Growth of the Manufacturing Sector



Growth of the Manufacturing Sector
VOLUME 5/2010
Growth of the Manufacturing Sector
What SMEs Would Gain from the Thailand-EU FTA
The Attractiveness in Automotive Investment
Top Manufacturing Opportunities in Thailand
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I S S N - T- A 0 1 2 5 - 0 1 9 1
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0 • C o v e r i n g S e p t e m b e r - O c t o b e r
What SMEs Operating in Thailand Stand
to Gain from the Thailand-EU FTA
Maintaining and Building Automotive
Investment Attractiveness in Thailand
Top Manufacturing Opportunities in
Thailand: An Overview of the Automotive,
Electronic and Food Manufacturing
Renegotiating Employment Conditions
in Thailand
What Will Happen to U.S. Tax Rates
in 2011?
Support Travel and Tourism in Thailand
2010 Benefits & Compensation Survey
Thank you to AMCHAM’s
2010 Corporate Partners
President’s Remarks
Notes from the U.S. Commercial Service
AMCHAM Members’ Activities
Executive Director’s Remarks
Amcham Thailand Charitable Foundation
AMCHAM Events Roundup
AMCHAM Committee Updates
AMCHAM Welcomes New Members
AMCHAM Affinity Program
AMCHAM Membership: Not Just for Americans
Cover photo: An AMCOL International (Thailand) employee
assesses Bentonite level at Rayong agglomeration plant in Siam
Eastern Indsutrial Park.
Honorary President
Eric G. John, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom
of Thailand
Joseph Geagea, Chevron Thailand Exploration &
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
VICE PresidentS
Peter Eliot, Citibank NA
Joe Mannix, United Airlines
David Nardone, Hemaraj Land And Development
Mike Cooper, Esso (Thailand)
Charles Kathrein, Mustang Technologies
David Carden, FedEx Express
Peter Fleet, Ford ASEAN
Jorge Garduno, Coca-Cola (Thailand)
Bruce Hoppe, Emerson Climate Technologies
Pornlert Lattanan, General Electric International
David Lyman, Tilleke & Gibbins International
Vorapong Vorasuntharosoth, Dow Chemical
Kenneth White, Pacific Siam Strategic Consulting
Thai-American Business is published bi-monthly
by The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
with offices at: 7th Floor, GPF Witthayu Tower A
93/1 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66 (0)2 254-1041 Fax: +66 (0)2 251-1605
Email: [email protected]
Editorial Advisory Board:
Judy Benn, Harold Vickery, Jr.
Communications Director: Desiree Koetzle
Email: [email protected]
Artwork & Layout: Phaisan Nangnoi
Production: Scand-Media Corp., Ltd
Tel.: +66 (0)2 943-7166/8, Fax: +66 (0)2 943-7169
Email: [email protected]
Any opinions expressed in articles in this magazine
do not necessarily reflect the views of the Chamber.
T-AB Magazine welcomes story and photo contributions
from AMCHAM members. Articles may be reproduced
with acknowledgement, except for those taken from
other sources.
Dear AMCHAM Members,
Recent signs are indicating that Thailand is getting back to
business, which is good news for all of us. The fundamentals of
Thailand’s economy continue to remain strong and the Royal Thai
Government continues to address issues which adversely affect the
competitiveness of Thailand.
According to the Bank of Thailand, the Thai economy continued
to expand in the 3rd quarter, particularly in the production and
exports sectors. Additionally, private consumption and investment,
as well as the tourism sector have all shown increases since the first
half of the year. And while the strengthening of the Baht continues
to be a concern for exporters, the World Bank recently noted
that the appreciation of the Baht will support growth in private
investment, as over 85 percent of capital equipment is imported.
This along with other positive factors should provide an opportunity
for manufacturers to increase investment here in Thailand.
Advocacy in Government
We recently had several positive results in advocacy in a few
government policy areas.
First, the majority of the Map Ta Phut issues have been resolved
with the Administrative Court in Thailand clearing all but two
of the projects under injunction and enabling the remainder to
proceed. Guidelines have now been established for companies to
conduct their health and environment impact assessments and a list
of industrial projects that can potentially create severe impact to
communities was recently also released. While the problems with
the injunction took over a year to be resolved, we are hopeful no
long term damage was caused by the slow resolution of the issue
and that Thailand remains an attractive investment destination. As
you will read in this edition of T-AB Magazine, manufacturing is an
important part of Thailand’s economy, accounting for 39 percent of
Thailand’s GDP in 2009.
The Royal Thai Government also just announced its enhanced
Regional Operating Headquarters (ROH) incentives program.
Originally launched eight years ago, the ROH scheme was
designed to attract companies to move their regional headquarters
to Thailand. Since then, almost 90 ROHs have been established.
The new package will enable Thailand to rival Singapore as the
top ROH hub in Southeast Asia. The new ROH incentives provide
for more favorable corporate and personal income tax rates, tax
exemptions on dividends, in addition to allowing new and existing
companies to qualify as treasury centers.
Reforming the Royal Thai Customs Laws continues to be a priority
of AMCHAM. We were pleased to see the Cabinet passed its
first set of Customs amendments on September 28, which will
provide transparency and relief in the penalty system. This set of
amendments removed the “regardless of intent” language from the
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Note: newly updated artwork
Thai-American Business
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law, which should ease penalties for errors caused by
administrative mistakes. Additionally, the penalty amount
was recommended to be reduced from four times the
value of the dutiable item to a range of 0.5-4 times the
value allowed for judicial rulings. This set of amendments
is currently pending a scheduled debate in Parliament.
A second set of amendments which would deal with the
onerous rewards system is still under debate within the
Royal Thai Customs Department. The AMCHAM Customs
Committee continues to work diligently on this issue, and
I give my thanks to them on behalf of the Board.
David Washenfelder, who will leave the Board after
completing two two-year terms. Additionally, Khun
Vorapong Vorasuntharasoth, Government Affairs Leader,
Dow Chemical, stepped down to allow Molly Zhang to
run for the Board.
There remain other pending issues in which AMCHAM
has expressed concern to the Royal Thai Government,
which include the labor law reform and Thailand’s
reluctance to allow for international arbitration of disputes
involving government contracts.
Congratulations to the 2011 Board and thanks to the
members who decided to run for election. We received
over 200 ballots from member companies, an impressive
30 percent voting rate. Thank you to all who took time
to vote for the Chambers’ executive leadership team for
Election of the 2011-2012 Board
Re-elected for a second term were: Peter Eliot, Managing
Director and Country Head, Citibank, Joe Mannix,
General Manager, United Airlines, Bruce Hoppe, Vice
President of Asia Operations, Emerson Electric and
Best regards,
At the October 20 Annual General Meeting, the
AMCHAM membership elected three new Governors to
the 2011 Board: Dr. Molly Zhang, Managing Director,
Dow Chemical; Brian Housh, Managing Director, English
Solutions, and Janice Van Ekeren, Chief Financial Officer,
Bank of Ayudhya. These individuals will be replacing
Chuck Kathrein, Chairman, Mustang Technologies and
Joe Geagea
AMCHAM President
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to an ill-designed insurance programme?
Ensure it is tailor-made…for you
Consult Trafalgar International – we hold the key
Growth of the Manufacturing sector
What SMEs Operating in Thailand Stand
to Gain from the Thailand-EU FTA
assembly plants and manufacturing
factories in Thailand and increase
the domestic market for automotive
SMEs, the majority of which are
parts producers for multinational
companies. A study by the Economic
Research and Training Center, Faculty
of Economics, Thammasat University,
found a similar conclusion for the
electrical and electronics industry, in
which 77 percent of factories are parts
producers, the majority of which are
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Written by: Stephanie Soderborg
n an increasingly globalized world,
Thailand stands to significantly
benefit from well-executed Free
Trade Agreements (FTAs) by increasing
its exports while drawing foreign
investment into its domestic economy.
FTAs with more developed countries,
in particular, tend to favor Thailand,
and create opportunities for small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand.
In order to determine the impacts,
both positive and negative, of the
proposed Thailand-European Union
(EU) FTA, the EU granted funding
to the Kenan Institute Asia (K.I.Asia)
to implement a 16-month research
and communication project entitled
“Thailand-EU SME FTA Enhancement
Program” to identify, assess, and
recommend measures to mitigate
the possible impacts of the FTA on
SMEs operating in Thailand. As the
stipulations of the FTA have not been
publicly defined, the study assessed
10 sectors under the assumption that
tariffs in these sectors would drop
to zero. Overall, the study found
numerous positive impacts of the FTA
for SMEs.
Benefits of a Thailand-Eu Fta
One significant benefit of the
Thailand-EU FTA for SMEs operating
in Thailand will be the availability of
cheaper imported raw materials used
in manufacturing. In the chemical
industry, for example, the cost of raw
materials (which are mostly imported)
accounts for the largest portion of
total production costs for SMEs.
According to the Information and
Communication Technology Center, in
2008 Thailand received 12.2 percent
of its chemical imports from the EU.
While most chemical categories
are already imported at low tariff
rates (0-5 percent), herbicides, antisprouting and plant-growth regulator
products imported from the EU, which
constitute 11.3 percent of imports
in this category, have tariff rates as
high as 20 percent. The reduction of
these tariffs will be highly beneficial
to SMEs that produce fertilizer and
pesticide as well as down-stream
SMEs, such as those in agriculture and
The plastic, as well as the iron
and steel product sectors, will also
experience similar benefits. The
EU is an important source of highgrade polymers for SMEs producing
final plastic goods. Currently, such
polymers face up to a 5 percent tariff.
In the iron and steel industry, most
SMEs focus on the treatment and
coating of metals as well as general
mechanical engineering. This requires
the purchase of raw materials, some
of which have import tariffs as high as
20 percent at times. Therefore, SMEs
in these industries should benefit
from the FTA when the tariffs on the
imported raw materials drop.
The Thailand-EU FTA will also
increase foreign investment in
Thailand, directly benefiting many
SME sectors and increasing overall
employment. According to a 2005
study conducted by the Center for
International Trade Studies at the
University of the Thai Chamber
of Commerce, the FTA will have
the potential result of encouraging
investors from the EU to build
Not only will the FTA result in cheaper
raw material imports and increased
investment, but it will also expand
Thailand’s market. In the agriculture
and food industry markets, Thailand
is one of the world’s most important
food exporters, with unique strengths
such as the distinct identity of Thai
food, appropriate terrain and climate
to grow a variety of products, skilled
workers and good standards of factory
management. Liberalized trade will
allow Thailand to increase exports,
at the expense of its international
competitors, as the EU has a large
market with high purchasing power.
While there is huge potential for SMEs
with the FTA, all sectors will also have
to overcome the non-tariff barriers
set out by the EU if they want to take
advantage of the trade agreement.
The EU has some of the most stringent
health, safety and quality standards in
the world and some SMEs operating
in Thailand may not currently be
in compliance. Some SMEs may
also believe that the FTA will create
a greater disparity between them
and their European counterparts by
allowing higher quality EU products
to flood the market.
Building Stronger SMEs
To address these concerns, the Thai
government has made strengthening
SMEs a priority. While initial
investment in meeting EU standards
may increase short-term costs, the
government can assist dedicated
By meeting EU regulations, SMEs will
not only be able to export to the EU,
but will also increase their ability
to sell in other foreign markets with
standards that fall below those of the
EU. It has been K.I.Asia’s observation
that many SMEs can meet these
standards with appropriate technical
assistance. Successful case examples
exist where SMEs in Thailand
have received both U.S. and Thai
government technical assistance to
Not only will the Thailand-EU FTA
result in cheaper raw material imports
and increased investment, but it will
also expand Thailand’s market.
meet U.S. and Japanese standards, in
such industries as the prepared food
and spices category, automotive and
other manufacturing.
In order for Thailand to maintain
the economic growth experienced
over the past fifty years, businesses
must look to new markets. The
Thailand-EU FTA will not only
facilitate Thai exports to Europe, a
major gain considering the region’s
high purchasing power, it will also
strengthen the domestic economy
through lower raw material prices
and increased foreign investment.
The benefits will be particularly
advantageous to SMEs in terms of
reduced costs, increased product
demand, and elevated operating
procedures and standards. These
changes will lead to stronger SMEs,
resulting in a more competitive
This document has been produced with
the financial assistance of the European
Union. The contents of this document are
the sole responsibility of Kenan Institute
Asia and can under no circumstances be
regarded as reflecting the position of the
European Union.
Stephanie Soderborg, Assistant Consultant
at the Kenan Institute Asia, can be
reached at: [email protected]
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
SMEs with the ultimate payout being
exponentially larger. The FTA is
also opening the door to increased
technical assistance from the EU
in the form of personnel training,
understanding of EU standards, and
business matching, all of which will
aid SMEs operating in Thailand in
taking advantage of the EU market.
In fact, the EU has already approved
for funding Phase II of the Thailand
European Commission Cooperation
facility, which will provide two years
worth of technical assistance, with
a heavy emphasis on meeting EU
regulatory requirements.
Growth of the Manufacturing sector
Maintaining and Building Automotive
Investment Attractiveness in Thailand
Executive Summary of the AMCHAM Auto Council’s White Paper
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
he growth of the Thai automotive
industry over the past two
decades has been an impressive
success story, brought about by
supportive government policies and
a liberal investment climate that
encouraged the influx of large-scale
foreign direct investments. Key facts
about the industry are as follows:
• Vehicle production expected to peak
at 1.56 million units in 2010 (890K
export, 670K domestic). According to
Thailand Automotive Institute (TAI),
it is forecast that the industry could
grow to 2 million units by 2015 in
line with the vision of Thailand being
the top-ten largest auto producers in
the world.
• Thailand assembled vehicles presently
account for 94% of domestic sales.
Exports orientation has grown to 55%
of production output.
• Third largest industry contributing
10% to the national GDP, employing
700,000 workers across the supply
Given the global competitive environment and domestic challenges, and the
growth vision it has set, the government
needs to re-assess the attractiveness of
Thailand, with an objective of staying
ahead of the curve while maintaining
its position as the top choice for automotive investment in the region.
