AMCHAM eecxu­tive ed­cir­tor’s emr arks

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Contents - Best re­gards, Judy Benn Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor

Sum­mer is here along with the heat and af­ter­noon show­ers!


We are ex­tremely happy to pro­vide an an­nounce­ment on page 38 on the long awaited changes to the Thai Cus­toms Act which was pub­lished in May and will be­come ef­fec­tive 180 days from pub­li­ca­tion. Rec­om­mend­ing amend­ments to the 1926 Cus­toms Act has been a pri­mary ad­vo­cacy ef­fort of AMCHAM for many years. I per­son­ally have worked on this is­sue since 2003 and have dis­cussed the need for change with ev­ery Prime Min­is­ter, Fi­nance Min­is­ter and Cus­toms De­part­ment Di­rec­tor Gen­eral ( and oth­ers) over the past four­teen years! As many of you may know, the old Cus­toms Act had a num­ber of pro­vi­sions which were trou­ble­some – in­clud­ing the penalty and re­ward sec­tions and the cal­cu­la­tions of fines. While the new Cus­toms Act stops short of meet­ing in­ter­na­tional best prac­tices and stan­dards, it re­solves many prob­lems our mem­bers faced. The new Act is a huge im­prove­ment that will pro­vide clar­ity and trans­parency to the Cus­toms process. I wish to thank many of the AMCHAM Cus­toms Com­mit­tee Lead­ers over the last decade or so in­clud­ing: Dave Car­den, Fedex; Paul Sum­ner, PWC; Khun Ma­lika Bhu­mi­varn, Bollinger & Com­pany; Flo­rina Vistal, Ford; Den­nis Grover ( pre­vi­ously DHL); Khun Pongsathorn and Khun Kit­tipong, Philip Mor­ris; and Liam Ben­ham, ( for­merly Ford) and the dozens of other Cus­toms Com­mit­tee mem­bers who worked on this is­sue over the years. Well done and proves that with per­se­ver­ance, mir­a­cles can hap­pen!


You may have no­ticed we are no longer dis­play­ing Amcham Myan­mar ac­tiv­i­ties and an­nounce­ments in the T- AB Mag­a­zine. I am pleased to an­nounce that af­ter al­most four years of AMCHAM Thai­land “in­cu­bat­ing” Amcham Myan­mar, they are now on their way to be­ing an of­fi­cial full- fledged Amcham. The reg­is­tra­tion pa­pers for a le­gal en­tity have been filed, of­fice space has been iden­ti­fied and a search for an Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor is un­der­way. Amcham Myan­mar was of­fi­cially launched as a Chap­ter of AMCHAM Thai­land on Oc­to­ber 31, 2013 with fifty com­pany mem­bers. There were a num­ber of con­straints placed on go­ing for­ward with a le­gal Amcham at that time, mainly due to the U. S. sanc­tions on Myan­mar. The last of those sanc­tions ( with the ex­cep­tion of some pro­vi­sions of the Pa­triot Act for U. S. fi­nan­cial ser­vices) were lifted in Oc­to­ber 2016 paving the way to al­low the Chap­ter to be­come self- suf­fi­cient. Amcham Myan­mar’s mem­ber­ship now stands at 160 com­pa­nies and keeps grow­ing. We hope there will be an of­fi­cial open­ing of the new Yangon of­fice some­time in early Fall.


As of June 1, Amcham Lao ( also pre­vi­ously op­er­ated as a Chap­ter of AMCHAM Thai­land) has be­come stand alone. Due a low U. S. com­pany pres­ence in Laos and le­gal reg­is­tra­tion is­sues, the Amer­i­can busi­ness group in Laos has been re­named the Amer­i­can- Lao Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion. The re­or­ga­ni­za­tion will give them some breath­ing room in grow­ing their mem­ber­ship without hav­ing to meet the U. S. Cham­ber of Com­merce ac­cred­i­ta­tion stan­dards. They will con­tinue to be part of the Amer­i­can Cham­ber fam­ily through their mem­ber­ship as an As­so­ci­ate in APCAC ( Asia Pa­cific Coun­cil of Amer­i­can Chambers of Com­merce) and will rep­re­sent U. S. busi­ness in Laos through their as­so­ci­a­tion with the U. S. Em­bassy and the Lao Na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try.

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