Dear AMCHAM Mem­bers,

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - President’s Remarks -

It is my honor to be elected by the Board and to serve as your Pres­i­dent for 2017.

My in­volve­ment with AMCHAM be­gan with my ar­rival in Thai­land in 2006 – in­clud­ing serv­ing four years on the Board from 2011- 2015. I have ap­pre­ci­ated the value AMCHAM brings to its mem­bers, in­clud­ing its re­la­tion­ship with both the Royal Thai Gov­ern­ment and U. S. Em­bassy, and its con­tin­ued pro­mo­tion of the val­ues and ethics of U. S. com­pa­nies.

I want to ex­tend my deep­est ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Brad Mid­dle­ton for his lead­er­ship and sup­port as Cham­ber Pres­i­dent in 2016. Brad worked dili­gently to strengthen the Cham­ber’s mem­ber­ship and pro­vided a strong plat­form for us to launch into 2017.

The Cham­ber lead­er­ship - Board of Gov­er­nors, Com­mit­tee lead­ers and AMCHAM of­fice met as a team at the end of Jan­uary for a strate­gic plan­ning din­ner to dis­cuss pro­grams and ac­tiv­i­ties for 2017. The Cham­ber’s three main ar­eas of fo­cus were dis­cussed and re­it­er­ated: ad­vo­cacy; mem­ber­ship ser­vices, and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment. AD­VO­CACY We were ex­cited at the be­gin­ning of the year to fi­nally fill the po­si­tion of Di­rec­tor of Gov­ern­ment Af­fairs and Public Pol­icy af­ter a long search. We are de­lighted to wel­come H. E. re­tired Am­bas­sador Tomwit Jarn­son, a 32- year ca­reer diplo­mat with the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs of Thai­land. Khun Tomwit has held a va­ri­ety of po­si­tions in the Depart­ment of International Eco­nomic Af­fairs, the Depart­ment of ASEAN Af­fairs, the Depart­ment of In­for­ma­tion and the Depart­ment of South Asian, Mid­dle East­ern and African Af­fairs. He was Am­bas­sador of Thai­land to Pak­istan and pre­vi­ous to that was Con­sulGen­eral of Thai­land in Mum­bai, In­dia. He also served at the Royal Thai Em­bassy/ Mis­sion of Thai­land to the Euro­pean Union in Brus­sels, Bel­gium and the Royal Thai Em­bassy in Ot­tawa, Canada. He re­ceived his Bach­e­lor’s de­gree from the Univer­sity of Arkansas. Khun Tomwit’s ad­di­tion to the AMCHAM team has brought about an abil­ity to en­gage more proac­tively with the Royal Thai Gov­ern­ment.

In Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary Khun Tomwit sup­ported the Cham­ber of­fice and Com­mit­tees at a num­ber of Min­istry meet­ings in­clud­ing with the Min­istry of La­bor, Com­merce, In­dus­try and Fi­nance.

The Cham­ber of­fice is also cur­rently en­gaged in two other longer- term ad­vo­cacy ef­forts: road safety un­der the “Road Safety is Ev­ery­one’s Busi­ness” cam­paign and Im­mi­gra­tion ef­forts to re­view visa pro­cess­ing is­sues. You will be hear­ing more about these two ef­forts in the near fu­ture.


The AMCHAM of­fice de­signs a large num­ber of ser­vices to keep our mem­ber com­pa­nies in­formed and con­nected and also acts as a con­duit for new U. S. com­pa­nies seek­ing to do busi­ness in Thai­land. These in­clude:

• Sup­port­ing twenty- one Com­mit­tees in their reg­u­lar com­mit­tee meet­ings, in­clud­ing in­vi­ta­tions, lo­gis­tics and reg­is­tra­tions; • Pro­duc­ing and pub­lish­ing T- AB Mag­a­zine and the Mem­ber­ship Di­rec­tory; • Pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion and con­tacts to help mem­ber com­pa­nies and po­ten­tial com­pa­nies nav­i­gate the Thai­land busi­ness scene; • Sup­port­ing our mem­ber­ship ben­e­fits pro­grams such as the Affin­ity pro­gram.


AMCHAM, through the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce in Thai­land Foun­da­tion ( ATF), con­tin­ues to in­vest in the fu­ture of Thai­land by pro­vid­ing stu­dent schol­ar­ships, school ren­o­va­tions, and English lan­guage ca­pac­ity build­ing. These pro­grams are ad­min­is­tered through the Foun­da­tion un­der the com­pe­tent guid­ance of the AMCHAM Com­mu­nity En­gage­ment Com­mit­tee. I en­cour­age anyone who has a pas­sion for ed­u­ca­tion and the fu­ture of the Thai work force to be in­volved in this Com­mit­tee. This year we have launched a new ini­tia­tive ( Adopt- a Stu­dent and Adopt- an- ETA) and you can read more about these pro­grams in the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor’s let­ter on page 48 and on page 51.


The Trea­surer’s re­ports and fi­nan­cial state­ments for both the Cham­ber and the Amer­i­can Cham­ber of Com­merce Thai­land Foun­da­tion can be found on pages 32 and 36, re­spec­tively.

The Cham­ber had another suc­cess­ful year end­ing with a sur­plus and was able to make a Baht 2.5 mil­lion do­na­tion to the Foun­da­tion.

While the Cham­ber’s fi­nan­cials and mem­ber­ship re­main strong, the ma­jor­ity of the growth in mem­ber­ship dues and meet­ing rev­enue can be at­trib­uted to the Myan­mar Chap­ter. How­ever, thanks to another suc­cess­ful Cor­po­rate Part­ner pro­gram year, the Cham­ber was able to meet all its goals in fund­ing pub­li­ca­tions, events, so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and other pro­grams.

We are also pleased that de­spite a de­cline in the Cham­ber’s do­na­tions to the Foun­da­tion, the Foun­da­tion was able to meet its an­nual goal of pro­vid­ing 199 schol­ar­ships to un- der­priv­i­leged Thai Univer­sity stu­dents and pro­vide a match­ing fund for the Thai­land- U. S. Ed­u­ca­tional Foun­da­tion English Teach­ing As­sis­tants ( Ful­bright ETAS).

AMCHAMS full fi­nan­cial state­ments and au­di­tors re­port has been emailed to all mem­bers and can also be down­loaded on the AMCHAM web­site. Please re­view the state­ments and at­tend the An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing sched­uled for March 24 where we will for­mally ask the Cham­ber’s mem­ber­ship to ap­prove them.


This edition of T- AB Mag­a­zine con­tains ar­ti­cles and re­ports on Thai­land’s new­est ini­tia­tive to help move the Thai econ­omy to sta­bil­ity, pros­per­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity. We were hon­ored to have Dr. Su­vit Maesincee, Min­is­ter at­tached to the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice, join us at the Jan­uary 24 monthly mem­ber­ship lun­cheon to talk about the Royal Thai Gov­ern­ment’s vi­sion of Thai­land 4.0. Dr. Su­vit then sub­se­quently sat down with AMCHAM’S Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Di­rec­tor, Deanna De­spodova Pa­jkovski, to talk more about the strat­egy and re­forms nec­es­sary to move Thai­land to a value- based econ­omy. Please see his re­sponses on page 10. We also reached out to mem­bers to cover other ar­eas of Thai­land 4.0 in­clud­ing hu­man cap­i­tal, en­ergy, med­i­cal robotics and the dig­i­tal econ­omy. Our thanks to those mem­bers who contributed ar­ti­cles. Jeff Ny­gaard Pres­i­dent

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