In the spirit of partnership and to underline our long-term commitment to
Thailand, the AMCHAM Auto Council
has written a White Paper on “Maintaining and Building Automotive Investment
Attractiveness in Thailand” which identifies strategic areas of collaboration with
the government to sustain the long-term
competitiveness of the industry and its
contributions to employment and the
economy in general, and to promote the
safety and well-being of the public. The
White Paper contains three (3) Parts:
• Part I: focuses on “Enhancing
Government Policies Affecting the
Automotive Industry”.
Chevrolet Cruze
• Part II: provides a “Roadmap to a
Better Labor Enviro0nment”.
• Part III: promotes “Road Safety” to
safeguard the well-being of the public.
Part I. Enhancing Government
Policies Affecting the Automotive
The Auto Council summarizes into
three main areas the key priorities for
government consideration:
1) Policy framework directly affecting
the long-term development of Thai
automotive industry
Establishing a long-term and
integrated automotive development
plan. Need to formulate a long term
10-12 year plan that integrates all
key areas of automotive industry
development framework, undertaken
through a transparent consultative
process involving all stakeholders,
implemented through coordinated
actions of key agencies and consistent
with principles of international trade
agreements to support a growing
export orientation.
Benchmarking investment incentives.
Need to re-invigorate Thailand’s
automotive investment incentives
through the amendment of Investment
Promotion Act to provide BOI with
more effective policy tools and to
assist in an incentive benchmarking
study to examine best practices
by area/topic of key competitor
Re-visiting Thailand’s auto excise tax
system. Need to reform the automotive
excise tax system with emphasis on
simplicity, transparency, creating a
level playing field, consistent with
international trade agreements in
application, and sufficient lead time
for implementation/ adoption.
2) Policy coordination on Alternative
Transport Energy
Calling for an Integrated Road Map for
Alternative Transport Energy that has
well-coordinated action among key
Ministries to ensure that policies and
incentives move in the same direction
with adequate lead time for investors
to act upon.
3) Policy framework enhancing Trade
Free Trade Development. Continue
seeking new trade opportunities
through FTAs that provide
complementary benefits; facilitate
export of vehicles and parts through
Thailand’s advocacy in ASEAN in
removing non-tariff barriers (NTBs)
that are not in conformity with the
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)
Reforming the Thai Customs Code.
Lending full support to the work
of JFCCT (Joint Foreign Chambers
of Commerce in Thailand) on
ways to improve trade facilitation,
transparency and predictability in
Customs procedures.
Part II. Roadmap to a Better Labor
The labor environment in Thailand
continues to evolve as the economy
and industries continue to develop.
Experience gained during negotiations
undertaken during the recent
economic crisis highlighted a series
Ford Focus
1) Revisit Recent Revisions to Labor
Protection Law
Several key aspects of the Labor
Protection Law were enacted without
adequate private sector consultation
and have made it more difficult for
companies to operate – especially in
a difficult economic environment –
by reducing the flexibility afforded
in labor practices and regulations.
The paper recommends for
greater flexibility on treatment of
subcontractor workers, a reasonable
succession pay, one month notice
during probation period for new hires
and criteria for tax and social security
benefits for voluntary separation
2) Promotion of Strategies/ Initiatives to
Build Industrial Peace
Auto Council sees opportunities in
two areas to implement measures to
build an environment of industrial
peace. The Auto Council proposes
formation of a tri-party working group
to build and improve capability in
industrial and Labor Relations. Form a
joint committee to work on improving
the working and living conditions in
the industrial estates, for example,
child care center, income relief fund,
public recreation, etc.
3) Increasing the Focus on Human
Resource Development
Auto Council proposes to establish a
National Skills Center to implement
skill development program for
workers. A central theme for the
Center should be on co-designing
curriculum together with industry
stakeholders. The Center should also
consider development of a national
database of available skills and skill
development programs for easy access
by industry. Additionally we should
cooperate and utilize a Provincial
Skill Development Center with focus
on vocational training, recruiting,
screening and changing skills for a
diverse industry.
4) Promotion of Improved Enforcement
of Rule of Law in Union Activities
To minimize escalation and repeated
occurrences of disruptive labor
incidents as well as to improve the
response mechanisms, there is a
need for government assistance on
counseling and raising awareness
among labor unions on the rule of law
and consequence of such violations:
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
Adopting international standards and
harmonizing technical regulations and
conformity assessment procedures.
Need for product conformity
assessment procedures that aim at
facilitating trade and not be applied
with the effect of creating unnecessary
technical barriers to trade; need for
harmonization of technical regulations
among ASEAN member countries.
of issues and opportunities for
improvement for both the short and
long term. The underlying objective
of the Auto Council is to promote a
collaborative approach to industrial
relations in Thailand – across all
stakeholder groups – to avert the
potential cause of a confrontational
and ultimately harmful labor
environment. The Auto Council
summarizes into five main areas
the key priorities for government
• Ministry of Labor to provide
counseling to companies and labor
unions as a pre-requisite to demand
submission to help mitigate the
potential for initial demands far
beyond what is reasonable relative to
the overall economic environment.
The government should also
implement a screening process for
appointment of Certified Advisor
participating in negotiation to avoid
build up of inappropriate disruptions
that might result in industrial issues.
Mediators/ arbitrators should be a
high profile person and appointed
by the Government Central Office to
lead the process within the frame of
Central Office.
• Appropriate government authority to
conduct seminars for both companies
and union leaders to educate and reenforce the importance of rule of law
and the consequences of violation as
relevant to industrial action.
Growth of the Manufacturing sector
• Local Task Team (of the industrial
estate) formed to deal with illegal
industrial actions and other
demonstration. The Task Team should
consist of representatives from the
Police, the Labor Ministry, Provincial
Offices, Company representatives,
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
5) Building an Environment of
Constructive Labor Relations in
There are several areas of opportunity
that can be addressed by employers,
individually and collectively, to
improve labor relations environment.
These opportunities fall into four
categories, namely:
• Collective bargaining agreements and
clarification of associated laws.
• Conditions that determine variable
• Clarification of employment
conditions and management rights.
• Rules and regulations governing term
of union committees.
Auto Council provides practical
recommendations for each of the
categories such as promoting longerterm ( 3 years if possible) contract
to minimize pressure on annual
negotiation process, implementation
of performance-based variable pay
or the so-called bonus matrix, limit
demand items within employment
conditions and the structure of new
union committee should maintain
50% carryover.
Part III. Promoting Road Safety
The third and final part deals with the
promoting of road safety in Thailand.
Injuries and fatalities resulting
from road crashes is a problem
that profoundly affects Thailand
by impeding social and economic
progress. Auto Council proposes
to take proactive steps to improve
road safety with recommendation
to develop joint programs with
government and schools on road traffic
injury prevention covering areas of
primary concerns to Thailand’s public
as preparation for obtaining driving
license etc.
2) Road safety publicity campaign
To strengthen knowledge,
understanding and awareness of road
safety extensively and continuously
among all target groups by installing
guideposts, such as:
• To promote the use of seatbelts and
crash helmets as important but easy
way to protect one self’s live in road
traffic and promote sanctions for nonuse.
• To improve hazardous locations e.g.
by marking unclear intersections.
• To install warnings about drink driving
and speeding.
3) Award “safe technology”
1) Educating young people about road
As particularly Thai children are
affected in street accidents, a part of
the road safety program is to focus on
road safety for children – developed
and supported from automotive
industry in joint venture with schools
to establish an education process
for young people about basic road
safety e.g. monitoring local school
area, identifying safer routes to school
for younger pupils, ensure driver
training and testing for elder pupils
Award new safety technologies
developed by car makers or suppliers
in order to create performance
incentives for automotive industry
(maybe also in form of R&D incentives
for automotive industry) and to raise
public awareness for importance
of safe cars and the car makers’
contribution to road safety.
The AMCHAM Auto Council’s white
paper in its entirety can be found
on AMCHAM’s website at:
We need your help to provide 150 student scholarships in 2011
Each year at this time AMCHAM starts searching for
fun, interesting and/or valuable prizes for our silent
auction. This year’s “Disco Fever” Installation Ball
silent auction has a goal to raise Baht two million to
support AMCHAM’s Thai university student scholarship
program. We need your help to source or provide
prizes. Please let us know if your organization can
donate an airline ticket, hotel stay, piece of art or
another item for the auction.
Contact Sheree at: [email protected]
if you can assist.
Growth of the Manufacturing sector
Thai-American Business
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Top Manufacturing Opportunities
in Thailand: An Overview of the
Automotive, Electronic and Food
Manufacturing Industries
he U.S. Commercial Service in
Bangkok provides a variety of
services and resources to assist
U.S. firms with research on and entry
into the Thai market. The following is
guidance obtained from Doing Business
in Thailand: 2010 Country Commercial
Guide for U.S. Companies, published by
the U.S. Commercial Service.
best selling brands are Toyota with
42 percent of the market, Isuzu (20
percent), Honda (17 percent), Nissan
(5.5 percent), and Mitsubishi (3.6
percent). They all have assembling
operations in Thailand that manufacture
for both domestic and export markets.
Ford, Mazda, General Motors, Benz,
BMW, and Hino also have local
manufacturing facilities for both
markets. The industry has an overall
assembling capacity of 1.8 million
Thailand’s economic growth has created opportunities for U.S. companies
in a number of infrastructure sectors,
including electrical power, telecommunications, and renewable energy. Thai
consumers are creating opportunities
for new sales of U.S. medical products,
cosmetics, security equipment, food
supplements and educational services.
Thailand also continues to look for U.S.
suppliers of automotive accessories, defense equipment, broadcast equipment,
food processing and packaging equipment, and environmental technology.
Vehicles sales in Thailand declined 10.8
percent from 2008 to finish at 548,871
units, while exports declined 31 percent
to 535,000 units. The total value of
vehicles and parts exported in 2009
declined 19 percent. Despite this, the
industry is expected to expand in 2010
to an overall assembling output of 1.2
million units. Domestic and export markets will grow by 10 percent and have
an equal share of the overall output,
with expected sales of 600,000 units in
each market.
Automotive Parts and Services/
Thailand’s 2009 annual vehicle production declined 28 percent from 2008 to
approximately one million units. The decline was caused by a decrease demand
in both domestic and export markets.
Japanese manufacturers dominate the
Thai market and have a combined
market share of 92 percent. The five
Figure 1: Automotive Parts and Services/Equipment
2010 (estimated)
Total Market Size
Total Local Production
Total Exports
Total Imports
Imports from the U.S.
Note: All figures are in U.S. dollar millions.
The statistics above are unofficial estimates. 33 Baht/1 U.S.$
Source: The Federation of Thai Industries
The implementation of the ASEAN Free
Trade Area (AFTA) started January 2010,
and is expected to benefit the automotive industry in Thailand, in the longrun. As the region’s largest and most
capable manufacturer, the Thai automotive industry is expected to increase its
exports in the region. The increase in
intra-regional exchange of vehicle parts,
resulting from the 0-5 percent tariff
scheme, lowers production costs for assemblers and creates economies of scale
in production for the industry.
Best prospects for the automotive parts
and service equipment sector include:
• Accessories & performance parts;
• General automotive service
equipment & tools;
• Tire (wheel) & brake service
equipment; and
• Body and paint repair service
As the Southeast Asian regional manufacturing hub, Thailand presents significant automotive opportunities for U.S.
companies. Building on the success of
its initial plan to make Thailand one of
the world’s major pickup manufacturers,
the Royal Thai Government announced
its desire to become a manufacturing
hub for the “Eco car”, with the objective
Electronic Components
In 2009, more than 73 percent of
Thailand’s imported electronic
components consist of integrated
circuits (IC) and computer components
(CC). Of this, $8.41 billion are IC
(42 percent) and $6.2 billion are for
computer components (31 percent) as
currently Thailand is the manufacturing
base for 4 out of 5 major HDD
producers, which include Seagate
Technologies, Western Digital, Hitachi
Global Storage and Fujitsu.
computers, household appliances, LCD
TV and DVD players.
Between January and November of
2009, the overall electronic parts and
component manufacturing market
decreased 6.75 percent.
The electronics industry has recovered
slightly since the third quarter after
receiving replenishing orders for
integrated circuits and hard disk drives
from emerging countries such as India
and Mexico. This recovery in demand
is due in part to the economic stimuli
introduced by many countries, inventory
replenishments, and increasing demand
for high-tech consumer products that
use data storage, such as MP3 players,
external disks, digital cameras, mobile
phones, net books, notebooks, personal
The leading sectors of electronic parts
are printer components, integrated
circuits, and printed circuit boards
that are found in industrial goods such
as cars and electronic appliances.
Thailand is considered the major
electronic component manufacturing
base of Southeast Asia and is part of a
global supply chain. The Thai electronics
industry has benefited from reductions
and revocations of import and export
tariffs on electronics components
among the ASEAN countries following
the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)
agreement of 2010.
The duty-free trade status will lead to
strong competition in the electronics
manufacturing industries. The agreement
also changes the enterprises from
being an OEM (Original Equipment
Manufacturers) to ODM (Original
Design Manufacturers), which need
R&D to develop new products.
Figure 2: Electronic Components
2009 (estimated)
Total Market Size
Total Local Production
Total Exports
Total Imports
Imports from the U.S.
Note: All figures are in U.S. dollar millions.
The statistics above are unofficial estimates. 33 Baht/1 U.S.$
Source: The Electrical and Electronics Institute, The Customs Department
Thailand’s Electrical and Electronics
Institute (EEI) projected that electronics
manufacturing production will
increase 23 percent in 2010 due to
signs of recovery from increasing
demand for high-tech products which
need a large amount of storage space,
a high speed processor, and features
that are compatible with other IT
equipment. EEI expected the growth
of HDD, IC, and semiconductors to be
20 percent, 14 percent and 12 percent
respectively. The Thailand Board of
Investment (BOI) has granted 219
projects in electronic and electrical
appliance industries, worth around
US$ 3 billion in 2009. These projects
focus on manufacturing HDD,
memory storage equipment, digital
cameras, automobile electronics and
other electronic products.
Best Prospects/Services
• Integrated circuits (wafers, dice and
chips, substrates and lead frames)
• Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
• Computer components (CPU, HDD,
FDD, CD Rom drive, tape drives,
monitors, printers, LCD projectors,
keyboards, mouse, network
• Automotive electronics
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
to uphold Thailand’s competitive position as a production hub in the global
market. This will increase opportunities
for parts manufacturing, automotive
technologies and related services in
OEM manufacturing. Additionally, greater integration of vehicle markets among
ASEAN countries implies a market of
regional volume for replacement parts
and after-market service equipment.
