Pres­i­dent’s Re­marks

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Contents - Best Re­gards, Brad Mid­dle­ton Pres­i­dent

The hot sea­son is def­i­nitely upon us and I am look­ing for­ward to the much an­tic­i­pated rain that should soon be here, as I am sure you are.

A big thank you to all of those who at­tended the Gov­er­nors Ball on April 23. Close to 500 mem­bers and guest at­tended the gala event and from what I could see ev­ery­one seemed to be hav­ing a great time. This year’s theme was look­ing back over the past 60 years of U. S busi­ness in Thai­land as we are cel­e­brat­ing six decades since the Cham­ber was founded in 1956. Guests en­joyed the col­or­ful theme, lively mu­sic from Danny Cal­i­for­nia Blues Al­lS­tars, a deca­dent gourmet meal, non- stop cock­tails from Di­a­geo Moet Hen­nessy, and a Silent Auc­tion with more than 120 prizes up for bid. We are still tal­ly­ing the fi­nal re­sults of the auc­tion, but it looks like the Silent Auc­tion raised ap­prox­i­mately Baht 1.5 mil­lion for the AMCHAM Thai­land Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion to sup­port ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams in Thai­land. The evening couldn’t have been a suc­cess with­out the sup­port of the event part­ners, Silent Auc­tion and raf­fle prize donors, and of course the AMCHAM staff who were re­splen­dent in their theme cos­tumes.

In the last edi­tion of T- AB I an­nounced that a num­ber of new ini­tia­tives were un­der­way to help sup­port the Cham­ber’s ad­vo­cacy pro­grams. Th­ese in­cluded the for­ma­tion of a Trade and In­vest­ment Com­mit­tee, and re- in­vig­o­rat­ing the Gov- ern­ment Af­fairs Coun­cil. The Cham­ber has also en­gaged the sup­port of an out­side pol­icy af­fairs firm, Wood­mont In­ter­na­tional, to help lead th­ese ar­eas along with for­mu­lat­ing a “Roadmap for Growth” for Thai­land. This roadmap will con­tain pol­icy rec­om­men­da­tions to pro­mote con­fi­dence, in­vest­ment and job cre­ation in Thai­land and will fo­cus on a num­ber of key ar­eas in­clud­ing:

Em­brace re­form poli­cies that sup­port free mar­kets and free en­ter­prise

• Re­view the For­eign Busi­ness Act and lib­er­al­ize the ser­vices sec­tor;

- Re­form reg­u­la­tions that limit the abil­ity of for­eign com­pa­nies to in­vest in ar­eas such as fi­nan­cial ser­vices and land trans­porta­tion; Lib­er­al­ize the ser­vices sec­tor and lift the pro­hi­bi­tion on for­eign pro­fes­sion­als in such ser­vice sec­tors as law, ac­count­ing, ar­chi­tec­ture, and en­gi­neer­ing; - Equal treat­ment for all com­pa­nies – for­eign and Thai – in govern­ment pro­cure­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties;

• Re­form the Cus­toms and Ex­cise Law to bring them in line with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and best prac­tices; and

In­te­grate Immigration and La­bor poli­cies to make it eas­ier for for­eign busi­ness na­tion­als to work and live in Thai­land.

Take de­ci­sive ac­tion to­ward in­te­grat­ing Thai­land’s econ­omy with ASEAN and cap­i­tal­iz­ing on free trade agree­ment through­out the Asia- Pa­cific re­gion

In­sti­tu­tion­al­ize a public- pri­vate work­ing group to ad­vance Thai­land’s join­ing the Trans- Pa­cific Part­ner­ship

En­sure the rule and sta­bil­ity of law and pol­icy

• Re­ject cor­rup­tion, pro­mote po­lit­i­cal and le­gal sta­bil­ity, and ac­tively en­gage the pri­vate sec­tor;

- Strictly en­force In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty laws and reg­u­la­tions; - Im­ple­ment strin­gent anti- cor­rup­tion mea­sures and in­crease trans­parency in all ar­eas of busi­ness and govern­ment pro­cure­ment; In­sti­tute reg­u­lar con­sul­ta­tions be­tween key min­istries and for­eign busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions; - Pro­vide suf­fi­cient no­tice of public hear­ings and seek feed

back from pri­vate sec­tor on draft leg­is­la­tion.

In­vest in build­ing a mod­ern and di­ver­si­fied econ­omy

• Take bold ac­tion on ed­u­ca­tion and in­fras­truc­ture to pro­vide a foun­da­tion for a 21st cen­tury econ­omy; - Make sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in ed­u­ca­tion, vo­ca­tional train­ing, and com­pul­sory English lan­guage stud­ies in public schools; - Com­mence the in­fras­truc­ture in­vest­ment to up­date

high­ways, rail and ports; - Sup­port poli­cies that would make Thai­land a best in

class dig­i­tal econ­omy.

You should be see­ing more about the Roadmap shortly. I en­cour­age mem­bers who wish to be in­volved in con­tribut­ing to­wards th­ese pol­icy ini­tia­tives to con­tact the AMCHAM Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor.

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