Life Sciences Industry’ by Dr. Nares Damrongchai, CEO of Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences ( TCELS).
HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Christopher Schultz, APM; Amy Christenson, YUM; Richard Jackson, RLC Recruitment Board Liaison: Marcos Purty, General Motors
2015 Accomplishments: February: Joint HR and Legal Committee briefing on the labor environment. The biggest draw of the year with 73 attendees, this event featured guest speakers from Chandler & Thong- ek, Pricesanond, Raja and Tann, and Assessment Associates International and covered the latest updates to Thai labor law; March: The presentation by Birches Group drew 45 attendees who learned about labor market updates for Thailand and ASEAN; April: Changing formats, the April meeting was an intimate
roundtable in which the 15 attendees brainstormed on the subject of employee engagement, identifying their organizations’ biggest challenges and discussing possible solutions; • June: Featuring a presentation by the Cultural Intelligence Center, this session had 26 attendees and featured a panel discussion with member companies Philip Morris and Yum Restaurants International; • July: The topic about Generation Y, and whether they really are different, was the focus this month, with panelists from Mahidol University International College, Chevron, and APM Group. Thirty people attended; • August: The focus turned to recruitment in this session. Fiftyseven attendees came to hear presentations from Linkedin and RLC Recruitment. The session included guest panelists from Pronto Marketing, Adecco, and PPG Coatings; • September: Leadership Coaching was the topic of this meeting, which drew 33 attendees and featured three guest speakers: Coach Kriengsak Niratpattanasai, Dr. Siraya Kongsompong, and Srikanth Seshadri. Additionally, Chirathep Senivongs Na Ayudha from the Bank of Thailand joined as a guest panelist; • October: The Professional Women’s Committee and HR Committee co- presented a session on women in the Thai workplace. Thirty people attended this presentation by Dr. Jesper Dopping from Mahidol University International College with guest panelists from Yum Restaurants International, Philip Morris, and General Cable; • November: To conclude the year’s programming, the HR Committee held our annual compensation and benefits session, with guest speakers from Towers Watson and Mercer. We had 40 attendees and guest panelists from Nestle and Standard Chartered Bank.
In 2016, the HR Committee aims to continue to provide frequent topics of high value to the AMCHAM membership, while increasing the involvement of member companies. Additionally, we will move to increase attendance through a combination of better advertising around events and by optimizing timing and location of the events.
INDEPENDENCE DAY PICNIC COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Tom Whitcraft, RMA Asia Board Liaison: Douglas de Weese, Pet Protect Co., Ltd.
This year’s Independence Day picnic was held on July 4, 2015 at KIS International School. Over 2,000 people attended the event and more than Baht 700,000 was raised for the AMCHAM Thailand Charitable Foundation.
