Special Awards Finalists and winners:
Best in Class ( general):
Chevron - Chevron Enjoy Science project - Winner Citibank - LIFT Syngenta - Happy Better Life
Best in Class ( SME):
Brand Now - Entrepreneur Now Awards Jeunesse - Jeunesse Kids Top Scholar - Scholarship students - Winner
Dow Chemical - Prostheses Foundation IBM - Partnership with Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Center and Foundation for Support and Development of Disabled Persons Thailand Laguna Resorts - Seedlings Phuket - Winner
Sufficiency Economy Philosophy Award:
Chevron - Pa Sak Watershed Rehabilitation - Winner Johnson & Johnson- Thai Family Link Association Syngenta - Happy Better Life
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 developments in the excise tax reform bill and amendments to the customs free zone guidelines, ensuring that the Council members’ points of view are relayed through the industry organization and the AMCHAM Customs Committee. − Shared industry sales and production data to re- assess the status of market recovery. b. Building the supply of skilled work
ers − Monitored and assessed the impact of regulatory developments that included the Standard Skill Minimum Wage for the auto sector and Sec. 11/ 1 of the Labor Protection Law ( equal pay for equal work). − Researched workforce training incentives and work permits / visas for technical people. − Provided a report on the labor situation
in the Eastern Seaboard area. c. Expanding critical road networks in
the Eastern Seaboard − Meeting with the Minister of Transport to advocate for continued government support on priority infrastructure projects. Progress has been achieved on projects covering Highways 344 and 3138 and on Laemchabang roads Highways 7 and 331.
II. Organization of Seminar on Thailand Customs Environment: FTAS and Free Zones This year the Council launched workshops designed to support its parts maker members, starting with a well- attended seminar on free trade agreements ( FTAS) and the Thailand customs free zone. Expert practitioners from PWC, Ford and GM served as speakers.
III. Synergies with other AMCHAM Committees The Council partnered with the Trade & Investment Committee in the organization of a seminar on Business Opportunities in Thailand and ASEAN. It also coorganized with the Customs Committee the seminar for parts makers on FTAS and Free Zones. The Council’s tax / customs experts also worked with Customs Com- mittee members in the formulation of AMCHAM position papers on the amendments to free zone guidelines and the excise tax reform bill.
A joint Auto Council / Trade & Investment Committee forum in Eastern Seaboard planned for October 2016 has been moved to early 2017.
BUSINESS ECONOMICS COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Bob Fitts, Mclarty Associates; Peggy Creveling, Creveling & Creveling Board Liaison: Neil Hansen, Esso
2016 Accomplishments: The committee’s 2016 programs provided a diet of useful insights for AMCHAM members. Attendance varied with interest in the specific subject matter. However, with continual assistance from Board Member Teera Phutrakul, JTFP, the committee was able to mount a number of topical presentations which, given current interests, included discussion of politics as well as economic trends and sectoral developments. Particularly noteworthy was an analysis of the Thai economy by Dr. Supavud Saicheua which was presented as an AMCHAM lunch in February. Dr. Jade Donavanik, an advisor to the Constitution Drafting Committee ( CDC), outlined the new draft constitution to an attentive audience while Rapee Sucharitakul, Secretary- General of the Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC) spoke on increasing supervision of capital markets.
Other speakers for the monthly sessions included James Pitchon of CBRE, Win Phrompheat of CIMB, Thomas Carden of U. S. Global Tax, Vorapong Sutanont of PWC, Simon Landy of Colliers International, and Jonathan Blaine of Withers LLP. Their topics ranged from real estate market developments, to U. S. and Thai tax changes, to the differing economic policies of the ( then) two U. S. presidential candidates. November’s meeting featured Suranand Vejjajiva, media commentator and prominent Phuea Thai figure who spoke on signs to watch as Thailand approaches next year’s election.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Jan Van Ekeren; Jonathan Fryer, Mazars Board Liaison: Darren Buckley, Citibank; Judy Benn, AMCHAM 2016 Accomplishments: In 2016, the Community Engagement Committee ( CEC), along with the Sports Committee, the Young Professionals Committee, Social Networking Events, the Independence Day Picnic Committee, the Governors Ball, AMCHAM members, sponsors, and many other volunteers, raised Baht 3.74 million for the AMCHAM Thailand Foundation ( ATF). Many thanks to all donors!