The Thailand Board of Investment
(BOI) grants tax incentives to investors
for high-tech investment projects
totaling more than 30 million baht that
manufacture products not yet made in
Thailand and can be exempted from
corporate income taxes for up to eight
For example, a company specializing
in wafer production and electronic
design may be exempted from import
duties for machinery, raw material
and components used for producing
electronic goods. Apart from attractive
incentives, the BOI also focuses on
promoting value-added projects
and more advanced technology in
automotive and electronics industries as
well as in knowledge-based industries
such as biotechnology, RFID, LED, LCD
panels and renewable energy. This is in
keeping with the government’s policy
to support the development of the
electrical and electronics industry in
cooperation with the BOI and EEI.
Growth of the Manufacturing sector
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Figure 3: Food Processing and Packaging Equipment (FPP)
Total Market Size
Total Local Production
Total Exports
Total Imports
Imports from the U.S.
175 (9.1%)
208 (10%)
Note: All figures are in U.S. dollar millions.
The statistics above are unofficial estimates. 33 Baht/1 U.S.$
Source: Thai Customs Department
Food Processing and Packaging
Equipment (FPP)
Thailand is the 7th largest food
producer in the world. For the
majority of food giants, such as FritoLay and Kellogg’s, Thailand is their
processing and distribution center for
the Southeast Asian market due to
the abundant supply and competitive
prices of major agricultural products.
Thailand increasingly depends on
high-quality machinery to meet food
safety standards required by major
importing markets like EU, Japan and
USA. Every year, food processing
and packaging machinery valued
at approximately US$2 billion is
Due to the economic downturn and
domestic political uncertainty, Thai
food producers have slowed their
investment in manufacturing facilities
and purchases of new machinery. This
resulted in a 10 percent decrease in
the imports of food processing and
packaging equipment and 20 percent
decrease in the local production.
According to distributors of overseas
equipment, the purchase orders began
to pick up late last year. Several
companies have projected sales
of food processing and packaging
machinery should grow 10-15 percent
in 2010.
Best Products/Services
Best sales prospects for U.S. food
processing and packaging equipment
2010 (estimated)
• Packaging machinery and materials
(film making machines, formfill-seal machines used for food
packaging, heat sealers used for
food packaging)
• Refrigerators, freezers and other
refrigerating or freezing equipments
• Machines for cleaning, sorting
or grading eggs, fruit or other
agricultural produce
• Bakery machinery and machinery
for the manufacture of macaroni,
spaghetti or similar products
• Machinery for the manufacture of
confectionery, cocoa or chocolate
• Machinery for sugar manufacture
• Meat processing equipment
• Fruits, nuts or vegetables processing
• Machinery for the extraction or
preparation of animal or fixed
vegetable fats or Oils
Major suppliers of food processing
and packaging equipment were Japan
(23 percent), China (13.6 percent),
Germany (11.5 percent), South Korea
(10.3 percent) and the U.S. (9.1
percent).When Thai food processors
are in the early stages of setting
up their company, it is common to
invest in cheaper machinery. As Thai
companies expand and raise more
capital, they begin investing in higher
quality equipment typically made in
Germany, Japan and U.S. The U.S. is
particularly strong in the cold storage
product category because the imports
of the refrigerating and freezing
equipment from USA accounted for up
to 26 percent.
Thailand imports food processing and
packaging equipment from Japan the
most, accounting for 23 percent of
the total imports. Japan is the number
one investor in Thailand and Japanese
companies normally use machinery
made in Japan. According to the
Japanese Chamber of Commerce,
there are over 7,000 Japanese
manufacturing facilities in Thailand,
and Japan is increasingly promoting
their machinery into Thailand.
In general, local Thai manufacturers
believe German machinery has the
highest quality, because European
machinery has established a strong
presence and brand awareness
in the market. Their local agents
have continuously introduced and
promoted new technology. In addition,
European suppliers are more willing
to customize their machines to meet
specific requests by local end users.
Nevertheless, those food processors
who have used both American and
European machinery have expressed
the view that American machinery
is easier to maintain and more
durable. Therefore, U.S. companies
are encouraged to showcase their
distinctive selling points such as high
quality and competitive pricing.
To read the entire Guide, please refer to
the Internet at
Or Contact the U.S. Commercial
Service, Senior Commercial Officer:
Cynthia A. Griffin
U.S. Embassy Bangkok
GPF Witthayu Building, Tower A, 3rd
Floor, Suite 302, 93/1 Wireless Road
Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: 662-205-5090
Fax: 662-255-2915, 205-5914
Email: [email protected]
HR Update
Renegotiating Employment
Conditions in Thailand
Written by: Chusert Supasitthumrong
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
hailand has long been viewed as
an attractive option for foreign
investors in the manufacturing
sector. The country has already
positioned itself as a regional leader
in automotive assembly and parts
production, with the electronics and
textile industries also well-established
sectors. These areas, along with other
manufacturing industries, are expected
to have continued growth in the coming
years as the Thai government has
demonstrated a strong commitment to
eliminating barriers to trade. The recent
implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade
Area and the China-ASEAN Free Trade
Agreement are likely to bring about
further growth in Thailand’s alreadystrong manufacturing sector.
One of the reasons for Thailand’s
competitiveness in this area is the
country’s relatively low rate of
unionization, which currently stands
at less than 10 percent. However,
the recent wave of labor unrest in
China has shown the level of labor
militancy can shift quickly, especially
as investment continues to pour into
a growing economy. For this reason,
companies investing in Thailand need
to familiarize themselves with the
legislative framework when working
with unionized employees.
When labor unrest occurs in Thailand,
it is often due to employers unilaterally
implementing changes in the
workplace, later realizing their actions
may result in unlawful changes to their
employees’ legally protected conditions
of employment. This article will discuss
the process and the pitfalls of changing
conditions of employment.
Conditions of Employment
The Labor Relations Act (the “Act”)
is the primary statute that governs
relationships between employers and
employees operating collectively as
a union or other group. Under the
Act, employers are not permitted to
change the conditions of employment
unilaterally if doing so will result
in a reduction of the employees’
employment benefits. Conditions can
be changed only if the employer obtains
the employees’ informed consent.
If consent is not forthcoming, the
employer must retain existing conditions
of employment or proceed to change
them in accordance with the procedures
specified in the Act.
“Conditions of employment” is a broad
concept under Thai law, and includes
everything from the obvious (wages,
welfare, working days, and hours)
to less obvious items such as rules
regarding submission of employee
complaints, termination of employment,
other disciplinary measures, amendment
of the work rules, as well as all other
conditions in the workplace that
have become obligatory by contract
or practice. For example, the criteria
underlying a variable bonus could be
considered one of the conditions of
employment and may be difficult to
modify if the employer has not expressly
reserved that right in writing. Even
certain soft perks, such as a shuttle bus
service, can qualify as conditions of
employment over time.
Even the most well-meaning employers
can be surprised by the fallout from
a unilateral change in conditions of
employment. For example, with some
exceptions, the maximum lawful
number of work hours per week is 48
in Thailand. However, even when an
employer wishes to reduce the hours
to 40 per week, varying objections
from the workforce may be made if
compensation is also accordingly
reduced. The employer needs to
consider the net impact of a change
in conditions of employment in order
minimize the possibility of labor unrest
and/or legal proceedings.
How to Change Employment
Conditions Legally
When a collective bargaining
agreement (CBA) reaches expiration
and/or the employer or its employees
want to negotiate new conditions of
employment, each party must proceed
under the Act.
Employer or employee demands for
new conditions of employment or a
new CBA (collectively, Labor Demand)
must be submitted to the other party in
writing. If submitted by the employer,
the Labor Demand must include the
names of the persons who will negotiate
on the employer’s behalf. If submitted
by employees, the Labor Demand must
include the names and signatures of
each employee involved in the Labor
Demand, which must include the support of at least 15 percent of all employees in the company. If a labor union
submits a Labor Demand on behalf of
its members, the union’s membership
must total at least 20 percent of the
employer’s total employees, without the
requirement of employees involved in
the Labor Demand being named.
The most common employee requests
are: an increase in wages, bonus or
welfare items such as transportation
or medical treatment, all of which are
often inflated in the Labor Demand to
leave room for negotiation. On a similar
token, many companies submit hardline counter demands after receiving
the employees’ Labor Demand. This
positioning tactic is often used to force
employees to reduce or withdraw
Under the Act, employers are not
permitted to change the conditions of
employment unilaterally if doing so will
result in a reduction of the employees’
employment benefits.
their demand sooner, as they are well
aware a lockout is possible if the parties
cannot reach an agreement.
The new CBA binds the employer and
the employees named in the Labor
Demand, as well as all employees who
participated in electing their employee
representatives. If the Labor Demand
was submitted by at least two-thirds of
the employees with the same or similar
job, or by a labor union representing at
least two-thirds of the employer’s total
employees, then the new CBA binds
all employees working in the same or
similar job.
Settlement of Labor Disputes
If the parties fail to reach an agreement
after negotiation, or if no negotiation
takes place within the prescribed
three-day period, the Labor Demand
will become a “Labor Dispute” by law.
In this event, the party that submitted
the Labor Demand must inform a
conciliation officer appointed by the
Labor Ministry in writing within 24
hours after the negotiations break down,
or within 24 hours after the three-day
statutory negotiation period expires.
The conciliation officer is then obligated
to conduct mediation and try to
effect settlement within five days. If a
settlement is reached, the employer
must proceed with the same notice
requirements discussed above. If the
parties cannot reach settlement, the
Labor Dispute becomes an “Unsettled
Labor Dispute”, and (i) the parties
may agree to appoint a Labor Dispute
arbitrator or (ii) the employer may begin
a lockout of the employees and/or the
employees may go on formal strike.
If the employer and employees refer the
dispute to arbitration, they will each
be afforded an opportunity to submit
arguments and evidence to support
their positions, and the arbitration
award shall include a discussion of
Employers and employees are prohibited
from engaging in a lockout or a strike
until the above preliminary procedures
are completed. In other words, a Labor
Demand must be formally submitted
by one party to the other, and it must
have evolved into an Unsettled Labor
Dispute. In addition, the parties may
not strike or engage in a lockout while
waiting for an award by a Labor Dispute
arbitrator or without giving prior notice
to the conciliation officer and 24-hour
notice to the other party.
Unsettled Labor Disputes involving
ports, rail transport, telecommunications, utilities, energy, and hospitals, all
must be referred to the Labor Relations
Committee. In addition, if the Unsettled
Labor Dispute does not encompass one
of these industries, but affects the economy or public order, the Labor Minister
is entitled to transfer the matter to the
Labor Relations Committee. Likewise,
if the government has declared martial
law or a state of emergency, the Labor
Ministry is authorized to announce in
the Government Gazette that Unsettled
Labor Disputes must be considered
by persons appointed by the Ministry,
whose orders are final and require compliance by the employer and employees.
Guidelines for Employer Actions
It is extremely difficult for an employer
to terminate or transfer employees
once a formal Labor Demand has been
submitted. By law, if the Labor Demand
is under negotiation, settlement or
arbitration, the employer cannot
terminate or transfer employees,
employee representatives, committee
members or members of the labor
union. Employers who violate this
rule are subject to criminal charges
and possible imprisonment of up to
six months. Moreover, if the affected
employee is a member of an employee
committee, the employer must petition
the Labor Court for permission to
terminate the employee.
There are a few exceptions allowing for
the termination of an employee should he
or she commit one of the following acts:
1. Performs dishonestly or intentionally
commits a criminal offence against
the employer
2. Intentionally causes damage to the
3. Violates the employer’s work rules,
regulations or lawful orders, after a
written warning by the employer for
matters not deemed serious
4. Neglects his or her duties for a period
of three consecutive work days
without reasonable cause
In cases where an employer violates
these rules, the employee is entitled
to submit a complaint to the Labor
Relations Committee within 60 days
after the violation. The Labor Relations
Committee will then ask both parties
to explain the matter and will issue an
order within 90 days after receiving the
employee’s complaint. If the Committee
cannot issue the order within that
deadline, it may obtain an extension
from the Labor Minister.
Right to Unionize
Employers are not permitted to interfere
with an employee’s right to unionize.
This means that employers may not
terminate an employee or take any other
action that would make an employee
unable to continue work merely
because the employee is a member
of a labor union, calls a rally, files a
complaint, submits a Labor Demand
or engages in other lawful related
activities. Employers also may not
induce or prevent an employee from
becoming a member of a labor union,
or cause or induce an employee to
resign from a labor union. Violations are
subject to possible criminal prosecution
and imprisonment of up to six months.
These provisions apply whether or not
a Labor Demand is in process, though
are common when employers are
anticipating a strike.
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
Once a formal Labor Demand is
received from the employer or
employees, the law requires the parties
to begin negotiations within three days.
If they can reach settlement, they may
enter into a new CBA signed by their
mutual representatives. Within three
days after signing a new CBA, the
employer must display the CBA at the
workplace for a minimum of 30 days
and register the CBA with the Ministry
of Labor within 15 days.
the issues, the facts as determined by
the arbitrators, the reasons for their
decisions, and the requirements to be
performed by the parties.
Employers must be mindful of these
prohibitions while dealing with
employees, particularly when a Labor
Demand has been submitted. This will
ensure employers are able to minimize
the risk of sanctions, including criminal
liability, which could result from
unwitting or overly aggressive actions.
An earlier version of this article was
published in Asian-Counsel, Volume 8,
Issue 7, 2010.
Chusert Supasitthumrong, a senior
litigator in the dispute resolution
team at Tilleke & Gibbins’ Bangkok
office, can be reached at: [email protected]
TAx update
What Will Happen to U.S. Tax Rates in 2011?
Written by: John Andes
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
any popular tax cuts currently
in place will disappear after
December 31, 2010 unless
Congress intervenes. Many of the tax
cuts were enacted by the Economic
Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation
Act of 2001 (the 2001 Act). Without
Congressional intervention, tax rates,
deductions, credits and other provisions will revert to less beneficial law
in place before the 2001 Act. In addition, capital gains and dividend tax rate
cuts in the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief
Reconciliation Act of 2003 (the “2003
Act”) and later legislation will also
sunset on December 31, 2010.
