Pres­i­dent’s Re­marks

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

I write my re­marks this month just on the heels of two im­por­tant AMCHAM events – the an­nual Asia Pa­cific Coun­cil of Amer­i­can Chambers of Com­merce ( APCAC) Door­knock to Wash­ing­ton, D. C., and the In­de­pen­dence Day pic­nic. While I was for­tu­nate enough to at­tend the APCAC Door­knock, sadly travel kept me from en­joy­ing the fab­u­lous In­de­pen­dence Day pic­nic here in Bangkok on July 1.

APCAC DOOR­KNOCK, JUNE 19- 22

APCAC rep­re­sents the thirty Amer­i­can Chambers of Com­merce and Amer­i­can Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tions in Asia Pa­cific, and fo­cuses on U. S. busi­ness in­ter­ests in the re­gion. To­gether APCAC rep­re­sents over 15,000 com­pany mem­bers and over $ 637 bil­lion in U. S. ex­ports in 2016. This year was a cru­cial year for APCAC to be in Wash­ing­ton, D. C. to em­pha­size APCAC’S com­mit­ment to max­i­miz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for Amer­i­can com­pa­nies and work­ers that will re­sult in eco­nomic growth in the U. S. and abroad. While it was clear that the fo­cus in the na­tion’s cap­i­tal is on U. S. do­mes­tic job growth, APCAC re­peated the mes­sage that we strongly sup­port ro­bust com­mer­cial and eco­nomic en­gage­ment in the re­gion by the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Congress. Open, fair and high stan­dard rules- based trade prac­tices will trans­late to more jobs in the U. S. and abroad.

I was pleased to be part of the forty per­son APCAC del­e­ga­tion rep­re­sent­ing a wide va­ri­ety of Amer­i­can Chambers from the re­gion – from Mon­go­lia to New Zealand and Ja­pan to Bangladesh. We par­tic­i­pated in three days of in­tense meet­ings with U. S. Cham­ber of Com­merce, White House Of­fi­cials, De­part­ments of State, Com­merce and Trea­sury, Think Tanks and Congress. The AMCHAM del­e­ga­tion, con­sist­ing of Kit Heffner, RMA Group, AMCHAM Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Judy Benn and my­self, also met with the Royal Thai Am­bas­sador to U. S. His Ex­cel­lency Pisan Manawa­pat. It was an ex­cit­ing con­ver­sa­tion, as it had just re­cently been an­nounced that Prime Min­is­ter Prayut will most likely visit the U. S. some­time in July, and the Royal Thai Govern­ment is busily prepar­ing for that visit in or­der to re­in­force the strong eco­nomic, com­mer­cial and strate­gic ties that our two coun­tries have held for 184 years.

You can read on page 33 the sum­mary of the rec­om­men­da­tions we de­liv­ered in Wash­ing­ton D. C. which fo­cused on trade, taxes and travel.

IN­DE­PEN­DENCE DAY PIC­NIC

The an­nual AMCHAM In­de­pen­dence Day pic­nic cel­e­brat­ing the 241st an­niver­sary of U. S. In­de­pen­dence was a roar­ing suc­cess – even the weather co­op­er­ated in en­sur­ing that the rain stayed away. More than 1,500 mem­bers and guests were in at­ten­dance for a day full of mu­sic, games and ac­tiv­i­ties and some awe­some U. S. food items in­clud­ing hot dogs and ham­burg­ers, ribs and chili, and lots more. This party, which was six months in plan­ning, is the big­gest an­nual event or­ga­nized by the Cham­ber. The In­de­pen­dence Day Com­mit­tee, chaired by Tom Whitcraft, RMA, and Khun Wan­visa Ko­mindr, Citibank, pulled to­gether fifty star spon­sors, four­teen food and drink ven­dors, staff sup­port from G4S and Man­power to cover se­cu­rity, clean­ing and lo­gis­tics and over 100 raf­fle prize and char­ity game donors to make the day a great suc­cess.

There are so many peo­ple to thank for their sup­port that I would fill this page, but we have a full list on pages 49 and 51. I do want to per­son­ally thank Bangkok Patana School for be­ing our host for the day, Mat­tel for again host­ing Mat­tel Hap­py­land for the chil­dren, and Coca- Cola and Boon Rawd for do­na­tions of bev­er­ages,

tents, ta­bles and chairs. Of course, my thanks to In­de­pen­dence Day Com­mit­tee and the AMCHAM staff for all their hard work. The pro­ceeds from this event go to the AMCHAM Thai­land Foun­da­tion to sup­port the stu­dent schol­ar­ship and Ful­brightAMCHAM English Teach­ing As­sis­tant pro­grams.

I will note that al­though the pic­nic was on July 1 and so should be part of the July- Au­gust edi­tion of T- AB Mag­a­zine, we wanted to get our thank you to all those who sup­ported the pic­nic out now and to share some of the pic­tures of every­one hav­ing fun on the day!

BOARD OF GOVER­NORS ELEC­TION

You should be re­ceiv­ing the an­nounce­ments cir­cu­lat­ing on the open­ing of nom­i­na­tions for elec­tion of the 2018- 2019 Board of Gover­nors. The AMCHAM Board is re­spon­si­ble for the pol­icy mak­ing of AMCHAM and the gen­eral di­rec­tion of its ac­tiv­i­ties. The fif­teen Gover­nors of the Board are elected by vot­ing mem­bers to stag­gered two year terms. Each Oc­to­ber ap­prox­i­mately one half of the Board is up for elec­tion at the An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing in Oc­to­ber. Each Gov­er­nor is el­i­gi­ble to serve 2 con­sec­u­tive two year terms and then is re­quired by the Cham­ber’s by­laws to step down for one year be­fore run­ning again.

A Nom­i­nat­ing Com­mit­tee was ap­pointed by the Board in the spring to iden­tify and so­licit can­di­dates to run for the Board. It is de­sir­able that the Board be as di­verse as pos­si­ble, to in­clude a range of in­dus­try, na­tion­al­i­ties, gen­der and com­pany size to re­flect the di­ver­sity of AMCHAM’S mem­ber­ship. This year’s Nom­i­nat­ing Com­mit­tee con­sists of:

• Steve Rich, AMCHAM Gov­er­nor, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor & Thai

land Coun­try Man­ager, Cater­pil­lar • Ornkanya Pibuld­ham, AMCHAM Gov­er­nor, Man­ag­ing Di

rec­tor & Chief Coun­try Of­fi­cer, Bank of Amer­ica • Ben­jamin Krieg, Travel & Tourism Com­mit­tee Co- Chair,

Gen­eral Man­ager, Novo­tel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 • John An­des, Tax Com­mit­tee Co- Chair, Part­ner, KPMG • Jonathan Blaine, Tax Com­mit­tee Co- Chair, Tax Di­rec­tor, DFDL.

This year, there will be nine Board spots avail­able for elec­tion, as the Nom­i­nat­ing Com­mit­tee will also be so­lic­it­ing to fill a oneyear term va­cated by the mid- term res­ig­na­tion as Gov­er­nor of Wail Farghaly, Gen­eral Mo­tors.

If you have an in­ter­est in run­ning for the Board or to learn more about the process, please see page 57 or con­tact nom­i­na­tions@ am­chamthai­land. com

Best re­gards, Jeff Nygaard Pres­i­dent

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