The ATF invested these funds in the community in the following areas:
− Awarded a total of 200 university scholarships to in- need and qualified Thai students at 30 institutions of higher education throughout the country, including 79 new students this year from 23 institutions − Matched Baht 875,000 in Adopt- aSchool donations from AMCHAM members − Completed 9 Adopt- a- School projects − Administering 9 ongoing Adopt- a
School projects − Provided 13 teacher fellowships to un
derstaffed primary schools − Hosted a busy three- day Fedex Career Camp for 56 final year scholarship students in Bangkok to prepare the students for their future careers including seminars on resume writing, job interviewing, personal finance training, as well as AMCHAM member company visits − Partially funded 22 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants ( ETAS). The ETA program places Fulbright recipients in classrooms providing assistance to the local English teachers. ETAS help reinforce English language training through conversation while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U. S.
The committee is currently partnering with the AMCHAM Board of Governors to identify how CEC and ATF funds can be most efficiently and effectively raised and deployed in the community going forward. CEC is also in the process of seeking direct AMCHAM member input via an online membership survey.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY COMMITTEE ( CSR)
Committee Leadership: John Dasilva, Kenan Institute Asia; Kannika Jarusuraisin, P& G
Board Liaison: Mark Kaufman, Ford Motor Company
2016 Accomplishments: The Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR) Committee held nine events in 2016, and co- branded three additional events with the Travel and Tourism Committee.
The Committee’s signature event was the tenth annual AMCHAM CSR Excellence ( ACE) Recognition Awards. ACE recognition identifies AMCHAM members’ best practices and demonstrates the linkages between business operations and society, so as to conduct business in a way that creates both long- term economic and social value. The awards were presented at a dinner, attended by 550 guests, where 62 AMCHAM members received ACE recognition, with 29 firms also receiving the Creative Partnership designation for innovative and creative business practices in the spirit of the Thai – U. S. Creative Partnership.
New for 2016, in addition to recognizing member companies for their CSR efforts, two awards were given to recognize the best in category for CSR activities for general and SME members, which were won by Chevron and Top Scholars respectively. Additionally, in order to commemorate the 60th anniversary of AMCHAM in Thailand, two special awards were created, the Ambassador’s Award and the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy Award, in honor of His Majesty the late King. Laguna Phuket was the winner of the U. S. Ambassador’s Award, which was presented by Glen T. Davies, the United States Ambassador to Thailand, while Chevron, Thailand won the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy Award, presented by Dr. Prasarn Trairatvorakul, former Governor of the Bank of Thailand.
Throughout the year, the CSR committee shared the best practices of member companies with presentations by Ford, Philip Morris, Bumrungrad, Shangri- La, and Microsoft, while representatives of the United Nations ( UNDP, UNIDO) gave a briefing on the Sustainable Development Goals and the private sector. In addition, the CSR committee held its first site visit to see Coca- Cola’s CSR program, RAKNAM. Finally, the committee presented its annual overview of the requirements for member companies to apply for ACE recognition to interested members.
CUSTOMS AND EXCISE COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Florina Vistal, Ford Motor Company; Malika Bhumivarn, Bolliger & Company Consulting; Paul Sumner, PWC Board Liaison: David Carden, Fedex
2016 Accomplishments: I. Sustaining advocacy on priority tax and customs regulations The Committee kept track of developments of several customs and excise tax regulations, providing members with details of proposals and generating an exchange of views. As a result, well thought out and comprehensive AMCHAM position letters were issued on the following:
− Reform of the customs penalty and reward system. An updated position statement was provided to the Minister of Finance in a meeting attended by Thai trade organizations and foreign chambers. − Amendment of regulations of Custom Free Zone. The position paper was provided to the National Legislative Assembly and the Ministry of Finance. − Draft Excise Tax Act. The letter was provided to the Director General of the Customs Department. − Notification 67/ 2559 Regulation on appeal against duty assessment, postponement of duty payment and detention of goods under customs custody. AMCHAM expressed its objection to the new regulation that removes the power of the Director General to allow postponement of payment of duty upon request of the appellant. The new regulation’s implementation has been put on hold.