This year’s event included many highlights including the following items:
• 6 bands covering a wide range of American music; • 7 food brands offering American and international cuisine and
beverages; • A chili cook- off; • AMCHAM company members offering entertainment and edu
cational activities for children; • 6 months of planning from 20+ volunteer committee members
and 70+ volunteers on the day of the event.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY ( ICT) COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Desarack Teso, Microsoft; John Fotiadis, Atherton; John Formichella, Blumenthal Richter & Sumet; Andrew Mcbean, Grant Thornton; Madan Misra, Seagate Board Liaison: Jeff Nygaard, Seagate
2015 Accomplishments: Among the highlights of the activities and events for the ICT Committee in 2015 were:
• As part of a multi- chamber ICT Working Group, in November the committee participated in a courtesy dialogue with H. E. Dr. Uttama Savanayana, Minister of ICT, his Vice Minister and advisers to discuss structural reform of the telecoms sector, the evolution and role of state- owned enterprises, a trusted internet, skills in the sector and the free movement of skilled labor, investment promotion policies, competition regulation, and the draft Digital Economy laws, including cyber security and data privacy issues such as cross- border data flow. Dr. Uttama invited the business delegation to a further dialogue, particularly on the draft Digital Economy laws; • Continuing the biannual tradition, the 2015 edition of Gadget Night was held in November where the latest and coolest gadgets were on display at a multi- chamber social networking night organized by AMCHAM with the participation of the British, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian chambers. Some of these devices and gadgets were shown in Thailand for the first time. There were a total of 12 exhibitors, showing everything from cool PCS, interactive smart phones and TVS, to high- tech camping equipment, devices for home security, fitness wearables, and even pet gadgets. The event attracted close to 150 participants; • The ICT Committee developed an ICT position paper for AMCHAM’S submission to the Office of the Prime Minister and Electronic Transaction Development Agency ( ETDA) in July. The paper advocates that the Government consider a number of issues in shaping a robust digital economy from the legal, regulatory and business perspectives. The paper highlights
AMCHAM’S recommendations on issues such as data protection, cyber- crime, IP protection, electronic transactions, BOI incentives, government procurement, mobile infrastructure and human resources. Former Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn made positive remarks during an AMCHAM dinner in that he went through each issue and recommendation outlined in the paper and said something along the line of “we will get this done;” • In line with the top- of- mind topic in the IT industry today, two events were organized to share perspectives on cyber- security threats, protection, detection and response with Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit and with the National Institute of Standards and Technology ( NIST). NIST, an agency under the U. S. Department of Commerce, shared its Cyber Security Framework – directed by President Obama’s executive order “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cyber Security” – consisting of standards, guidelines and practices to help owners and operators of critical infrastructure manage cyber security- related risk.
Committee Leadership: Mark Griffin, Lao Coca- Cola Bottling Company Limited; Dilip Jesuthasan, Lao Ford City; Richard Reece, Village Focus International; Briana Olson, DFDL; Tammy Medard, ANZ Bank Laos; Anna Linden, Sciaroni & Associates; Mike Carroll, Asian Natural Products of Florida; Robert Allen Jr. Board Liaison: Marcos Purty, General Motors
2015 Accomplishments: In 2015, founding Chair Chris Manley stepped down as Chair as he relocated to another country, and Mark Griffin, General Manager of Lao Coca- Cola Bottling Company Limited, was selected as the new Chair. Additionally, the Leadership Team expanded from four to eight members with three positions being filled by women, thus adding to a gender balance of the Leadership Team. There were also three new sub- committees formed which are focused on corporate social responsibility ( CSR), policy, and events and membership. Also seen in 2015 was an increase in membership of 10 new corporate members and five new individual members. This brings total membership to 31 corporate and 14 individual members.
The support of AMCHAM Thailand is greatly appreciated. Executive Director, Judy Benn, visited Vientiane in November for consultations with the AMCHAM Lao Chapter’s Leadership Team. A Leadership Team member also met with U. S. Commercial Counselor Greg Wong in Bangkok which was followed up with a conference call between Mr. Wong and three Leadership Team members about potential U. S. exports to Laos and a summary of the Chapter’s organizational and community activities.
The Lao Chapter had monthly networking events throughout the year with members and new contacts. There has been considerable improvement in the quality of networking events since August as all networking events since then have been sponsored thanks to an increased pool of generous member companies. On average, each networking event since August has had about 50 attendees whereas the average turnout before was 25. There have been two joint networking receptions with the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Laos ( ECCIL) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce ( AUSTCHAM). The Lao Chapter also participated in two joint chamber CSR seminars. Other networking activities involved live viewings of the Super Bowl and College Bowl games throughout January and February.