While expiring individual, capital gains,
dividends and estate tax rates have
drawn the most attention by taxpayers, advisors and lawmakers, the 2001
Tax Act contained more than 50 other
changes to the Internal Revenue Code
which will also expire at the end of the
year. While President Obama has issued
his FY 2011 budget, which includes
proposals to address some of the expiring
tax cuts, Congress adjourned before the
fall elections without extending any of
the expiring provisions.
Individual Income Tax
Individual Income Tax Rates: Before the
2001 Tax Act, the individual tax brackets
were set at 15 percent, 28 percent, 31
percent, 36 percent and 39.6 percent.
Currently, the individual tax brackets are
set at 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent,
28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent.
After 2010, the individual tax brackets
will revert to 15 percent, 28 percent, 31
percent, 36 percent and 39.6 percent.
Additional tax increases for higherincome were included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act.
Starting in 2013, these taxpayers will also
be subject to an additional 0.9 percent
Medicare tax on earned income above
U.S.$200,000 (U.S.$250,000 for joint
filers), and a 3.8 percent Medicare tax
on the lesser of net investment income or
modified adjusted gross income (AGI) in
excess of these income thresholds.
President Obama’s budget proposes to
make permanent the 10 percent, 15
percent, 25 percent and 28 percent
rates, and would allow the 33 percent
and 35 percent brackets to sunset and
be replaced by 36 percent and 39.6
percent rates. Single taxpayers with AGI
in 2011 of U.S.$200,000 (U.S.$250,000
for joint filers) would meet the 36 percent rate threshold under the president’s
Individual taxpayers expecting to be
affected by the increased rates in the
tax brackets should explore opportunities to accelerate recognition of income
in 2010, such as selling appreciated
property, avoiding installment sales that
would defer recognition of income, and
acceleration of bonuses.
Phase-out of Personal Exemptions: The
personal exemption phase-out reduces
the deduction for personal exemptions for higher income taxpayers. The
total amount of exemptions that can be
claimed is reduced by two percent for
each U.S.$2,500 (U.S.$1,250 for married
filing separate filers) or portion thereof
by which the taxpayer’s AGI exceeds the
applicable threshold. In 2010, the personal exemption phase-out is eliminated.
Under the sunset provisions of the 2001
Tax Act, the phase-out will be reinstated
in full after 2010.
President Obama’s proposal would only
apply the personal exemption phase-out
beyond the U.S.$200,000 income threshold for single filers (U.S.$250,000 for
joint filers) after 2010.
Phase-out of Itemized Deductions:
Itemized deductions in the past were
limited for higher-income taxpayers.
For 2010, the limitation on itemized
deductions was repealed. After 2010,
the limitation on itemized deductions
will again apply.
The limitation threshold amount is
U.S.$100,000 for most taxpayers
(U.S.$50,000 for married filing separate taxpayers), was set in 1991, and is
adjusted for annual inflation.
President Obama’s proposal would
impose the limitation for itemized
deductions for post-2010 tax years
for taxpayers with an income above
U.S.$200,000 (U.S.$250,000 for joint filers). Subsequent years’ thresholds would
be adjusted for inflation.
Higher-income taxpayers who anticipate
being subject to the itemized deduction limitation after 2010 should seek
opportunities to accelerate payments for
itemized deductions before the end of
2010. Accelerating deductions to 2010
to avoid the limitation on itemized de-
TAx update
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
ductions, however, should be weighed
against the benefits of accelerating
income in 2010.
Marriage Penalty – Standard Deduction
for Joint Filers: Before the 2001 Act, the
basic standard deduction for a single filer
was 60 percent of the standard deduction for joint filers. Currently, the basic
standard deduction for joint filers is
double the basic standard deduction for
an individual taxpayer. The increased basic standard deduction for joint filers will
sunset after 2010, and it is expected that
the basic standard deduction for joint
filers will decrease to less than double
the basic standard deduction for a single
filer in 2011.
President Obama’s proposal would
permanently increases the basic standard
deduction for joint filers to be twice the
basic standard deduction of an individual taxpayer.
Marriage Penalty – 15 Percent Tax
Bracket for Joint Filers: The income
range subject to the current 15 percent
tax bracket for joint filers is double the
same income levels in the same tax
bracket as a single taxpayer; however, after 2010, the range of income
subject to the 15 percent tax bracket
for joint filers will be less than double
the same income levels as a single
The president’s budget proposal is to
permanently set the income subject to
the 15 percent tax bracket for joint filers
to be double that for single taxpayers.
Alternative Minimum Tax Exemption:
The alternative minimum tax (“AMT”) is
imposed on a taxpayer if the taxpayer’s
tentative minimum tax liability exceeds
his regular tax liability. Some of the
taxpayer’s alternative minimum taxable
income is exempt from AMT.
The 2001 Act increased the exemption
amounts for tax years 2001 through
2004. The American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 increased
the exemption amount to U.S.$46,700
for single filers, U.S.$70,950 for
joint and surviving spouse filers, and
U.S.$35,475 for married filing separate
taxpayer. Unless Congress passes legislation, the AMT exemption amounts
for 2010 (and expected for 2011) are
scheduled to be lower than the 2009
amounts: U.S.$33,750 for single filers,
U.S.$45,000 for joint and surviving
As the close of 2010 approaches, individual
taxpayers should consider their options to
navigate towards an optimal tax solution for
2010 and later years.
spouse filers, and U.S.$22,500 for married taxpayers filing separately.
Capital Gains and Dividends: The 2003
Act, extended by the Tax Income Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, reduced the maximum tax rate on adjusted
net capital gains and qualified dividend
income of an individual taxpayer to 15
percent through 2010. A zero percent
rate applies if the taxpayer is in the 10
percent or 15 percent tax bracket.
After 2010, the maximum tax rate on an
individual will have an adjusted capital
gain rate reverting to 20 percent (18 percent for gains realized on assets owned
more than five years), and the zero
percent tax rate will be replaced with a
10 percent tax rate (with eight percent
for assets held more than five years).
After 2010, qualified dividends received
by an individual taxpayer will be taxed at
ordinary income tax rates.
President Obama’s proposal also permanently extends the 15 percent and zero
percent rates for capital gains and qualified dividends to all individual taxpayers,
except those taxpayers who fall into the
two highest income tax brackets. Those
taxpayers with AGI above U.S.$200,000
(U.S.$250,000 for joint filers) would be
taxed at the 20 percent rate under the
president’s proposal.
Individual taxpayers should consider accelerating capital gains in 2010 while the
rates are lower.
Estate and Gift Tax
The 2003 Act repealed the estate tax for
decedents dying in calendar year 2010.
The highest marginal tax rate was 35
percent for gifts made in 2010.
After 2010, the estate tax provisions
will be reinstated. Beginning in 2011,
the estate and gift tax will revert to the
rules in effect in 2002 with a top rate of
55 percent and an exemption of U.S.$1
Unless Congress passes legislation, these
and other tax benefits will expire at the
end of 2010, and tax rates will revert to
the less favorable rates which were in
effect before the current tax reductions
became law. While only some of the
upcoming law changes and proposals
contained in President Obama’s FY 2011
budget are discussed in this article, these
and a number of other proposals may be
considered by Congress after they return
from the November elections. As the
close of 2010 approaches, individual taxpayers should consider their options to
navigate towards an optimal tax solution
for 2010 and later years.
The information contained in this article
is of a general nature and based on
authorities that are subject to change. It is
intended for general information purposes
only. Applicability of the information to
specific situations should be determined
through consultation with professional
John Andes is a U.S. CPA and a partner at
KPMG Thailand, where he leads KPMG
Thailand’s International Tax Center. He
can be contacted at: [email protected]
Support Travel and Tourism in Thailand
Be Sure to Get Your Holiday Tax Exemption
According to the Ministerial Regulation
No. 278 and the Notification of the
Director-General of the Revenue
Department on Income Tax No. 187,
which was effective on 8 June 2010,
exemption from personal income tax is
granted to natural persons, other than
ordinary partnerships and non-juristic
bodies of persons, on income equal
to the amount of service fees paid to
tourism operators or accommodation
charges paid to hotel operators for
domestic travel during the period from
8 June 2010 to 31 December 2010, as
• In the case of an income earner liable
to personal income tax, the exemption will be granted in the amount
actually paid up to a maximum of
Baht 15,000;
• In the case where the income earner
actually paid up to the maximum
of Baht 15,000.
entitled to income tax exemption has
a spouse:
– In the case where only the husband or wife earns income, the
exemption will be granted to the
husband or wife who earns the income in the amount actually paid
up to a maximum of Baht 15,000.
• To qualify for the exemption, the following criteria need to be fulfilled:
– In the case where both husband
and wife earn income, if the
status as husband and wife exists
throughout the taxable year, the
tax exemption will be granted
whether or not the wife exercises
the right to file returns and pay
tax separately from the husband
under Section 57 quinquie of the
Revenue Code. The husband or
wife who are the income earners
will be exempt from tax in the
amount actually paid up to the
maximum of Baht 15,000 each.
If the status as husband and wife
does not exist throughout the tax
year, the husband and wife who
are the income earners will each
be exempt from tax in the amount
– The income earner must be the
person who has paid the service fees or the accommodation
charges for travelling.
– The income earner must possess
the receipts issued by the tourism
operators or the hotel operators
stating the name of the income
earner, the amount paid and the
date of payment.
** Please note that “tourism operator”
means an operator carrying on the
tourism business with a license under
the law governing the travel agency
business and guide while “hotel
operator” means an operator carrying
on the hotel business with a license
under the law governing hotels.
This Travel and Tourism Tax Update
was provided by: PriceWaterhouseCoopers
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
ersonal income tax exemption on
service fees paid to tourism operators and accommodation charges
paid to hotel operators are tax exempt up
to a specified amount through the end of
this year.
Csr Tour Including
Surin Elephant Roundup
November 20 to 21
Join us for the annual Elephant Roundup – since 1960, one of the most exciting annual shows in Thailand. Every
year, more than one hundred elephants take part in the festival, displaying their grace, strength and intelligence in
games of soccer, log carrying and tug-of-war, and the highlight of the festival, a dramatic mock battle.
Following on the success of AMCHAM’s 2008 CSR Tour to the Surin Elephant Roundup, we are happy
to announce that once again we give you the opportunity to attend this unforgettable local festival
during November 20 to 21, 2010. You will also attend an important community celebration as we
visit an AMCHAM Adopt-a-School project and interact with the students and teachers of a primary school.
Tour prices start from Baht 4,000 + VAT per person (two per superior room)
Contact: [email protected] for more details
Special report
2010 Benefits & Compensation Survey
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
or the second year in a row, the AMCHAM Human
Resources Committee partnered with Hewitt Associates
to conduct the annual compensation and benefits
survey for AMCHAM members. The survey strives to
capture the market movement in pay for selected positions
and understand the impact of the economic climate on
participating companies’ compensation decisions. A total
of 64 companies participated in the 2010 survey with a
majority of participants coming from manufacturing (22
percent), professional services (13 percent) and chemicals
(11 percent) industries. The majority of the participants (36
percent) had less than 100 employees.
Figure 1: Salary Freezes By Position
Salary Increases
Business Outlook in Thailand
Businesses in Thailand have faced significant challenges
over the last year, both through the global financial crisis
as well as the local political climate. Although the global
financial crisis seems to be easing off and countries are
showing positive GDP growth, Thailand is still struggling
with its on-going political instability.
Almost half of the survey respondents (44 percent) indicated that the global financial crisis had a larger impact
on their business than the local political situation. A third
of the respondents (31 percent) felt that both the global
financial crisis and the political turmoil had adversely impacted their business equally, while 25 percent were more
impacted by the local political turmoil.
However, companies were positive about the business
outlook compared to a year ago, with 56 percent indicating that business had slightly or significantly improved.
However, as can be expected, the local political turmoil
weakened local business sentiments. If not for the political
situation, the recovery in Thailand could have been greater.
The survey covered 33 positions split across five key
levels including: Top Management, Management, Professional/Executive, General Staff/Support and Worker. Salary
freezes were in reflected in all levels for 2010, although
the percentages dropped by almost half compared to 2009.
The highest level of salary freeze in 2010 was at the top
Management and Worker levels where 20 percent reported
no salary increases. Across all levels, 11 percent reported a
salary freeze (vs. 18 percent for 2009). (See Figure 1)
For those companies who reported a salary increase for
2010, the average increase was 4.6 percent. Professional
Staff and General Staff/Support reported the highest average
increases with Top Management and Workers reporting the
lowest salary increases. (See Figure 2)
Projected increases for 2011 were forecasted overall at 5.1
percent. (See Figure 3)
Hewitt noted that in a different study they had just completed
across South East Asia, the salary increases for 2010 and projected for 2011 for Thailand were 5.3 percent and 5.7 percent
Figure 2: Salary Increases By Position in 2010
Figure 3: Salary Increases By Position in 2011
Figure 4: Last Bonus – Actual Paid as a % of Annual Base Salary
Figure 5: Projected Bonus – as a % of Annual Base Salary
respectively. These increases were on par with Malaysia, with
the highest increases being Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines, whilst Singapore having the lowest increases.
Bonus Entitlement
The prevalence for fixed bonus is higher at the worker level
in line with expectations that companies provide a higher
proportion of fixed pay to their lower level employees and a
lower proportion to their upper management levels. Note that
70 percent of incumbents at the Worker level are entitled to
fixed bonus, which decreases proportionally to the Top Management, where a mere 50 percent are entitled to fixed bonus.
In contrast, the prevalence of variable bonus is more common higher up in the organization whereby Top Management
levels have a much higher share of pay-a-risk than lower
levels and are held responsible for the company’s overall
performance through performance-driven KPIs that is tied in
performance/variable bonus. This year, variable bonus entitlement ranged from 69 percent at the Top Management level to
52 percent at the Worker level.