A number of meetings were held with various Customs and Excise Tax officials to further explain AMCHAM’S position on provisions of the regulatory proposals. The committee is highly encouraged with the engagement of its members on the issues and the open channels of communication provided by the government officials.
II. Collaboration with Other Committees in Organization of Seminars The Committee partnered with the Auto Council in the organization of seminar for auto parts makers on FTAS and Customs Free Zones. It also cooperated with the Trade & Investment Committee on a forum “Reality vs Opportunity with Regional Connectivity among ASEAN Nations”. In both seminars, the Chair of Customs Committee was featured as one of the expert speakers.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Mongkolnimit Auacherdkul, Esso; Pairoj Kaweeyanun, Chevron Board Liaison: Neil Hansen, Esso
2016 Accomplishments: The Committee continued working with other committees to organize activities to meet key objectives. The committee kicked off with a planning session and then started with Thailand Gas Plan ( 2015- 2036) by the Department of Mineral Fuels. The Thailand Gas Plan is part of the Thailand Integrated Energy Blueprint ( Power Development Plan, Energy Efficiency Development Plan, Alternative Energy Development Plan, Oil Plan and Gas Plan). Then, the committee co- hosted with the Food and Agribusiness committee for a plant visit to Univanich Palm Oil PCL, a pioneer in the Thailand palm oil industry, located in Krabi province. The palm oil is a raw material for B100 which is part of current automotive diesel fuel. The committee also co- hosted with the Travel and Tourism Committee a presentation on Generation Water- Real Problems, Real Solutions for Hotels & Beyond.
FOOD AND AGRI- BUSINESS COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Alan Adcock, Tilleke & Gibbins; Dee Richmond, AgriSource; Lesley Nernberg, Diamond V Mills Board Liaison: Dale Lee, COFFEEWORKS
2016 Accomplishments: This eventful year, the committee held the following events to accomplish its mission:
- Visit to COFFEEWORKS Experience Center: Lead by Jerry Gonzales, CofFEEWORKS Brew and Culinary Development Leader; and Bryce Castleton, COFFEEWORKS Product Development Leader; - From Farm to Table with Mcthai: Briefing by Kannikar Matramongkol, Mcthai’s Supply Chain Director; - Joint Food & Agri- Business/ Energy Committee: Site visit to Univanichin Palm Oil Co. Krabi; - Joint Food & Agri- Business/ Travel & Tourism: Technology Trends that are Defining the Global Hospitality Market:
Briefing by Michael Blake, CEO of Hotel Technology Next Generation ( HTNG); Food Safety & Security of Agricultural Inputs: Briefing by Dr. Tan Siang Hee, Executive Director of Croplife Asia; - From Purchasing to Production – Developing a Rice Supply Chain in Thailand: Briefing by Chris Stevens, Director of Agribusiness and Agronomy, Kellogg Asia Pacific and Africa; - Coffee Harvesting, Processing & Roasting Production: Briefing by Jerry Gonzales, COFFEEWORKS Brew and Culinary Development Leader; Bryce Castleton, COFFEEWORKS Product Development Leader; and Richard Mann, ITDP’S Director of Marketing and Communications.
Committee Leadership: Siriwan Chuenchomsakun, Pfizer; Sudi Narasimhan, Bumrungrad Hospital; Thavirap Tantiwongse, GSK Board Liaison: Christian Malherbe, Pfizer
2016 Accomplishments: The committee continued to promote Thailand’s competitiveness and improve patient care & quality of life. Key public policies the committee prioritized for 2016 were:
Supporting government direction toward Thailand 4.0 through medical hub and preparation for Aging Society by ensuring Thailand could be supplied with quality medicines and innovative treatments using new technology & international standard infrastructure & services; Encouraging new government initiatives to move country forward to new Procurement Act that considered removing Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organization ( GPO) privilege and allowing fair competition and more transparency using electronic system with Price Performance criteria to justify the bid winners. This would not only ensure government could purchase quality products/ services with rational price, but could also promote better investment environment in Thailand.
