AMCHAM Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor’s Re­marks

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Contents -

Each June I have the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend the Asia Pa­cific Coun­cil of Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce ( APCAC) Doorknock in Wash­ing­ton, D. C. This an­nual event brings to­gether 29 Amer­i­can cham­bers of com­merce from 22 economies through­out the Asia- Pa­cific re­gion. The pur­pose of the Doorknock is to meet with mem­bers of the U. S. Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Congress to in­flu­ence reg­u­la­tory frame­works af­fect­ing Amer­i­can busi­ness in the Asia- Pa­cific re­gion. This year the Doorknock fo­cused on four is­sues that we urge our Gov­ern­ment to un­der­take in or­der to in­crease com­petive­ness of U. S. busi­ness in Asia- Pa­cific: rat­ify the Tran­sPa­cific Part­ner­ship ( TPP); adopt a ter­ri­to­rial ( res­i­den­tial- based) tax sys­tem; re­peal the For­eign Ac­count Tax Com­pli­ance Act ( FATCA); and sup­port the APEC Busi­ness Travel Cards ( ABTC).

Al­though Thailand is not party to the TPP, rat­i­fi­ca­tion of this free trade agree­ment is cru­cial to the Asia- Pa­cific re­gion. Not only will TPP help set the gold stan­dard for trad­ing rules in Asia- Pa­cific, but it helps en­sure the U. S. re­mains en­gaged in ro­bust eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties with its Asia- Pa­cific part­ners. From an AMCHAM Thailand stand­point, we hope that Thailand sees the ben­e­fits of TPP and is in­ter­ested in join­ing as soon as it is rat­i­fied by the U. S. You can view our full talk­ing points and pic­tures from the Doorknock on pages 30- 31.

AMCHAM THAILAND FOUN­DA­TION

In 2004, AMCHAM of­fi­cially reg­is­tered the AMCHAM Thailand Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion. Al­though the Cham­ber has been ac­tive in sup­port­ing the stu­dent schol­ar­ship and Adopt- a- School pro­grams since the early 1980s, fund­ing for these ac­tiv­i­ties had been mixed with the Cham­ber’s reg­u­lar ac­count­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. By reg­is­ter­ing the Foun­da­tion in 2004, we were able to re­ceive recog­ni­tion as a reg­is­tered char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion and to al­low char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions to be de­ducted for tax pur­poses. Each year for the last 12 years, the Foun­da­tion has av­er­aged over Baht 14 mil­lion in do­na­tions, the largest part of the do­na­tions com­ing from AMCHAM through our so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties such as the In­de­pen­dence Day Pic­nic, silent auc­tion at the Gov­er­nors Ball and sport tour­na­ments. As one of AMCHAM’S 60th an­niver­sary ac­tiv­i­ties, we sought to re­brand the Foun­da­tion. We changed the name to re­move the word “Char­i­ta­ble” from the English name to cor­re­spond to the Thai name of the Foun­da­tion. The Foun­da­tion has al­ways fo­cused on ed­u­ca­tion – of­fer­ing schol­ar­ships, ren­o­vat­ing schools and most re­cently sup­port­ing English­language ca­pac­ity build­ing through the Ful­bright English Lan­guage Teach­ing As­sis­tantships ( ETA). We want to re­in­force that fund­ing these ac­tiv­i­ties is not char­ity, but an in­vest­ment in the fu­ture of Thailand’s youth.

We also cre­ated a new logo which sig­ni­fies the close ties be­tween Thailand and the United States. You can see the new logo on page 38.

As a last note on the AMCHAM Thailand Foun­da­tion, there are still about Baht 225,000 left in match­ing funds for the Adopt- a- School pro­gram. If you are in­ter­ested in help­ing one of the many un­der­sup­ported schools who are look­ing for play­grounds, li­braries, wa­ter tanks/ fil­tra­tion sys­tems or other items, please con­tact Khun Pen in the AMCHAM of­fice at pen@ am­chamthai­land. com. Judy Benn Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor

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