Dear AMCHAM Mem­bers,

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - President’s Remarks - Best Re­gards, Brad Mid­dle­ton Pres­i­dent

Wel­come back to those of you who were trav­el­ing or away over the sum­mer hol­i­days. Now that sum­mer is over and schools are back in ses­sion, it is time to face the last quar­ter of the year.

The big news in Thailand over the sum­mer was the Au­gust 7 ref­er­en­dum on the pro­posed Con­sti­tu­tion. The ref­er­en­dum was un­der­taken peace­fully and ap­pears to have given the cur­rent gov­ern­ment a man­date for the next year or so un­til elections can take place. For busi­ness, it was a sigh of re­lief that there were no con­fronta­tions or dis­rup­tions to ev­ery­day life dur­ing and fol­low­ing the ref­er­en­dum. The ac­cep­tance of the ref­er­en­dum adds a level of sta­bil­ity to the po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment that al­lows com­pa­nies to fo­cus on their busi­ness plans for the re­main­der of this year and next.

On the eco­nomic front, Thailand’s econ­omy ex­panded 3.5% in the sec­ond quar­ter of the year, fol­low­ing a 3.2% in­crease in the first quar­ter. Ex­pec­ta­tions are that the coun­try will end the year with a solid 3% growth and, given no un­fore­seen events, re­peat this in 2017.

ASEAN BUSI­NESS OUT­LOOK SUR­VEY

In early Au­gust, the ten Am­chams in the ASEAN re­gion re­leased their an­nual ASEAN Busi­ness Out­look Sur­vey which re­flects a steady stream of op­ti­misms about growth prospects and growth op­por­tu­ni­ties in the ASEAN re­gion. On a pos­i­tive note, more than 70% of our mem­bers sur­veyed ex­pected prof­its to in­crease in 2017 with 21% plan­ning to ex­pand within Thailand. How­ever, the sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing with Thailand’s busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment has de­clined from last year with many fac­tors hit­ting a ten year low. A snap­shot of U. S. in­vestors’ sen­ti­ments and per­cep­tions can be found on pages 23- 29.

T- AB MAG­A­ZINE

This edi­tion of T- AB Mag­a­zine fo­cuses on prop­erty and high­lights both mar­ket trends and re­cent leg­is­la­tion changes that af­fect the sec­tor. As you may have guessed from the inces­sant construction in down­town Bangkok the condo mar­ket is still hot, es­pe­cially at the higher end, with prop­er­ties sell­ing for as much as Baht 300,000 per square me­ter. Of­fice space is still in de­mand and prices have been creep­ing up in the past five years. In ad­di­tion to the top­i­cal ar­ti­cles the mag­a­zine also brings you the stan­dard fea­tures, such as updates on leg­is­la­tion that im­pact busi­ness, sum­mary of the ac­tiv­i­ties of the AMCHAM Thailand Foun­da­tion, and of course, a look at Chamber events in July and Au­gust.

BOARD ELECTIONS

Com­ing up in Oc­to­ber are the 2017- 2018 elections for the Board of Gov­er­nors. This year there are seven slots open on the Board. Those elected in Oc­to­ber will join the eight Board mem­bers elected last year. We have an out­stand­ing slate of mem­bers who have agreed to stand for elec­tion. They will be an­nounced at the Septem­ber monthly lun­cheon and I hope you will join us on Oc­to­ber 12 at the Meet the Board Can­di­dates so­cial net­work­ing night to meet them. We also en­cour­age all mem­bers to cast their bal­lots at the Oc­to­ber 19th An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing. Proxy vot­ing will be al­lowed for those of you un­able to at­tend the An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing. More de­tails on vot­ing will be sent out af­ter the Septem­ber monthly lun­cheon.

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