To underline healthcare committee positions, there were two key luncheon events set up in May focusing on Stem Cells as part of Solution for Aging Society led by Brian Dardzinski, Director of International Business Transformation from Bumrungrad Hospital. This event reviewed the controversial topic of embryonic stem cells and also the use of adult stem cells that have been used to successfully treat famous people like Tiger Woods, Bartolo Colon, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and even singer Madonna. Later in September, two senior officers from the Comptroller General Department ( CGD), Ministry of Finance gave a key note speech regarding the progress of e- Procurement under the new Procurement Bill, and how it could enhance investment environment in Thailand. This legislative development could ensure transparency and fair competition which would promote better investment environment and level of competitiveness.
HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Christopher Schultz, DKSH; Nipatra Tangpojthavepol, APM Group; Richard Jackson, RLC Recruitment; Najaya Jotikasthira, Phillip Morris Board Liaison: Waewaknee Assoratgoon, YUM Restaurants International
2016 Accomplishments: February: Joint HR and Legal Committee briefing on the labor environment. The biggest draw of the year with 91 attendees, this event featured guest speakers including John Fotiadis, Senior Member of Atherton Legal; Douglas Mancill, Partner, Price Sanond Prabhas & Wynne; Pramote Srisamai, Partner, Price Sanond Prabhas & Wynne; Sui Lin Teoh, Partner, Rajah & Tann; and Supawat Srirungrung, Partner, Rajah & Tann, and covered the latest updates to Thai labor law, an overview of the use of social media in the workplace and its legal implications, and the tricky world of work permits.
March: An event about experiential learning in which the 26 participants focused on how you can increase the effectiveness of employee development by using this approach to learning. This event included a hands- on activity about team communication and a thorough debriefing. The guest speaker was Boonchai Poungrungsap, Senior Consultant at APM Group Solutions Co. Ltd.
May: Nontawat Poomchusri, Country Managing Director, Accenture joined 39 participants to talk about the workforce of the future and how changing demographic trends are impacting the way companies need to engage their employees. June: Featuring Senior Consultant Sudeep Rai Bhaskar from Dale Carnegie, the June session had 44 participants and focused on how smart leaders create engaged employees. The event included several exercises to encourage self- reflection about one’s own leadership style and the styles used by leaders in one’s own organization.
July: The impact of digitization cannot be understated and this session explored the ways Human Resources organizations are both being challenged and enabled through technological trends. This event featured Kelvin Lam, Regional Head of Workday Practice, Aon Hewitt, and Chutima Sribumrungsart, Human Resources Country Lead, Microsoft Thailand speaking to 34 participants.
August: Fun is a powerful tool for effective learning. Playing board games creates an atmosphere that is challenging and competitive, yet supportive as well. In this session, held at AMCHAM member More than a Game Café, attendees learned how to apply a game- based learning approach, which actively engages people in the learning process. Twenty people joined for this fun and innovative session.
September: Mark Maclean, Executive Director at Deloitte Consulting, shared their 2016 Human Capital Trends report in a session titled “The Rise of the Chief Employment Experience Officer”. Nearly 40 participants learned about trends such as organizational design, people analytics and a culture of engagement and how they are affecting companies in Thailand and around the world.
November: In early November, we presented our annual compensation and benefits program. Fifty attendees listened to presentations from Tidarat Kanchanawat, Regional Director of Adecco, on “Total Rewards for Gen Me” and Rathawut Suwanlila, Reward Consulting Manager at Mercer, on “The Art and Science of Rewards for Tomorrow”.
December: The year concluded with the rescheduled annual recruitment forum. Our guest panelists ( Nisha Chand, Group Director of Human Resources for Anantara Vacation Club; Henny Beeber, Chief Executive Officer of AES Group Ltd.; and Somsunee Vidhyameth, Former EVP & Head of HR Strategy for Central Group and Chief HR Officer for Prudential Life Assurance)
discussed case studies of successful implementation of key recruitment projects and strategies and shared experiences on those projects which haven’t been the success they hoped for.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE ( ICT)
Committee Leadership: Andrew McBean, Grant Thornton; Desarack Teso, Microsoft; John Formichella, Blumenthal, Richter & Sumet; John Fotiadis, Atherton; Board Liaison: Parnsiree Amatayakul, IBM
2016 Accomplishments: May: The topic of the meeting was ‘ Digital Economy, Challenges and Opportunities.’ The presenters discussed one of the most high- profile initiatives of the current Thai government - the pledge to transform Thailand into a knowledge- based Digital Economy by harnessing technology and innovation to drive competitiveness and growth. The Digital Economy program is particularly focused on using ICT to provide new livelihoods for Thai entrepreneurs and SMES, as well as promoting the use of electronic payments to reduce the costs associated with cash transactions. While such targets are commendable, implementation and realization have proven to be difficult, and after 20 months in power, the government is now under considerable pressure to deliver on its promises and demonstrate that this initiative can indeed improve Thailand’s struggling economy.