In February, Lao Ford City, Lao Coca- Cola Bottling Company Limited and Lao- Asia Pacific Breweries/ Heineken sponsored AMCHAM Lao Charity Golf Day. A total of 89 people played including the Ambassadors of Australia and Malaysia and staff of the U. S. Embassy. The U. S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Paul Mayer, was present and gave remarks. Over $ 5,000 was raised and donated to the AMCHAM Lao Scholarship Program. In October, the AMCHAM Fundraiser Picnic took place with sponsorship from five major companies ( Lao Ford City, Lao Coca- Cola Bottling Company Limited, ANZ Bank Laos, Datacom and Lao- Asia Pacific Breweries). The event featured raffle prizes and fun activities and food from some of the best restaurants in Vientiane. The U. S. Ambassador attended and gave remarks. Several hundred people and families attended and more than $ 3,000 was raised for the 2016 scholarship fund.
Quarterly breakfast meetings with U. S. Ambassador Daniel Clune and Lao Chapter members were held throughout the year. Most took place at the Ambassador’s residence and one was held at the new U. S. Embassy in Vientiane and included a tour.
Additional events with the U. S. State Department included a lunch meeting with the U. S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Economic and Business Affairs, Kurt Tong, and Lao Chapter members in February plus an event with the departing U. S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Paul Mayer, and Lao Chapter members in June. The Chapter also coordinated a joint policy statement on the role of the private sector in the Lao economy to be part of the UNDP- Government of Laos Round Table Meetings on Laos’ five- year National Socio- Economic Development Plan. In addition, the Lao Chapter met with the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce ( MOIC) to suggest key areas of development when Laos chairs ASEAN in 2016.
Other events of professional value included a presentation from the USA Overseas Private Investment Corporation ( OPIC) for American investors interested in Laos, a presentation from Birches Group on ASEAN Labor Market Trends, and an update from KPMG on U. S. tax and financial reporting regulations.
Through the CSR sub- committee, the Chapter’s first initiatives to give back to the Lao community began this year. At the start of the year, some members utilized funds from the 2014 AMCHAM Picnic to make a donation of blankets to students at Vientiane School for the Deaf and Blind. Then, in the springtime, the CSR sub- committee piloted the Lao Chapter’s new scholarship program. The program is currently supporting 12 Lao higher education students who are studying in Vientiane and have demonstrated potential to be future economic and business leaders in Laos. Ten of the 12 students come from provinces outside of Vientiane. Funds for the scholarships were raised from the aforementioned AMCHAM Lao Charity Golf Day and the 2014 AMCHAM Picnic.
Committee Leadership: Douglas Mancill, Pricesanond; Christopher Knight, Everett Knight; David Lawrence, Tilleke & Gibbins; Sutathip Kallayawinai, Ford Motor Company Board Liaison: Dhanakorn Kasetrsuwan, La- Z- Boy
2015 Accomplishments: 2015 was another productive year for the Legal Committee. The Committee organized 11 programs which were in total attended by over 380 AMCHAM members. The Committee’s highest attended event of the year was discussion of the Licensing Facilitation Act by the drafters of the law and the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission. The second highest attended event was a presentation by the Board of Investment where it described its new incentives.
In addition to hosting speakers from the Royal Thai Government, the Committee continued its collaboration with other AMCHAM committees and foreign chambers on issues that impact doing business in Thailand. The Legal Committee held two “Ask a Lawyer” events with the SME Committee and also co- organized the annual Labor and Employment program with the HR Committee. The Legal Committee teamed with the British Chamber’s Legal Committee on Class Actions, Anti- corruption topics and the amendments to guarantee and mortgage. For advocacy the Legal Committee attended visiting U. S. government official briefings and the Department of Intellectual Property roundtable.
The Committee has already started its planning for 2016 and welcomes input from all AMCHAM members on programs and other areas of interest the Committee can address.