The average overall bonus paid out at last bonus cycle for
participants was 13 percent of base salary with the highest average payout of 15.4 percent (or approximately two
months’ basic salary at the Top Management level to about
1.5 months at the lower levels. (See Figure 4)
Projected bonus payouts for the next bonus cycle are
slightly higher than those last received with the average
payout reaching 14.4 percent. This is a reflection that most
companies are anticipating their company’s performance
this year will be better than last year’s. (See Figure 5)
Benefits Spending
Average benefits spending for all employees as a
percentage of Base Salary ranges from 12 percent to 30
percent averaging at 25.4 percent. While the highest
benefits spending are in both the Top Management and
Worker levels, the benefit items provided by different. The
Top Management level benefits mainly include items such
as a company car and club membership while the Worker
level percentage is due to the low base of the Worker’s
Turnover Analysis
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
In 2009 when the financial crisis hit the global markets
and Thailand was plagued two-fold by the exacerbated
political situation, turnover rates were at is lowest as
people were wary of the situation. Today, even though
Thailand is still afflicted with its ongoing political crisis, the
economy has shown that it stands on strong fundamentals
as it has rapidly recovered from both the global crisis and
the local political havoc in April this year. The overall
turnover experience of companies currently averages at
12.2 percent. This is slightly lower than the average of 15.1
percent shown in last year’s survey.
Human Resource Personnel
Overall, the average number of employees per HR
personnel was found to be 67 employees. However, this
can differ significantly by size of company and the ratio
increases the larger the company, as larger companies can
benefit from economies of scale. It was also noted that
larger companies tend to outsource their administrative HR
tasks and try to focus their HR personnel to contribute in a
more strategic manner to the business.
Source: Hewitt Associates
You can view Hewitt’s presentation and the full 2010
benefits compensation survey on the amcham website at:
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Cynthia Griffin, Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy Bangkok
Email: [email protected]
CS Bangkok Reaches Out to Thai
Businesses in Chiang Mai
Commercial Officer Francis Peters and Commercial Specialist
Oraphan Boonyalug hosted a “Connect USA” conference in
Chiang Mai on October 14. Over 80 Thai business representatives attended this event, a joint effort involving the U.S.
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the U.S. Consulate in
Chiang Mai. Conducted entirely in Thai, the conference focused on the U.S. government’s National Export Initiative and
its services available to support northern Thai businesses looking to import American products to serve local customers.
Consul General Susan Stevenson and the president of the
Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce were featured speakers.
C.S. Boonyalug was the MC for the event, and discussed services offered by the U.S. Commercial Service in Thailand. She
stressed the importance of the International Buyer Program
(IBP). FAS and the Consular Section also shared with participants various agricultural opportunities as well as U.S. visa
application requirements. Graciously, FedEx sponsored the
luncheon, while several companies, including Libbey glass
and Chevrolet showcased their products at the event.
CS Thailand Supports Grand Opening
of Krispy Kreme in Bangkok
Commercial Counselor Cynthia A. Griffin and Commercial Specialist Nalin were on hand on September 28 for the grand opening of Krispy Kreme’s first store in Thailand. Her Royal Highness
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening. As
Senior Vice President for Business and President, Jeffrey B. Welch
indicated, “this is the first time that one of their openings has
been graced by royalty”. Recently retired Commercial Specialist K. Pramot has been working with Christian Joseph, Senior
Director for Global Franchise Operations, to locate a potential
franchisee in Thailand since 2008. Krispy Kreme expressed their
appreciation to CS Bangkok for all of their support and look
forward to branching out to Singapore and Taiwan over the the
next few years. According to Krispy Kreme executives, 20 stores
are planned to open in Bangkok over the next five years.
Ausanee Mahakitsiri, Managing Director of KDN Co., Ltd.,
the local franchisee of Krispy Kreme, revealed that apart from
paying a franchise fee of U.S.$1 million, she has imported
donut-making machines worth U.S.$340,000 from the U.S. to
be installed in all outlets. In addition, her company will import
flour and other ingredients from Krispy Kreme in order to
honor the Krispy Kreme family recipe.
If your U.S. company faces market access issues, the U.S. Commercial Service can assist in helping to
get your message in front of Thai government officials, local industry and consumers.
Intellectual Property and Competitiveness: The U.S. Experience and
Some Thoughts for Thailand
On September 30, Commercial Counselor Cynthia A. Griffin,
Commercial Attaché Francis Peters and Commercial Specialist
Nalin Phupoksakul attended the first APSIA Fair in Thailand,
which followed fair stops in Singapore and Hanoi.
The fair featured 14 leading schools of international affairs,
12 being from the United States, with approximately 150 Thai
participants for the two hour event. The CS Bangkok team provided insight on their services to increase the number of visitors and profile of the APSIA Fair. In particular, the team visited
with the group’s leader, Laurie Hurley of the Fletcher School,
Tufts University, and Sidney Jackson, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University who is an active
member of APSIA.
Additionally, CS Bangkok staff counseled representatives from
Columbia University, Georgetown University, and University of
California at San Diego.
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
The Association of Professional
Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) Holds Its First Fair in Thailand
On September 30, FCS Bangkok’s Regional Intellectual Property
Attaché Jennie Ness and IP Specialist Teerin Charoenpot were
joined by Dr. Kitisri Sukhapinda of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at a high-level Thai policy forum. The National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office hosted the seminar, which was attended by more than forty senior Thai policy
makers, including scientific researchers, judges, academics,
business representatives and government officials. Dr. Sukhapinda gave a talk entitled, “Intellectual Property and Competitiveness: the U.S. Experience and Some Thoughts for Thailand.”
Attendees discussed the U.S. strategy to support innovation and
how it might be adapted for the Thai economy and society.
Review of the National Trade
Estimate Report
On September 24 Commercial Attaché Francis “Chip” Peters
participated in a review of the National Trade Estimate report
with representatives from Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce,
Department of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Agriculture,
Department of Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of
Finance, Excise Department, and the Office of the Comptroller. Just as what was done last year, a U.S. delegation, which
included Economic Officers and the Agricultural Attaché, as
well as the Thai delegation, reviewed the report. They also
discussed U.S. concerns regarding trade barriers in the following sectors: telecommunications, financial services, accounting
services, legal services, transportation and communication
services, (including logistics services), and healthcare services
to name a few. The U.S. delegation also reiterated our concerns on the continued widespread problems of piracy and
CS Bangkok also encouraged U.S. businesses to raise the
proposed customs reform with the Prime Minister during their
planned meeting with him in New York.
amcham members’ activities
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
AMCHAM Members’ Happenings
The 8th Annual English Solutions Halloween CSR Event
Nearly 600 children from the Klong Toey Slum
Community toured the English Solutions Haunted
House and enjoyed food, fun and “edutainment,”
for its 8th Annual “Scream for Charity” Halloween
Fun Day. This fun-filled event was held on
Saturday, October 30 at Father Joe’s Mercy Centre
(Klong Toey).
The support from AMCHAM members and English
Solutions clients and friends is what always makes
this event an incredible success.
California WOW held its 10th Anniversary Mini Marathon
on September 12 at Lumpini Park
More than 1,700 people participated in the minimarathon on September 12, including many of the
children of Father Joe’s HDF Mercy Center. The entire
anniversary program, which ran from September 12
through September 21, attracted approximately 4,000
participants enabling California WOW to raise more
than Baht 750,000 for the HDF Mercy Center.
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
amcham members’ activities
AMCHAM Members’ Happenings
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Sasin Organizes
a Gala Dinner to
Celebrate World-Class
Sasin Graduate Institute of Business
Administration of Chulalongkorn
University recently arranged the “Apex
of Sasin’s Pride” Gala Dinner at Royal
Jubilee Ballroom, Impact Muang Thong
Thani, to celebrate its recognition as
one of the “Best Business Schools in the
World” as well as to raise funds for the
Sasin International Learning Center at
Phang Nga.
H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn is greeted at the event
H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri
Sirindhorn, the honorary President of
the Sasin Alumni Association, graciously
presided over the event. Honored quests
both local and international were full of
praise for the function.
Sasin Graduate Institute of Business
Administration of Chulalongkorn
University is a long-established, worldclass, graduate & executive business
school founded with support from
Kellogg School of Management and the
Central Wine Cellar
Debuts “JOY South Africa”
with the Help of AMCHAM
Central Food Retail Company and Central Wine
Cellar recently launched JOY South Africa,
Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Merlot.
AMCHAM members along with members of
AustCham and the South African Chamber were
invited to this exclusive launch along with Father
Joe. Each bottle of JOY Wine sold contributes 30
baht to Father Joe’s Mercy Center. The wine is
exclusively available at Central Wine Cellar.
From left: Father Joe, Mercy Center, 2nd from Left Ross
Marks, Central Wine Cellar, 4th from left, H.E. Douglas
Gibson, South African Ambassador to Thailand, Right,
Cynthia Griffin, U.S. Commercial Counselor
Wharton School. On January 7, 2010
it became Thailand’s first and only
business school to be internationally
accredited by the Association to
Advance the Collegiate Schools of
Business (AACSB).
From left: Prof. Dr. Pirom Kamonrattanakul,
President of Chulalongkorn University, and
Honorable Anson Chan, Former Chief Secretary
for Administration of Hong Kong who was a
guest speaker
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Dear AMCHAM Members,
Given how cool the weather is in
Thailand these days, you could almost
be forgiven if you thought that you
were experiencing a New England fall.
I actually had to don a sweatshirt last
weekend during a visit to Khao Yai.
Now, if only the leaves would change
into the kaleidoscope of colors that
makes the U.S. Northeast so famous.
Upcoming Events
This unusually cool weather also reminds me that the holiday season is soon
upon us. AMCHAM Thailand celebrates
the holidays in many different ways – so
pick one, two or all of the events below
to enjoy this holiday season:
• Attend the Annual CSR Recognition
Event and the Thanksgiving Monthly
Luncheon on November 24 at the
Conrad Bangkok Hotel. In addition
to recognizing many of the important
Corporate Social Responsibility
programs our members undertake,
a traditional Thanksgiving meal with
turkey and all of the proper trimmings
will be served.
• Join the Young Professionals
Committee for dinner on November
24 as they throw a Thanksgiving eve
party you won’t want to miss.
• Play golf and support the AMCHAM
Thailand Charitable Foundation at
the Annual Turkey Day Charitee Golf
Tournament on November 26. The
day starts at a reasonable hour with
a 10:30 a.m. brunch, and a shotgun
start for golf at 12 noon. Golf will
be followed by drinks, and a dinner
with door prizes and awards. The
format is a scramble, which means
it is designed for all levels of play,
so don’t worry if you are an amateur
golfer. This event is meant for fun,
not for competition! AMCHAM will
also find you a space on a team if
needed. Be sure to book now, as
we have a limit of 36 teams or 144
• Don’t miss the Chamber’s Festive
Holiday Eggnog party, scheduled
for December 7 at the Four Seasons
Hotel Bangkok, a perfect event
for the entire family. Celebrate the
holiday season and enjoy Minor
International’s special eggnog (other
drinks also available) as well as the
Four Seasons Bangkok’s holiday
delicacies. As is our tradition, we ask
members to bring an unwrapped gift
for a child or make a donation – all
of which will go to Father Joe’s Mercy
Center – so we can spread the holiday
cheer. Santa Claus will be on hand
to take photos with children, while
Rosemarie Academy is back with
games as well as arts and crafts for
children under 12 years of age.
• Although the set date is February 12,
2011 and still three months away,
we are gearing up for the 2011 Gala
Installation Ball. This is the Chamber’s
premier event, where we install the
2011 Board of Governors, enjoy a
fun evening of dining, wining and
dancing, as well as raise funds for
the AMCHAM Thailand Charitable
Foundation through a silent auction.
Our goal is to raise Baht two million,
in order to continue our support of
150 Thai university students through
the Scholarship program (see this
year’s program on pages 38-39)
Committee Leadership Positions
As we enter the holiday season, the
Chamber office is also preparing for
the new year. With the recent board
elections complete, our attention
now turns to Committee Leadership
positions for 2011. AMCHAM has 22
Committees, each with leadership teams
of between two and four Committee
Leaders needed. The Committee Leaders
are responsible for arranging and
facilitating up to 10 meetings a year,
as well as special events, depending
upon the Committee’s function. Each
Committee reports to a member of
the Board of Governors, who acts as
a liaison to oversee and mentor the
We are seeking AMCHAM members
who wish to be considered for a 2011
Committee Leadership position. If you
have an interest, and would be able to
commit to 6-8 hours a month, please
contact me. In addition to hosting your
own Committee meetings, we also ask
that Committee leaders take an active
role in participating in other AMCHAM
events, such Social Networking Night,
the Monthly Membership luncheon,
and other special events including
Corporate and Government briefings.
It is important to network with other
Chamber members, encourage
Committee participation, and hear what
other members have on their minds.
Corporate Partners Program
The AMCHAM Corporate Partnership
Program launched last year was a
fantastic success as 11 companies
took advantage of the great visibility
and exposure offered. We are offering
the same level of packages this year
(Platinum, Gold and Silver) at the same
prices – Baht 650,000, Baht 400,000
and Baht 250,000, respectively. These
packages offer an excellent array of
benefits and marketing opportunities
• 2011 AMCHAM Membership
including unlimited representatives
• Table privileges for brochures or
promotions at all monthly luncheons
• Reserved VIP seating privileges and
additional luncheon coupons at the
monthly luncheons
• Sponsorship of one or more of
the following – Installation Ball,
Independence Day picnic, and golf
or bowling tournaments – depending
upon the package level
• Premier T-AB Magazine
and Membership Directory
Advertisement, depending upon
package level
• Identification as a Corporate Partner
in AMCHAM media such as:
- Logo on AMCHAM website home
- Logo on AMCHAM banner to be
displayed at all regular AMCHAM
- Listing with logo in each edition of
T-AB Magazine
- Identification as a Partner in the
Membership Directory in content
section and on individual listing.
While we have confirmed a number of
Partners for 2011, we still have room for
you! If you wish to be among this elite
group, please contact me.