June: The topic of this meeting was ‘ Understanding Today’s New Digital Consumers in SEA’. It was insightful discussion on the emerging Southeast Asian digital consumer and the role digital plays in consumer shopping experiences. Southeast Asia is on the verge of an e- commerce boom and winning starts by understanding how consumer behavior here is quickly evolving. A new wave of digital consumers is reshaping the consumer landscape in Southeast Asia. Smart device penetration is to exceed 50% by 2016, meaning whole tranches of ‘ mobile- first’ consumers are now accessible by digital methods. While the digital marketing industry has matured greatly in other markets over the past few years, how many lessons are transferable to Southeast Asia? What is different about the 90m consumers who are coming online mobile- first? Which emerging competitors are winning in each market? Bain, in cooperation with Google, has recently completed a study which leverages a survey of more than 6,000 digital consumers across six Southeast Asian markets in both urban and rural areas, to understand today’s consumers and the implications for B2C companies and ecosystem participants.
July: ICT Round Table Discussion & Planning Session. During this meeting, the ICT Committee discussed recent efforts by the Thai government to promote technology startups, and the current status of the proposed new Digital Economy laws.
August: Joint SME/ Trade & Investment/ ICT Committees, “From SME Concept to Major Hollywood VFX Supplier: Yannix.” Yannix, started as an SME concept with just a few people 20 years ago. Since then, they have developed into one of the major providers of “visual effects” ( VFX) or major Hollywood studios. But the development of their company is not just a “visual effect” but a reality in good business planning. This meeting discussed how Yannix became the success it is today. This was a meeting with something of interest for everyone: from the developing SME, to the high- tech development, or someone who’s just interested in how they create magic on the Hollywood screen.
October: The topic of this meeting was ‘ Blockchain – Beyond Finance’. This presenter explained how enterprises can now benefit from the structured approach for an application or a system benefiting from Blockchain tenets. Any multi- party, multilayered transaction makes the enterprise suitable for leveraging Blockchain. Applying Blockchain, essentially applies the principle of a shared ledger – i. e. shared data, which then means visibility of not only the transactions, but even of the customer’s relationship data. The promise of disruption lies in cutting the costs involved in technologies and reducing the inefficiencies. IBM Blockchain Labs can help apply Blockchain technology to a certain application that is core to your business that could get more efficient.
INDEPENDENCE DAY PICNIC COMMITTEE
Committee Leadership: Douglas de Weese, Pet Protect; Tom Whitcraft, RMA Asia Board Liaison: Marcos Purty, General Motors
This year’s Independence Day picnic was held on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at NIST International School on Sukhumvit soi 15. 2,157+ people attended the event and more than Baht 835,771 was raised for the AMCHAM Thailand Foundation.
This year’s event featured many highlights including the following items:
- Five bands covering a wide range of American music - Eight food brands offering American and international cuisine and beverages - A chili cook- off - AMCHAM company members offering entertainment and educational activities for children - 6 months of planning from 20+ volunteer committee members and 70+ volunteers on the day of the event
Committee Leadership: Christopher Knight, Everett Knight; Douglas Mancill, Pricesanond; Michael Ramirez, Tilleke & Gibbins; Suthathip Kallayawinai, Ford Motor Company. Board Liaison: Dhanakorn Kasetrsuwan, La- Z- Boy
2016 Accomplishments: This year was another productive year for the Legal Committee. The primary theme that ran through almost all of the Legal Committee’s events and programs was collaboration with other chambers and committees. The Legal Committee intends to more aggressively pursue this approach in 2017.