Committee Leadership: Sumur Svastisalee, YUM Restaurants International, Wanvisa Komindr, Citibank; Pasquale Ruberto, Mindshare; Board Liaison: Waewkanee Assoratgoon, YUM Restaurants International
2015 Accomplishments: The theme for 2015 was “A year of growth and innovation.” The Marketing Committee held five sessions for a total of 402 attendees as compared to 425 last year. The Cannes Lions session was one of the highlights this year, and it was the most well received and attracted the best turn out to date with 140 attendees. In addition, the Marketing Committee presented high caliber speakers, such as the Managing Director of Mindshare, General Manager of Uber, and Executive Creative Director of Leo Burnett. Overall attendance this year was down due to the scaling back on the number of sessions, but the level of participation was strong.
PROFESSIONAL WOMEN COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Karen Hochhauser, APM Board Liaison: Waewkanee Assoratgoon, Yum Restaurants International 2015 Accomplishments: 2015 started with a decision to conduct a survey of all members to review the direction of the committee, what it should offer its members and when, and how to maximize exposure and inclusion. The survey feedback resulted in the confirmation that the committee was conducting the right programs to address the needs and wants of our members.
This year the committee had a number of programs that ranged in content and objectives, starting with a pampering at the Elemis Spa. Members were treated to some special spa treatments as well as a talk from a leader in the industry. In February, the committee joined the joint chambers Professional Women’s Group to meet other professional women and support the greater women’s network in Bangkok. Continuing from the strong start, the committee changed things up and brought back its Women in Leadership Speaker Series. Tammy Chan, MD of Philip Morris spoke about obstacles and opportunities women face in the corporate world. This event was followed with a talk on mindfulness lead by Khun Gift, who is responsible for the Mindful Education Initiative at the American School of Bangkok.
Later in the year, the committee conducted a joint event with the Human Resource Committee on “Women in the Thai Work Place” with Dr. Jesper Döpping from Mahidol University International College who shared research on “The Faces of Female Leadership – Dolls and ‘ the hinder legs’ of private business in Thailand.” This event also included a panel discussion featuring successful female leaders in Thailand who shared their insights, challenges, and suggestions for paths to success. AMCHAM PWC then got back into the spirit of positive healthy body, mind, and spirit and hit the barre at Physique 57 followed by networking. The committee ended the year by joining the U. S. Embassy, Connecting Founders, and Moxie for the Women in Business in Southeast Asia series. The event focused on how to build a strong brand – in Thailand and beyond – and the importance of marketing for the success of a business.
Committee Leadership: Henny Beeber, AES Group; Matthew Quin, Chevron Board Liaison: Joe Mannix, United Airlines
2015 Accomplishments: The committee continued its close cooperation with both the Overseas Security Advisory Committee ( OSAC) and the U. S. Embassy’s Regional Security Office. At the last meeting the committee reached out for cooperation to the newly- established ASIS ( American Society for Industrial Security) Thailand Chapter to expand the attendee base. The quarterly meetings were hosted by key speakers from both the public and private security sector. The meetings were all well attended by business professionals from the security sector and other business sectors. Highlights included:
• The first quarterly meeting of the year was a joint meeting with OSAC/ Security/ Transportation & Logistics covering
transportation security. Key speakers were from the U. S. Embassy and the Transportation Security Administration. • A joint conference with ICT and Travel & Tourism committees which provided briefings by security experts from the U. S. Secret Service, American Express and Orion covering credit card and document fraud prevention, digital forensics and cybercrime. It was a very interesting topic for many business sectors. • The last meeting of the year covered “Business Continuity in Turbulent Times,” a very relevant topic after the violent bombing in Bangkok and earlier protests.
Committee Leadership: Paul Robere, Robere & Associates; Kevin Windfield, Manhattan Asset Management; Martin Jancik, Tractus
The Committee hosted or co- hosted eight programs, with an average of 22 attendees covering topics including website design, legal advice, using the Cloud to expand your business, a communications boot camp, two factory visits, coffee training center, and a presentation on the value of performance reviews. All of the topics were well presented by highly qualified speakers and well received.
The committee’s year started off with the return of Carl Heaton who led the group discussion on how to develop a marketable website. In March, the committee had a combined SME and Legal committee program titled “Everything you wanted to ask a lawyer and didn’t want to pay for!” This included representatives from four different law firms who shared their expertise on understanding the legal impact to an SME business.