Best regards,
Judy Benn
Executive Director
2011 AMCHAM Installation Ball
Get Down & Boogie
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Dusit Thani Hotel
Enjoy champagne, drinks,
a five-course dinner,
dancing and entertainment
Tickets: Baht 4,000 per person
Black Tie or Theme
• Platinum: Baht 150,000
• Gold: Baht 100,000
• Silver: Baht 75,000
Platinum Sponsors:
Support the AMCHAM Thailand
Charitable Foundation with a purchase
at the Silent and Live Auctions
For more information, please contact [email protected]
Gold Sponsors:
Public Charitable Organization Number 632 of the Notification of the Ministry of Finance
Thai-American Business
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The AMCHAM Thailand Charitable Foundation (ATCF) supports education in Thailand through its Adopt-a-School and Student Scholarship
Programs. Donations provide playgrounds, water tanks and filtration systems, libraries, computers and capital repairs to schools in rural
Thailand and scholarships for needy Thai university students. Donations to the Foundation are deductible for Thailand tax purposes.
Chicarelli Family Adopt-a-School Dedication in Ratchaburi Province
On September 2, Chic Chicarelli and family donated library books to the Baan Nong Kanak School, a remote school with only 69
students in Ratchaburi Province. The school had previously been closed due to the small number of students, but was recently
reopened through the efforts of the local community. The Chicarelli family donated Baht 17,000 with an AMCHAM matching grant
of Baht 2,400. The Chicarelli family also brought school bags and pencil cases for the students.
From left in the second row: Sheree Tanpensuk, Chic Chicarelli, members
of the Chicarelli family
Chic Chicarelli and family (middle back row) with students
Capital Relocations Adopt-a-School Dedication in Sukhothai Province
On September 17, Bruce Cohen, Country Manager of Capital Relocations (Thailand) Limited, and his staff made a contribution
of Baht 20,000 for the purchase of library books for Nong Krab Wittayakom School in Sukhothai Province. The contribution was
matched by AMCHAM.
Bruce Cohen (left) and Supreeya Chusang (middle) receive certificates of
appreciation from Nong Krab Wittayakom School
Students and Capital Relocations staff
To make a donation to the ATCF contact: [email protected]
FedEx Express Adopt-a-School Dedication in Burirum Province
On October 2, FedEx Express dedicated a school playground
and donated library books to Baan Nong Tae Pattana School
in Burirum Province. The FedEx Express donation of Baht
97,300 was supplemented by an AMCHAM contribution of
Baht 73,000.
The dedication was a part of the “FedEx Cares Week”. Over
30 FedEx volunteers attended the ceremony and provided
toys, school bags and lunch to the students.
Tongkorn Watcharapongsiri, school principal, presents an appreciation
banner to Sanicha Sriprayoonskul, FedEx Senior Customer Service
Baan Nong Tae Pattana students and FedEx volunteers enjoy the new
playground equipments. Tongkorn Watcharapongsiri, School principal, is
pictured far left and Sanicha Sriprayoonskul, FedEx Senior Customer Service
Manager, is pictured far right
Brian Housh, Sanicha Sriprayoonskul, Tongkorn Watcharapongsiri, and
school staff celebrate the newly dedicated playground
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
As a result of FedEx Express’ continuous support, Nong Tae
Pattana School has significantly improved its quality of
teaching and school environment over the last three years
which enabled the school to receive a second place ranking
in the Ban Dan Education District.
Holiday Gift Idea!
The holiday season approaches and gift giving is
in our thoughts. This year why not buy your loved
ones a present that makes a difference? After all,
how many silk placemats does someone need?
The Gift of Giving is the best way to make a gift
that leaves an impression and has impact well
after the wrapping paper hits the trash can.
Give the gift of a library, playground or other
project to the AMCHAM Adopt-a-School program
to your family and friends at home. In addition
to saving on the cost and hassle of delivery, you’ll
be giving in support of education of the needy in
your adopted country. This is also an ideal gift for
your children, teaching them the importance of
helping others. You will receive a gift card which
includes a photo of your proposed project.
Contact: [email protected]
or Khun Kate at tel: 02-254 1041 ext 224 for
further information.
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Scholarship students with U.S. Ambassador Eric G. John
2010 AMCHAM/ FedEx Career Camp
his year, the AMCHAM Thailand
Charitable Foundation (ATCF)
awarded scholarships to 135
Thai students who have demonstrated
academic excellence and economic
need. The hallmark of the program,
the AMCHAM/FedEX Career Camp,
enables final year recipients to attend
a four-day career preparation program
in Bangkok. This year, 41 students
participated in the action packed
education series.
Over the course of four days, from
October 17 through 20, students
attended several activities including:
• Career and personal development
seminars at the American School of
HR professionals from AMCHAM
member companies.
Finally, students joined AMCHAM
members at the monthly Membership
Luncheon, held at the Plaza Athénée
Bangkok, A Royal Meridian Hotel,
where they were honored to be
presented with certificates from U.S.
Ambassador Eric John.
A student practices interviewing skills
• Site visits at AMCHAM member
• A Career Night panel discussion;
• A performance at Siam Niramit; and
• Mock job interviews conducted by
In their closing remarks, scholarship
students Khun Shutiya and Khun
Sorawit thanked ATCF for giving
them the opportunity to finish their
university education and expressed
their desire to pay forward by using
their skills to better their community
and country:
“If we look backward at that time
that we have faced and encountered
with several problems on supporting
education, some of us might have
worked hard on part-time job until
they have no enough time to intend to
study. Some of us might have lacked
a good book or educational devices
to maximize their performance. And
more unfortunately, some of us might
have dropped out from the university
even if they know that the best
investment of their future is education.
“However, today, here we are. And
we are saying that we all are going to
graduate in this final semester because
of your sincere sharing.”
Students with Paul Robere at interview skills workshop
Scholarship facts:
Students at FedEx gateway tour
Tour of Jelly Belly factory
An evening at Siam Niramit
Students at resume workshop
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
• 1,407 scholarship
awarded since 1976
• 135 scholarships
awarded in 2010
• Students from
second year
studying at 24 Thai
• Average GPA in 2010
was 3.25
• Average English
grade in 2010 was
• Plans to award 150
scholarships in 2011
Many thanks to the following supporters of the AMCHAM/ FedEx Career Camp:
Event & Goodie Bag:
• American School of Bangkok
• Siam Niramit
• Glow @ Silom
• The Pizza Company
• FedEx
• Sizzler
• Burger King
• English Solutions
• Dairy Queen
• Chartis
• Khun Pensiri and the FedEx Team
• Brian Housh, English Solutions
Facility Visits:
• Bumrungrad Hospital
• Dusit Thani Hotel
• FedEx
• Emerson Electric
• Jelly Belly
Ice-Breaker Activity:
• Paul Marks
• David Carden
• Brian Housh
• Jim Yarbrough
Career Night Speakers:
• Doris Wibunsin
• Tony Zola
• Khun Sanicha, FedEx
• Khun Sumontha, Citibank
• Khun Nikom, F & N Dairies (1991
AMCHAM Scholarship Recipient)
Workshop Sessions:
• Paul Robere and Khun Doungjai
• Khun Pe, PacRim
• Khun Wiwat, Kenan Institute
• Khun Nuntawut, Kenan Institute
Mock Interview Participants:
• APM Group
• Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa
• Big C Supercenter
• Black & Veatch
Dow Chemical
Dusit Thani Bangkok
Emerson Electric
English Solutions
General Motors
Grant Thornton
HRnetOne Executive Recruitment
ISM Technology Recruitment
Johnson & Johnson
Kelly Services
Litehouse Asia
Marriott Mayfair Executive Apartment
Nalco Industrial Services
United Airlines
Western Digital
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From Left: David Lyman, Harold Vickery, Albert Chandler
U.S. Embassy Coffee Briefing
On September 9 at the Grand Hyatt Erawan
Bangkok, AMCHAM members received a
thorough briefing by the following officers
from the U.S. Embassy Bangkok:
Judith B. Cefkin, Deputy Chief of Mission; Francis “Chip” Peters,
Foreign Commercial Service; John Wade, Foreign Agricultural
Service; Randall Bennett, Regional Security Office; Robert
Griffiths, Economic Section; George Kent, Political Section; John
P. Schutte, Public Affairs Section; Jeff Schwenk, Consular Section.
AMCHAM thanks the U.S. government officials for sharing their
insight and advice and the Grand Hyatt Erawan for its hospitality.
Alistair Castle, Peter Fischbach
Peter Eliot, Arthur Calipo
Douglas Harrison, Dr. Paul Robere
Rose Marie Wanchupela, Dr. Molly P. Zhang, Linda Kennan
Dennis Chianese, Keith Schulz, John Diecker, Peter Fleet
Riccardo Ricci, William Nathan
Jane Puranananda, Joe Mannix
Francis “Chip” Peters (second from left) briefs AMCHAM members on
happenings at the U.S. Commercial Service
The physicians at the Spine Centre at BNH Hospital
deal with one of the most important areas of the body
and they know that in the case of spinal injury the
quality and speed of treatment received by the patient
Thai-American Business
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Team Tilleke & Gibbins earns the distinction of the top scoring team with a score
of 1286
AMCHAM Santa Fe Charibowl Tournament 2010
Over 100 AMCHAM members and friends
enjoyed an evening of bowling and fabulous
prizes at the AMCHAM Santa Fe Charibowl
Tournament at Blu-O Rhythm & Bowl
at Major Sukhumvit on September 23.
Participants and sponsors donated over Baht
100,000 to the AMCHAM Thailand Charitable
Foundation. Many thanks to Santa Fe for generously sponsoring
the tournament for the third time. Thank you also to Kevin
Windfield and the AMCHAM Sports Committee!
Team Grant Thornton had the most fun while bowling the lowest score.
Travis White accepts the top prize
for Jon Mueller, who scored 335
KIS Internatioanl enjoyed the evening
Team Chevron
Team Santa Fe - event sponsors and formidable bowlers
Team GM
Sirima Juntrawongdecha achieves the top
honor with a score of 307
Team FedEx Express
AMCHAM Board of Governors Briefs
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
On September 1 at the
AMCHAM Office, Ford
Boardroom, members of the
AMCHAM Board of Governors
briefed officials from the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce on the
business climate in Thailand.
Pictured are (from left):
Kenneth White, AMCHAM
Executive Director Judy Benn,
Vorapong Vorasuntharosoth,
David Lyman, Charles
Kathrein, Tami Overby, Murray
Hiebert, Joe Mannix, David
Carden, Peter Eliot and Mike
AMCHAM Visits the National Science and Technology
Development Agency of Thailand (NSTDA)
On September 13, AMCHAM
members received a briefing from
the NSTDA and toured the National
Electronics and Computer Technology
Center (NECTEC), National Center
for Genetic Engineering and
Biotechnology (BIOTEC), National
Metal and Materials Technology
Center (MTEC) and National
Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC).
Located at Thailand Science Park, just
north of Bangkok, NSTDA was created
by the Science and Technology
Development Act of 1991 and tasked
to “conduct, support, coordinate,
and promote efforts in scientific and
technological development in the
public and the private sectors so as to
maximize contributions to national
development.” At the NSTDA, 2,500
persons, including 1,600 full time
researchers, dedicate their careers to
achieving this mission.
AMCHAM Briefing for Seattle University - Albers
School of Business and Economics
New World Chambers Networking at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club
On October 8 at the Royal Varuna Yacht Club in
Pattaya, members of New World Chambers, including
AMCHAM, AustCham, Canadian-Thai and New
Zealand-Thai, gathered for a networking evening.
Folks caught the sunset, enjoyed a variety of drinks and
a Mediterranean platter prepared by world-renowned
chef Alex Skaria.
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
On September 15 at
AMCHAM Office, Ford
Boardroom, AMCHAM
Executive Director Judy Benn
and AMCHAM Governor
David Lyman briefed students
from Seattle University –
Albers School of Business
and Economics on business
issues specific to Thailand,
including intellectual
property rights.
The Club was delighted to offer an “Introduction to
Sailing, which was held the following day on Saturday,
October 9 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., and was
free to New World Chamber members.
Cris Dunning (right) and Dave Littlejohn (left), members of the Royal
Varuna Yacht Club, present a lucky draw prize to AMCHAM member
Michael Parham (center)
AMCHAM New Member Orientation
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
On October 13 at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, AMCHAM’s President, Joe Geagea, Executive Director, Judy Benn, as well as
AMCHAM committee leaders welcomed new members to the Chamber and briefed on AMCHAM’s operations, programs and
benefits. New and old members continued to network into the evening, as well as met the slate of candidates for the 2011-2012
Board of Governors election.
mingle at
New Member
New AMCHAM members
AMCHAM/Cannes Advertisement Festival 2010
Over 100 marketing and advertising
gurus gathered on October 26
for the annual AMCHAM/Cannes
Advertisement Festival 2010,
arranged by Lowe Worldwide.
The event, held at the Grand
Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, was an
entertaining and informative
evening where guests enjoyed
the best print advertisements and
commercials of 2010 from the
Cannes Advertising Festival.
For the seventh year in a row,
Lowe Worldwide has arranged
for AMCHAM members a private
showing of the best of Cannes,
including many Cannes Lion
winning ads from Thailand’s leading
advertising agencies. The evening,
emceed by CEO of Lowe Limited
and Marketing Committee leader,
Tony Prehn, provided an insight into
the workings of Cannes and explores
how marketers in Thailand can work
with their Agency to produce truly
world-class communications.
AMCHAM Members and friends
Representatives from NIST
and KIS
Committee Leaders Tony Prehn and Ken
Tony Prehn announces the
2010 Cannes award winners
Attendees preview the
print ads from Cannes
Eastern Seaboard Factory Tours:
Jelly Belly Candy Company and
Emerson Electric (Thailand)
Nathan Christoff and the Jelly Belly mascot
AMCHAM members enthusiastically tour the Jelly Belly factory
Ann Kathrein
suits up at
the Jelly Belly
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
On September 10, AMCHAM members from Bangkok and the Eastern Seaboard gathered at Hemaraj’s Eastern
Seaboard Industrial Estate in Rayong Province to tour the factories of Jelly Belly Candy Company and Emerson Electric
(Thailand). All enjoyed learning about the production of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans and the Copeland Scroll Compressors
used in air conditioning units. Many thanks to the Food & Agri-Business and Manufacturing Committees for organizing
the event! Thank you to Jelly Belly Candy Company and Emerson Electric (Thailand) for the great tours!