The Legal Committee started the year with its traditional annual employment law round- up by partnering with the HR Committee and the ICT Committee. The AMCHAM Legal Committee and the Tax & Legal Committee of the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand ( BCCT) held an event on Anti- Trafficking legislation, looking at such laws from both the U. S. and UK perspectives. From the U. S. perspective, the Legal Committee presented on the U. S. Trade Facilitation Act and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act; and from the UK perspective, the BCCT presented on the UK’S Modern Slavery Act. The Legal Committee co- sponsored an event on the Thai Business Collateral Act with the BCCT. The Legal Committee also
conducted an event on anti- corruption laws, looking at Thai anti- corruption law, the UK Bribery Act and the much tougher compliance requirements under U. S. anticorruption laws.
The Legal Committee engaged in advocacy work, primarily in the area of Intellectual Property Law. The Legal Committee along with foreign business groups had a face- toface meeting with the Thai government officials responsible for Thailand’s Intellectual Property laws.
Committee Leadership: Ben King, Google Thailand; Pasquale Ruberto, Mindshare Board Liaison: Waewkanee Assoratgoon, YUM Restaurants International
The year started out strong with the annual media and marketing landscape presentation by Pathamawan Sathaporn, Mindshare Thailand Managing Director. She discussed the growth opportunities for 2016 and the further developments in the rapidly growing digital media marketplace of Thailand. This was followed up by an overview from Havas on the advantage of “Big Data”; how to use the information technology and digital media offer marketers, how marketers can use these insights to influence the growth of business and how they can use data to learn more about their existing and potential customers.
The team closed the year with a joint committee activity with the Travel & Tourism Committee, where Pasquale Ruberto joined and moderated a panel discussion with representatives from Google, Hype Global, SEO Bangkok and Sasin Graduate Institute on the subject of Digital Marketing or Digital Disappointment. An excellent conversation and Q& A session went on for over an hour and 20 minutes at this event, giving everyone a chance on the panel and in the audience to participate.
Overall participation in the events held was strong, but the number of events was down year- on- year. With the emphasis on expanding the number of events in 2017, we expect to bounce back and broaden our topics of discussion.
Committee Leadership: Henny Beeber, AES Group; Jake Sauer, Chevron Board Liaison: Joe Mannix, United Airlines
2016 Accomplishments: The committee continued their close cooperation with both OSAC and the U. S. Embassy’s Regional Security Office. Meetings were held jointly by OSAC and AMCHAM Security Committee 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 covered Criminal Trends in Hospitality Industry with a presentation given by DOJ / FBI representatives. This meeting also included an open forum discussion about the New Labor Law Governing Security Companies that was led by RSO and Steering Committee Members - The second yearly meeting covered Influenza, Zika Malaria & Dengue Impact to the Workforce. Included at this meeting was a presentation given by Dr. Alden Weg, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science, and Dr. John Mac Arthur, United States Center for Disease Control - The last meeting this year covered Ransomwear Crypto Currency and Man in the Middle with a presentation by Chris Mosby, CIO of Movaci. This meeting also included an RSO overview of the August bomb attacks.
Committee Leadership: Pacharee Pantoomano, Brand Now Company Limited; Paul Robere, Robere & Associates Board Liaison: Dale Lee, COFFEEWORKS
2016 Accomplishments: The Committee hosted or co- hosted 9 programs, with an average of 24 attendees covering topics including in summary: financial planning, investment opportunities, using the Internet to promote your business, strategic planning, lessons learned by expat entrepreneurs, IT development, using the internet for financial transactions, and tax planning for your business. All of the topics were well presented by highly qualified speakers and were well received.
The programs started in February with a presentation by Andrew Stotz, an author and consultant, who shared his best experience on how to place a value on your busi- ness. Additionally, in February, the committee had a joint meeting with several other committees dealing with introducing foreign investment to SMES in the knowledge industries. Unfortunately, in March, the committee were unable to hold a meeting due to a speaker conflict. In April Google presented on how to accelerate SMES in the digital age. In May, the subject of strategic planning was tackled by James Engel of APM group. June was an especially interesting program as one of the long- term AMCHAM members, Doug De Weese, shared with the SME committee the lessons that he learned when he came to Thailand for the first time to start his business. In July the U. S. Embassy was well represented by Greg Wong, and Kitisorn Sookpradist from the commercial service section of the Embassy, discussing how U. S. exporters can use the Embassy for greater advantage. August brought an exceptional presentation by Xye, the founder and managing director of Yannix, an organization that provides major Hollywood studio with visual effects. But the interesting thing to the SME committee was how he manages his company and how he allows his people to have greater flexibility in their work areas. In September, Paypal joined us to share how Paypal can help SMES transfer funds and receive payments from their customers. In October the committee hosted its final program with four representatives from legal firms both local and international talking about tax planning for business exit for SME.