In May, the Senior Vice President of Global Head Operations at Seagate, Jeffrey Nygaard, joined us with his team to explain the use of the Cloud. Additionally, they provided a door prize of two 8TB memory systems. In June, the committee visited Aziam BursonMarsteller, and was given a presentation by Tom Poldre, Director of Training and Development. He gave the group a communications boot camp. No year is complete without a visit to the Jelly Belly factory and a combined trip to Emerson manufacturing. The senior management of both firms took time out of their busy schedules to personally show the attendees around the factory.
In August, the committee was treated to a visit to the new CoffeeWorks Experience Center where Dale Lee and Andrew Stotz shared not only the techniques for making good coffee but the financial impact of an organization like COFFEEWORKS. In October the lawyers came back once again to share their valuable expertise and provided some valuable tips to the SME committee on how to best understand the legal impact of running a business in Thailand. In November, the committee finished out the schedule with Fred Mouawad, who shared with the group his considerable experience on developing a personal performance system that provides results.
It was the intent of the leadership to provide a wide range of subjects that would appeal to the majority of the participants. In some cases it was felt that the subject matter covered more than one committee and as such, it was promoted as a joint committee program.
Committee Leadership: Kevin Windfield, Manhattan Asset Management; Pavin Rodloytuk, Citibank Board Liaison: Darren Buckley, Citibank
2015 Accomplishments: At the 2015 Memorial Day and Thanksgiving Charitee Golf Tournaments, the committee raised a total amount of Baht 834,000.
The Sports Committee also raised over Baht 350,000 from the charity bowling tournaments for a combined contribution in 2015 of over Baht 1,180,000 to the AMCHAM Thailand Charitable Foundation ( ATCF). The Sports Committee will continue in 2016 with the spring and fall bowling tournaments and the Memorial Day and Thanksgiving golf. The committee is always exploring new ways to raise money for the ATCF and to bring further joy and value to AMCHAM members. The committee’s current total contribution to the ATCF is over USD 485,000.
Committee Leadership: John Andes, KPMG; Greg Lamont, Pricewaterhousecoopers; Peetinuch “Tong” Utaiwan, General Electric
Throughout the year, there were several Tax Committee meetings updating members of the developments of the U. S. and Thai tax law, including transfer pricing legislation and inheritance tax. The speakers were from various professional firms located in Thailand and overseas.
The Tax Committee is monitoring Thai tax legislation and tax reform efforts which, if implemented, would have an impact on many members. The Tax Committee also prepared a 15 point paper on suggestions to make Thailand more competitive from a tax perspective.
TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS COMMITTEE ( TLC)
Committee Leadership: Dennis Berkompas, PB Agencies; Anutra Sinchaipanich, Caterpillar; Ian Hamilton, Colliers International Board Liaison: Jeff rey Nygaard, Seagate
The Committee hosted speakers from government ( Thai and U. S. Embassy), academic, and private sectors with updates on transport security, Thailand urban and inter- city infrastructure projects, ASEAN logistics developments, and supply chain logistic integration and practices.
The list of distinguished guest speakers included: Thomas R. Van Den Brink, Regional Security Offi cer, Quang Nguyen, Transportation Security Administration Attaché, and other members of Customs and Border Protection and Department of Homeland Security; Dr. Phichet Kunadhamraks, Senior Civil Engineer of the Offi ce of Transport and Policy & Planning ( OTP) at Ministry of Transport; Dr. Ruth Banomyong, Head of the Department of International Business from Thammasat University; Matthew Brown, Vice President of Seagate Supply Chain Operations & Services; and Eric J. Wilson, Delta’s Director for Asia Pacifi c Cargo Sales. The full presentations of the TLC guest speakers are available on AMCHAM’S website.