Kathrein at
the end of
the Jelly Belly
AMCHAM members and friends pose for the camera prior to the much anticipated tour of the Emerson Electric (Thailand) factory
Vorapong Vorasuntharosoth, Dee Richmond, William Stone
Drew Noyes, Matthe van Dam
Eastern Seaboard Networking
On September 10, AMCHAM members enjoyed a grand buffet and
networking at the Tavern by the Sea, Amari Orchid Pattaya. Thank you to
Emerson Climate Technologies and Amari for sponsoring the event.
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Luly Romero, John Romero, Peter Malhotra
Rick McMorran, Michael Howard, GB Kohoutek
Santi Pongjareanpit, Munchupa Lohawannarat, Rainer Roessler
Bruce Hoppe addresses AMCHAM members
Piawan (Pui) Phillips, Judy Hoppe, Ron Carlton
Robin Hyde, Alain Deurwaerder
Dee Richmond, Francis “Chip” Peters
Michael Meath, Vorapong Vorasuntharosoth
Bruce Hoppe, Herman Rowland Jr.
loves Pattaya
Amari Orchid Pattaya offers the ideal setting for a beach getaway with a choice of
contemporary style rooms and suites in the Ocean Tower with glittering views of
Pattaya Bay or the relaxed resort style rooms in the Garden Wing. Soak in the scenic
tropical panorama as you unwind on a shaded beach lounger. Take a refreshing dip in
one of the two swimming pools or drift into a blissful state of relaxation at Sivara Spa.
Dining at Amari Orchid is a journey for all the senses with the latest culinary creations
from the world’s favourite cuisines on offer.
Visit for the latest special offers.
For more information contact +66 (0) 3841 8418
Bangkok | Chiang Mai | Pattaya | Koh Chang | Koh Samui | Phuket | Krabi
AMCHAM September 1 Monthly Luncheon
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
On September 1 at the Dusit Thani Bangkok, Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng, Thailand Trade Representative, discussed the
implementation, challenges and opportunities of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) and ASEAN Economic Community 2015.
Vorapong Vorasuntharosoth (right) thanks Edward Corcoran (left) for
adopting three schools in Chonburi Province through the AMCHAM Thailand
Charitable Foundation
AMCHAM September 16 Monthly Luncheon
On September 16 at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, Mr. William Heinecke, Chief Executive Officer of Minor International Public
Co., Ltd. (MINT), spoke on restoring Thailand’s image via integrated media-government-business communication strategies. Thank
you to Mr. Heineke and his hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, for the excellent luncheon.
David Nardone, Bill Heineke
David Nardone welcomes Rati
Panthawi, representing new AMCHAM
member Boon Rawd Brewery Co., Ltd.
Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng, Thailand Trade Representative, and Vorapong
Terri Thomas, Rose Marie Wanchupela, Rungnapha Kaewduangsri,
Eilidh Callum
Jim Yarbrough and David Nardone thank
Urai Phonsak and Kevin Windfield (right)
for their donation to the AMCHAM
Thailand Charitable Foundation
David Nardone (right) says farewell
and thank you to U.S. Embassy
Economic Counselor Robert Griffiths
Karen Hochhauser, Vorapong
Vorasuntharosoth, Achara Boonyahansa,
Nannapat Sriwalai
AMCHAM October Monthly Luncheon
The event recognized
Ambassador John’s efforts
as the Honorary President
of AMCHAM Thailand.
AMCHAM President,
Joe Geagea, presented
Ambassador John with a
bound book compiling
AMCHAM’s T-AB Magazine
editions released during the
Ambassador’s term of service
in Thailand.
Over 200 guests attended
the luncheon, including
40 student recipients of
the AMCHAM Thailand
Charitable Foundation’s
(ATCF) scholarship program.
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
The American Chamber
of Commerce in Thailand
(AMCHAM) 2010 Board of
Governors hosted a luncheon
on October 20 at the Plaza
Athénée Bangkok, A Royal
Meridian Hotel thanking
U.S. Ambassador Eric John
and his wife, Sophia, for
their three years of service
to and support of American
businesses in Thailand.
Ambassador John with the 2010 Board of Governors
AMCHAM President Joe Geagea
(center) enjoys a laugh with U.S.
Ambassador Eric John (right), and the
Ambassador’s wife, Sophia (left)
U.S. Ambassador Eric John
addresses the luncheon
Ambassador John receives a certificate
of appreciation from Francis “Chip”
Peters, Commercial Attaché at the U.S.
AMCHAM President
Joe Geagea gives U.S.
Ambassador Eric John
a bound compilation
of all T-AB Magazines
published during his
tenure in Thailand
Brian Housch
with ACTF
Champ thanks
and ATCF for
given through their
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
From left: Michael Ayling, Laguna Resorts and Hotels; Mark Armsden, Delivering Asia Communications; John Magee, The Phuket Gazette
Francis Zimmerman, Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa, Travel & Tourism Committee Co-Chair; Joe Mannix, United Airlines; Woody Leonhard, IT expert and
author of Dummies Guides to Microsoft Windows; Kevin Beauvais, InVision Hospitality; Nick Seaver, Phuket International Academy; Charles Blocker,
InVision Hospitality, Travel & Tourism Committee Co-Chair; Vincent Tabuteau, Asia Marine; Desmond Hughes, Limcharoen Hughes & Glanville; Bill Barnett,
C9 Hotelworks. Photo courtesy of Dan Miles
Tourism and real estate leaders from Thailand and around
the region joined AMCHAM’s Travel & Tourism Committee
on October 1 in Phuket for a workshop: “Phuket 2.0 –
Opportunities for the Next Decade” held at Sheraton Grande
Laguna Phuket.
“Coming out of the workshop, it is clear that Phuket has
extensive offerings and alternatives beyond the region’s
leading resorts and beaches,” commented Charles Blocker,
Co-Chair of AMCHAM Travel & Tourism Committee. “Phuket
is maturing and demonstrating that it increasingly has
a broader perspective to include education, technology,
vibrant shopping, and leading recreation. All of this makes
Phuket a great choice not only for holiday makers, but for
professionals and retirees,” said Blocker.
There were over 120 tourism, real estate, and business
leaders at the Phuket 2.0 workshop. Panelists included
Michael Ayling, Laguna Resorts and Hotels, John Magee
from The Phuket Gazette, Desmond Hughes of Limcharoen
Hughes & Glanville, Nick Seaver of Phuket International
Academy, Woody Leonhard, IT expert and author of
Dummies Guides to Microsoft Windows, and Vincent
Tabuteau of Asia Marine.
“Phuket is growing at a controllable and measured pace, has
good stability and continues to be a preferred entry point to
Thailand with excellent commercial and private jet service
AMCHAM was joined by corporate partners of this event:
Laguna Property, C9 Hotelworks, and Sheraton Grande
Laguna Phuket.
Event Partners
connectivity at its international airport,” stated Francis
Zimmerman, Co-Chair of the Travel & Tourism Committee.
“With the passage of time, Phuket will be a regional hub
for greater Phuket and Phang Nga Provinces for tourism,
primary and secondary home ownership, and growth in
professional businesses,” said Zimmerman.
September Social Networking Night
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
AMCHAM members and guests met at the Sathorn Heritage Hotel on September 15 to meet and
mingle. All enjoyed the fabulous dishes and desserts prepared by the Sathorn Heritage Hotel.
Thank you to Samir Wildemann and staff for the great evening!
Thai-American Business
Mongkolnimit Auacherdkul, Urai Rogers, Vorapong Vorasuntharosoth
Jackman, Alex
Mavro, Ian
Jane Puranananda,
Lisa Anaman,
AMCHAM Executive
Director Judy Benn
Sean Loiselle, Patti Bowden
Mike Gilmour, Kent Wiley
Barry Wiedenkeller, David Hoard
Urai Phonsak, Kevin Windfield, Doug de Weese, Khun Orn
David Nardone, Vorapong Vorasuntharosoth
Bob Price, Thomas Jacobs, Vic Rollins
Thai-American Business
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October Social
Networking Night
AMCHAM members enjoyed an
evening of networking at
The Campus, Grand Hyatt Erawan
Hotel on October 13. The candidates for the
2011-2012 Board of Governors election
mingled with AMCHAM members, as well as
gave brief remarks regarding their candidacy.
Thank you to the Grand Hyatt Erawan for
generously hosting the event.
Peter Eliot enjoys a free neck massage
The 2011-2012 Board of Governors candidates
AMCHAM President Joe Geagea welcomes guests
and introduces 2011-2012 Board Candidates
David Carden, Richard Greaves, D.J. James, Doug de Weese and Joe Mannix
Thomas Hoar, Richard Bernhard and Jeffrey Edwards
Edward Strauss and Cynthia Griffin
AMCHAM Executive Director Judy Benn, Joe Mannix, Tom Payne, Richard
Greaves, AMCHAM President Joe Geagea and Peter Eliot
J. Bayani Lauraya, Anthony Ainsworth, Douglas Harrison, T.J Van Auken and David Crouch
2010 AMCHAM Committee Leadership
The following members devote their time to support the Chamber’s efforts
to make Thailand a better place for companies to do business.
Contact [email protected] for more information.
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Automotive Council
- Philip Cook, Thai Summit
- Michael Diamente, Dana Spicer
- Antonio Zara, General Motors
Business Economics
- Peggy Creveling, Creveling &
- Teera Phutrakul, Finansa
Charitable Foundation
- Paul Marks, American School
of Bangkok
- Jim Yarbrough, Habitat for
Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR)
- Richard Bernhard, Kenan
- Nareerat Chansirikiat,
- Alex Mavro, Social Impact
Ventures Asia
Customs & Excise
- Dennis Grover, DHL
- Paul Sumner,
- Florina Vistal, Ford
- Mongkolnimit Auacherdkul,
- Pairoj Kaweeyanun, Chevron
Food & Agri-Business
- Nathan Christoff, Litehouse
- George Fuller,
- Daleen Richmond (Dee),
- Kenneth Mays, Bumrungrad
- Paul Russell, Tilleke & Gibbons
- Kittima Sriwatanakul, MSD
Human Resources
- Brian Housh, English Solutions
- Animesh Mukherjee,
Hewitt Associates
- Tom Nielsen, Big C
- Tom Payne, Hanesbrands
- Nancy Smith, Chevron
Information &
Technology (ICT)
- Parnsiree Amatayakul, IBM
- Carl Rubin, Thai-Fi
- Siripat Patrangul, Certiport
Independence Day Picnic
- Doug de Weese, Vektor
- Tom Whitcraft,
R.M.A. Trading
- Peter Burke, Mayer Brown JSM
- Christopher Knight, Everett
- Buchan Love, Mead Johnson
- Douglas Mancill, Deacons
- Edward Strauss, Grant
- Kevin Windfield,
Manhattan Asset
- James Gibson, GEMCITY
- Ron Hensley, Source Thai
- Bruce Hoppe, Emerson Electric
- Paul Robere, Robere & Associates
- John Andes, KPMG
- J. Bayani Lauraya, Baker
- Paul Stitt,
- Ken Lambert, Xulu
- Tony Prehn, Lowe Worldwide
Transportation &
Logistics (TLC)
- Dennis Berkompas,
PB Agencies
- Douglas de Weese,
Vektor Telematics
Professional Women
- Karen Hochhauser, Santa Fe
- Rupinder Malik, Baker & McKenzie
- Jane Puranananda, Dej-Udom &
- Brian Dougherty, Hill Risk
- John Muller, Spectrum OSO
Small-Medium Size
Enterprises (SME)
- Douglas Harrison, Texxan
- Douglas MacLean, T&N
Travel & Tourism
- Charles Blocker, InVision
- Francis Zimmerman,
Marriott Resorts & Spas
- Trinh Sajjachaiyanont,
- Peter Moore,
- Michael Parham, EastWest Logistics
Committee Meetings: September & October
Human Resources
On September 14 at the Westin Grande Hotel, committee members
discussed the HR Benefit & Compensation Survey 2010, as well as heard
insight from Dr. Luis Danai Kristhanin and Mr. Surendran Ramanathan,
both Senior Consultants at Hewitt Associates (Thailand) Ltd. Pictured
are (from left) Judy Benn, Kitinun Klinsupa (FedEx Express), Dr. Luis Danai
Kristhanin, Surendran Ramanathan, Thomas Nielsen (committee leader).
Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
On September 21 at the JW Marriott Bangkok, Teeranun Srihong, Senior
Executive Vice President of KBANK spoke on “Enabling Competitive
Advantage through Technology KBANK Transformation.” Those in attendance included Sudargo Harsono, Bank of Ayudhya Pcl., Janice Van Ekeren,
Bank of Ayudhya Pcl., Carl Rubin (committee leader), Teeranun Srihong,
Peter Fischbach, and Parnsiree Amatayakul.
Healthcare and Legal
On September 21 at the JW Marriott Bangkok, committee members heard
from TSA Representative Anjum K. Agarwala on the US/TSA’s approach
to air cargo security. Attendees included: (from left) Doug de Weese,
(committee leader), Joe Mannix (Board Liaison), John Muller (committee
leader), Anjum K. Agarwala, Dennis Berkompas (committee leader),
Charles Kathrein (Board of Governors).
On September 22 at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, participants in a
joint committee meeting heard from Dr. Tares Karusnairawiwong, Dr.
Somsak Lohekha and Chitchai Punsan, who educated attendees about
the Medical Malpractice Victim Protection Bill. Pictured are (from left) Dr.
Tares Karusnairawiwong, Dr. Somsak Lohekha, Paul Russell (committee
leader), Douglas Mancill (committee leader) and Chitchai Punsan.
Business Economics
Legal, Customs & Excise, Marketing, Travel & Tourism
Young Professionals
On September 28 at the AMCHAM Office, the committee met at the
Ford Boardroom to hear Pratana Mongkolkul present on “Changes and
Challenges of a CFO.” Pictured are (from left) Kenneth White (Board
Liaison), former AMCHAM president Edward Cooper, Pratana Mongkolkul,
Travis White and Teera Phutrakul (committee leader).
On September 30 at the Nest Rooftop Bar, committee members gathered to
network and have a fun night out. Pictured (from left) are Ms. Chloe P., Mr.
Johan, Vanida Malai, Peggy Creveling and Trinh Sajjachaiyanont.