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” program.
A planning session was scheduled for December 16 where programs for next year will be discussed and planning made. The committee has already had individuals volunteering to present for next year, so it looks like it is going to be an informative and value- added committee meeting plan.
Committee Leadership: Kevin Windfield, Manhattan Asset Management; Pavin Rodloytuk, Citibank Board Liaison: Darren Buckley, Citibank
This year, at the 2016 Memorial Day and
Thanksgiving Charitee Golf Tournaments, the committee raised a total amount of over Baht 712,000 for the AMCHAM Thailand Foundation ( ATF).
The Sports Committee also raised over Baht 357,000 from the charity bowling tournaments, for a combined contribution in 2016 of over Baht 1,070,000 to the AMCHAM Thailand Foundation.
The program will continue in 2017 with the spring and fall bowling and Memorial Day and Thanksgiving golf. The committee is always exploring new ways to raise money for the ATF and to bring further joy and value to AMCHAM members.
Committee Leadership: Greg Lamont, PWC; Jack Sheehan, DFDL; John Andes, KPMG Board Liaison: Teera Phutrakul, JT Financial Planners
2016 Accomplishments: This past year was a transition year for the Tax Committee. Greg Lamont and John Andes continued to serve on the Tax Committee in 2016. The committee was lucky to have Jack Sheehan from DFDL join the Tax Committee in 2016. Jack is a Partner at DFDL and Head of the Regional Tax Practice across all DFDL offices. The committee also had to say au revoir this year to Peetinuch “Tong” Utaiwan as she moved on to bigger and better things – we wish her the best of luck in her endeavors!
The Tax Committee hosted and co- hosted some interesting meetings this year. They held the first Tax Committee Webcast – the speakers were in the U. S. and their presentation was streamed across the web and members could view the presentation from their homes, offices and smart phones. There was a high sign- up for this event and the committee will try to see if they can do more of these to reach a wider audience. The Tax Committee also had a presentation and lively discussion of updates to the Thai tax law – and there were quite a few changes to consider. There was also a joint SME/ Tax Committee meeting that was well attended and inspired a lot of good discussions. Lastly, the Tax Committee’s 2016 Annual U. S. Tax Update was held on December 8. The Tax Committee members also had the opportunity to contribute to T- AB Magazine and will continue to do so in 2017.
The committee would like to see more participation at meetings. If you are not able or interested to attend, please pass on the announcement of Tax Committee meetings to your finance, tax and legal colleagues at your companies. The committee also welcomes the opportunity to jointly host meetings to reach a wider group of AMCHAM members.
The Tax Committee has already started developing an agenda of 2017 meetings with interesting and relevant topics. Stay tuned for the announcements.
TRADE AND INVESTMENT COMMITTEE ( TIC)
Committee Leadership: Anutra Sinchaipanich, Caterpillar; Ian Hamilton, Colliers International; Jeffrey Nygaard, Seagate; Vincent Pourre, Wall Street English Board Liaison: David Nardone, Hemaraj
2016 Accomplishments: This was the first year of the new committee, consolidating the activities of the previous Transportation & Logistics, Eastern Seaboard and Manufacturing committees. The TIC had close cooperation with several other committees to discuss current trade and investment issues, and looked for opportunities in organizing joint meetings for AMCHAM members to exchange views and share business insights. The committee continued to provide daily news feeds on shipping and logistics issues to members on request.