The Committee held joint meetings and participated in meetings with other AMCHAM committees and foreign chambers’ committee, such as the British Chamber’s Property and Infrastructure Committee and the Joint Chambers Customs Committee, providing invaluable information to members. Furthermore, the TLC provided monthly updates of Thai Port and Inland Container Depot ( ICD) and Roll- on/ Roll- off statistic reports and daily news updates to members with information that can be incorporated into their business activities and decision- making.
TRAVEL & TOURISM COMMITTEE ( TTC)
Committee Leadership: Charles Blocker, Zinc Invision Hospitality; Francis Zimmerman, Minor Hotel Group Thailand
2015 Accomplishments: 1. Thailand Tourism Forum in January with 455 attendees; 2. Lunch presentation “Vocational Training in the Hospitality Industry” by Simon Martin, Director of the Hospitality & Catering Training Center in Mae Sot in March ( postponed); 3. Credit Card and Travel Document Fraud in the Hospitality Sec
tor together with the Security Committee and OSAC in May; 4. Hotels 20/ 20 – Welcoming Tomorrow’s Guests by Tantra Tantraporn, Partner of Management Consulting Services at Grant Thornton in June; 5. Planning session for “Travel USA” initiative scheduled for May 2016 to promote travel to the USA in conjunction with the U. S. Commercial Service; 6. Hosting the new TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn - “TAT Moving Forward and What it can do for Thailand,” joint event with the British, Australian, and Dutch chambers; 7. East is Green: How to Reach China’s Upscale Travelers in the Age of Wechat by David Johnson, Managing Director, Delivering Asia Communications in November 2015.
2015 Advocacy with Royal Thai Government:
1. TTF 2015: Invited key leadership from the Tourism Authority of Thailand ( TAT), Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau to hear reports from Thailand’s tourism/ hospitality/ investment leaders ( foreigners and Thais); 2. Met TAT’S consultants on a mandate for TAT’S “Thailand’ Capa
bilities in Drawing the North American High Value Travelers”.
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE ( YPC)
Committee Leadership: Laurie C. Charusorn, Bumrungrad Hospital; Melissa Edwards, Tilleke & Gibbins; Peter Moore, Dow Corning; Tanya Phathanathong, YUM Restaurants International Board Liaison: Douglas de Weese, Pet Protect
2015 Accomplishments: 2015 has been an amazing year for YPC. The 2015 goal was to raise Baht 250,000 for ATCF’S Adopt- a- School program. Thanks to various venues, sponsors, and activities, the goal has almost been met as of October with over Baht 212,530 in charitable funds raised. Eff orts were continued to promote YPC monthly events on social media channels such as Facebook, Google+, and Linkedin.
However, this year the YPC also expanded their marketing eff orts with other infl uencers such as Find Your Way in Bkk and One Place Bangkok to allow them to reach a more diverse group of people and better spread the word. The YPC also spent a lot of eff ort in getting to know their attendees through personal surveys and post- event email surveys to try to make the events more fun and productive. YPC has also focused on connecting with Thai alumni and the U. S. Embassy community as part of their strategy to reach out to young leaders in Thailand.
At the core of the committee’s objectives is raising funds for the ATCF’S Adopt- a- School program. In 2015, YPC has been working very hard towards that goal which resulted in two school dedications in Korat Province in March. The committee was able to see their hard work realized with Brain Based Learning playgrounds, newly renovated libraries and books, water fi ltration systems installed, etc. for a total of four disadvantaged schools in the area.
Further, in November, the YPC attended their second school dedication in Kanchanaburi Province where the committee saw how their events have helped another school further their goal to be self- sustaining. This project allowed the school to lay out farm land for growing their own vegetables, livestock for meat, poultry, and eggs, a Brain Based Learning playground, and other necessary renovations to the school grounds.
Furthermore, YPC plays a key role as a recruiting tool for the Chamber, educating people about the Chamber’s activities and encouraging new members to join.