TIC held five meetings for members during the year, which were well attended by business professionals from various industries:
Jointly with the Auto Council, an afternoon panel discussion on Business Opportunities in Thailand and ASEAN, with Mark Kaufman ( Ford), Jeff Nygaard ( Seagate) and David Nardone ( Hemaraj) Jointly with Customs & Excise Committee, a lunch panel discussion on Reality v. Opportunity with Regional Connectivity among ASEAN Nations, with Paul Sumner ( PWC), Tobias Gruemmer ( Rhenus Logistics) and Arthur van der Linden ( RMA Group) - A morning briefing on Tax Incentives: Lessons Learned from a Legal Tax Dispute, by Malika Bhumivan ( Bolliger & Company Consulting) - Jointly with the SME and ICT committees, a lunch presentation From Concept to Hollywood VFX Supplier, by Xye ( Yannix) - Jointly with the Healthcare Committee, a lunch presentation on How eProcurement Enhances Investment, by Thanachoke Rungthipanont and Nitiyaporn Imjai ( both from Comptroller General Department, Ministry of Finance).
TRAVEL AND TOURISM COMMITTEE ( TTC)
Committee Leadership: Charles Blocker, Invision Hospitality; Benjamin Krieg, Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20; Jackson Ferguson, Minor Hotel Group Board Liaison: Herman Ehrlich, Conrad Bangkok
2016 Accomplishments: This year, TTC liaised closely with a number of chamber committees and held several joint chamber committee events. Most of the events were held in a moderated panel style, which provided a space for attendees to ask questions and make comments to enhance their understanding of the information being provided by the panelists. The committee’s focused on various frameworks within the travel and tourism sector.
The TTC events kicked off in January with the Thailand Tourism Forum. In February, guest speakers from various companies participated in a panel discussion, where they explained challenges and gaps within recruitment requirements, and how they could be filled with the aid of each or multiple organizations.
In February, the committee held a seminar hosted by Grace Kang of Greenview Hospitality, from Singapore, where she discussed the trends in sustainable hospitality. Followed by a presentation given by, Barry Levvy, in early March, explaining how Uber is connecting Bangkok at the touch of a button. Towards the end of March, the committee organized an evening of networking with travel and tourism colleagues from all aspects of the industry.
In May, the committee arranged a presentation, by Grace Kang and Eric Ricaute of Greenview, addressing how sustainability helps hotels cut costs, increases overall satisfaction and loyalty for associates and guests in urban hotels. In June, Kobkarn Wannamayrangkul, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, met with the committee members and others to present the development of tourism in 2016.
Additionally, in June, the committee also hosted its first joint chamber panel discussion with representatives from various companies, where they discussed the different technology and digital strategies in the hotel industry. In August, the committee held another joint chamber panel discussion focusing on the scope of knowledge that covers legal, real estate, hotel and revenue viewpoints with the idea of Airbnb. September brought another panel discussion that brought attention to the pitfalls of digital marketing.
In October, the committee provided members and guest with a roundtable discussion focused on ILO tools for tourism and SME development. The committee treated its members and guests to a dialogue with John Koldowski of Thammasat University, about what lead to Thailand’s tourism sensation and the industry outlook for the future.
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS COMMITTEE ( YPC)
Committee Leadership: Laurie Colyer, Bumrungrad Hospital; Peter Moore, Dow Corning Board Liaison: Teera Phutrakul, JT Financial Planners
This year has been a year of change for YPC. The committee’s 2016 goal was to raise over Baht 200,000 for the AMCHAM Thailand Foundation’s Adopt- a- School program. Thanks to various venues, sponsors, and joint chamber activities, they have almost met their goal as of November, already raising over Baht 90,000 in charitable funds without including matching funds from the AMCHAM Thailand Foundation. Changes in the Bangkok networking scene and an increased number of other cham- bers’ monthly events have had a negative impact on the overall attendance at YPC’S monthly events. To address this, the committee as a whole explored other ways to differentiate such as speed networking, tax night, and having guest speakers.
The committee also had more efforts focused on promoting YPC monthly events on social media channels such as Facebook, Google+, and Linkedin. In addition, they provided monthly surveys to find out what they can do differently to meet the needs of the attendees while providing the best networking experience.
Furthermore, YPC played a key role as a recruiting tool for the Chamber, educating people about the Chamber’s activities and encouraging new members to join. The committee advocates socially responsible activities by raising funds for the Adopt- aSchool program. Over the year, new young professional groups have evolved through other chambers such as the Italian- Thai and Nordic Young Professionals. YPC will continue to distinguish themselves through their charitable mission.