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
Transportation & Logistics (TLC) and Security
On September 28 at the Grand Hyatt Erawan, Peter Burke, Paul
Summer and Tony Prehn presented to the committees “Last Orders –
Understanding the Alcohol Control Legislation in Thailand.” Pictured are:
Douglas Mancill (committee leader), Paul Summer (committee leader),
Peter Burke, Tony Prehn (committee leader), and Philippe Frey (speaker).
On October 5 at the Conrad Hotel, committee members gathered to hear
Attorney Ron Albert discuss International Estate Planning for U.S. citizens
and permanent residents. Those pictured are: Doug de Weese, Ron Albert,
and Douglas Mancill (committee leader).
Human Resources
Small-Medium Size Enterprises (SME)
On October 12 the committee met in the AMCHAM Office, Ford
Boardroom, to hear a presentation from John McGrath on “Finding
Tomorrow’s Leaders…Today”. Pictured are: (from left) Paul Marks, Thomas
Nielsen (committee leader), John McGrath, Bruce Cohen, Brian Housh,
(committee leader).
On October 13, the committee met at the JW Marriott Bangkok and
heard great insight from Cynthia Griffin regarding the National Export
Initiative and how it relates to SMEs. Pictured are: (from left) Dennis
Berkompas, Brian Housh, Charles Kathrein (Board Liaison), Cynthia
Griffin, Douglas Harrison (committee leader), and Patrick Rekart.
Transportation & Logistics (TLC)
Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
Committee Meetings: October
On October 14, the committee met at the Plaza Athenee Bangkok, where
Ek Sittivaekin of the State Railway of Thailand discussed enhancing
capacity of the Railway Transportation in the Eastern Seaboard.
Participants pictured are (from left) Doug de Weese (committee leader), Ek
Sittivaekin, Suvej Wichaidit, Dennis Berkompas (committee leader).
On October 18 at AMCHAM’s Ford Boardroom, the Legal Committee listened
to the “Use and Abuse of Thailand’s Criminal Defamation Laws,” as presented
by Surasak Vajasit. Attendees in the photo (from left): Supawat Srirumgruang,
Peter Burke, Surasak Vajasit, Douglas Mancill, Waraporn Tungwatcharobol,
David Washenfelder. Christopher Knight and Jessica Koch (back row).
On October 15, the committee met at the JW Marriott Bangkok to hear Dr.
Paul Robere present “Business Continuity Management: Are We Prepared
for the Unexpected.” Board liaison Bruce Hoppe is pictured on the far left
and Dr. Paul Robere is in the middle.
The ICT committee met on October 19 at the JW Marriott Bangkok to gain
insight on “Internet Trends: A Googler’s View” as presented by Ann Lavin.
Pictured are (from left) Siripat Patrangul and Ann Lavin.
On October 20, Churee Naktipawan shared her views on the innovative ways
her company works with its key stakeholder: sugar cane farmers. The CSR
meeting was held at the Ford Boardroom, AMCHAM Office. The speaker,
Churee Naktipawan, is pictured between committee leaders Richard
Bernhard (front row, 5th from left) and Alex Mavro (front row, 3rd from right).
On October 21 the committee met at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
to hear a presentation from Dr. Dwip Kitayaporn, Mr. James Mash, and
Dr. Sunettra Chinnapha on “Testing Innovative Treatments in Thailand”.
Pictured are (from left) Kenneth Mays (committee leader), Dwip Kitayaporn,
Sunettra Chinnapha, Paul Russell (committee leader), and James Mash.
Professional Women
Business Economics
Charitable Foundation
Young Professionals
On October 22 the committee met at the Imperial Spa, Imperial Queen’s
Park Hotel, to hear a presentation from Florina Vistal on “The Balancing
Act: Family, Career and Goals”. Pictured are: Judy Benn (4th from left),
Michal Zitak Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, General Manager (7th from
right), Karen Hochhauser (6th from right and committee leader) and
Florina Vistal (5th from right and speaker).
On October 28 the committee met in the AMCHAM Office, Ford
Boardroom, to hear a presentation from Burin Kantabutra, Vice Chairman
of the Books for Thailand Foundation. Pictured are (from left) Pratima
P. Mathews, Bartek Moskwa, Burin Kantabutra (speaker), Jim Yarbrough
(committee leader), Paul Marks (committee leader), Chic Chicarelli.
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
On October 26 the committee met in the AMCHAM Office, Ford
Boardroom, to hear Dr. Frederico Gil Sander, speak on “World Bank on
Thailand’s Competiveness & Asian Asset Bubbles”. Pictured are (from left)
Kenneth White (Board Liaison), Teera Phutrakul (committee leader), Dr.
Frederico Gil Sander (speaker), Peggy Creveling (committee leader).
On October 28 the committee met at The Glaz Bar, a beautiful corner bar
at the Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Meridian Hotel. With fantastic jazz
playing and some of the most gorgeous cocktails in town, the committee
raised Baht 12,900 for the AMCHAM Thailand Charitable Foundation.
Pictured are the lucky raffle winners.
AMCHAM Welcomes New Members
FM C C h emi cal (T hai land) Ltd.
Thai-American Business
Vo l u m e 5 / 2 0 1 0
B AE Systems (Inte r n at i ona l )
Limite d
BAE Systems is a global defense,
security, and aerospace company with
over 100,000 employees worldwide.
The company delivers a full range of
products and services for air, land,
and naval forces, as well as advanced
electronics, security, information
technology solutions, and support
services in the following business areas:
Land and Armaments; Electronics,
Intelligence and Support; Programs and
Support; and International.
Designate: Alistair Castle
– Director, Thailand
Alternate: Vorasuda Jongwattanapaisal
– Assistant Manager
Email: [email protected]
Cr own E qu i pment ( T h a i l an d )
Co. , Lt d .
Crown Equipment Corporation designs,
manufactures, distributes, services, and
supports material handling products
that provide customers with superior
value. Since its entry into the material
handling equipment industry in
1956, Crown has distinguished itself
from competitors with exceptional
product designs and a unique business
approach based on vertical integration.
When it says Crown on the outside, it’s
a Crown on the inside. Crown designs
and manufactures 85 percent of its lift
truck components, including key parts
like motors, drive units, and electronic
Designate: Mark Dobson
– General Manager
Email: [email protected]
FMC maintains leading positions in
three chemical markets: Agricultural,
Specialty, and Industrial. As a global
leader utilizing advanced technologies
and customer-focused research and
development, FMC provides innovative
and cost-effective solutions to food
and agriculture, pharmaceutical,
healthcare, pulp and paper, textiles,
glass and ceramics, rubber and plastics,
lubricants, structural pest control, turf
& ornamental markets, specialty, and
related industries. FMC is dedicated
to its mission – feeding the world,
protecting health, and providing the
conveniences of life.
Designate: Quah Kung Boon
– Manager, ASEAN Zone FMC
Alternate: Jean Medina
– Regional Regulatory Affairs Manager,
Asia Pacific
Email: [email protected]
H i lton Pattaya
Set in the heart of the city overlooking
Pattaya Beach and the Bay, the stunning
Hilton Pattaya hotel is situated atop
the new Central Festival Pattaya Beach
complex – a 250,000 sq.m. center that
includes more than 300 international
shops and restaurants, a 10-screen
cinema and a 16-lane bowling alley.
All of the spacious accommodations
at this Pattaya hotel are equipped
with balconies, high definition TVs,
high-speed Internet service and the
luxurious Serenity Bed Experience.
Upgrade to an Executive Room for
panoramic views from the Executive
Lounge. Celebrate in our magnificent
635 sq.m. ballroom with an outdoor
balcony and breathtaking beach views.
Contemporary audio visual equipment,
a business center and professional
Catering and Meeting teams will ensure
a successful event.
Hilton Pattaya offers wide range of
leisure facilities including 3 restaurants
(Edge, Flare, Horizon), lounge and
bar (Drift), poolside restaurant & bar
(Shore) and 24-hour in-room dinning.
Designate: Harald Feurstein
– General Manager
Alternate: Peta Ruiter
– Director of Business Development
Email: [email protected]
Inte rnati onal IT D Li mi ted
ITD’s mission is to continuously excel
as the leading multinational provider
of superior quality and comprehensive
organizational and HR development
solutions in the Asia Pacific region.
Ultimately, the ITD vision is all about
people. It is about uplifting people’s
lives and helping both individuals and
organizations attain their aspirations.
ITD’s headquarters are in Penang,
Designate: Terdtoon Thaisriwichai
– Regional Director
Alternate: Verawong Bichitrvarakar
– Manager, Learning & Business
Email: [email protected]
Novus Inte rnati onal (T ha ila nd)
C o., Ltd.
Novus is an international developer of
animal health and nutrition programs
for the pork, poultry, beef, dairy,
aquaculture, and companion animal
industries. The expertise of more
than 50 Ph.D. Animal Nutritionists
and Doctors of Veterinary Medicine,
combined with a solutions-oriented
sales team, Novus is leading the way
to help feed the world affordable,
wholesome food and improve the
quality of life, globally.
P r u k s a Re a l Estate P u b l i c
Compa n y Ltd .
Pruksa Real Estate Public Company
Limited (PS) is a leading company
in the Thailand real estate business,
focusing on developing residential
projects for townhouses, single
detached houses and condominiums,
covering the Bangkok Metropolis,
Greater Bangkok and Thailand’s
provinces of Ayutthaya, Chonburi and
Pruksa has expanded property
development investment in Asian
regions including India, Vietnam
and the Republic of Maldives, where
business potential and housing demand
is substantial. The company also steps
up its strategy to pioneer more costeffective enterprise processes and
initiatives across a variety of modern
construction technologies to provide
consumers the benefits of durability in
premium quality products.
Designate: Edward Cooper
– Senior Executive Vice President
Alternate: Somboon Wasinchutchawal
– Executive Vice President
Qata r A i rway s
Qatar Airways is the national airline
of the State of Qatar. From the hub
in Doha, the capital of Qatar, we
have developed a global network of
Qatar Airways operates three flights
daily from Bangkok to Europe, the
Middle East, Africa, the U.S.A., and
South America. We cover three cities
in the U.S.A. – New York, Washington,
D.C., and Houston. We also operate
services from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh
City and Hanoi and services from
Phuket to over 90 destinations via
Kuala Lumpur.
Designate: Joe Rajadurai
– Country Manager Thailand, Cambodia
& Myanmar
Alternate: Chanipa Parnsingha
– Sales Manager
Email: [email protected]
S terli ng Assets C o., Ltd.
Sterling Assets is a professional
financial services company delivering
cross-border financial planning and
business consulting solutions to the
expatriate community in Thailand and
the Far East. We take a client centered
and knowledge driven approach,
built on the pedigree of the traditional
professional backgrounds of our team.
Richard Colburn, Managing Director,
is a Chemistry graduate of Imperial
College, London and a Chartered
Certified Accountant. He is the highest
UK qualified financial planner in
Thailand and the only full member
of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate
Practitioners) in the Kingdom.
Designate: Richard Colburn
– Managing Director
Alternate: Chuthathip Colburn
– Marketing Director
Email: [email protected]
S anet ( Thai land) C o., Ltd.
Sanet (Strategic Alliance Network) is a
network of professionals cooperating
on projects to form strategic alliances
between medium-sized businesses in
Asian and Western Countries.
Sanet provides tailor made business
solutions for virtually any request
that may come up during a business
project in Asia. Here is just a selection
of the business fields we are in: Sales
& Distribution; Feasibility Studies;
Investment Advisory; Business Plans &
Budgets; Location Analysis; Business
Center Services; Turn Key Project
Services; Outsourcing & Purchasing;
Intercultural Coaching; Interim
Management; Go-Alive Monitoring;
Match Making; and International ITSolutions.
Designate: Chulalux Chinwong
– Managing Director
Alternate: Gunter Denk
– Managing Partner
Email: [email protected]
The American Chamber Of Commerce In Thailand
Designate: Yiannis Christodoulou
– Regional Sales Director
Alternate: Craige Allan
– Regional Marketing Manager
Email: [email protected]
destinations, covering Europe, the
Middle East, Africa, South Asia, the
Far East, North America, and Australia.
Qatar Airways ranked third best airline
in the world in the annual 2010 Skytrax
passenger survey, in which more than
18 million travelers were polled.
AMCHAM Welcomes the
Following Associate
Furth Inc dba Foundati on
C onsulti ng
Furth Inc dba Foundation Consulting
focuses on developing and
implementing sustainable solutions
that achieve the desired results in
the areas of Business Development,
Organizational Development, and
Trade Development.
Designate: Gregory Thomas
– Managing Partner
Alternate: Francis Tam
– Principal Consultant & Senior Partner
Email: [email protected]
Venue: Thana City Golf & Country Club, Samutprakarn
Date: Friday, November 26, 2010
Brunch at 10:30 | Shotgun start at noon | Followed
by a turkey dinner
Only Baht 3,500 for AMCHAM members, which includes
round of golf and caddy fee, brunch, and dinner with
Thanksgiving Turkey plus beer.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a team of
four, we will gladly find a team for you.
Have fun while supporting the AMCHAM
Thailand Charitable Foundation.
For more details and sponsorship opportunities,
contact Khun Orn at: [email protected]
It’s time for the Festive
Holiday Eggnog Party!
Tuesday, December 7
6:00 p.m.
Ballroom, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
Wish your AMCHAM friends a happy holiday
season and join your friends for food, adult beverages, merriment, and of course, the famous Minor
Group eggnog.
Children are welcome and will be warmly entertained
by the Rose Marie Academy from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Please bring a monetary donation or an unwrapped
toy for Father Joe’s Mercy Center.
Santa Claus is coming to town, thus, don’t forget to wear
your best holiday tie for your photo shoot with Santa.
AMCHAM Affinity Program
The Following Fine Establishments Offer Discounts or Incentives to AMCHAM Members
American School of Bangkok
- 50% off registration fees
- 10% off first year’s tuition
Bangkok Marriott Resort and Spa
20% discount for dinner (only)
at Trader Vic’s, Benihana and
Asia World Enterprise
- 3% discount from IATA
published fares
- 4% discount on worldwide
hotel booking
Centara Grand
- 15% discount (food only) at
55 Fine Steaks & Wine
- 15% discount (food only) at
the World all day dining and
Ginger restaurant
Bourbon Street
10% discount on food at
Bourbon St. (Located in
Washington Square,
Sukhumvit 22)
Joe Conrad Magic
10% discount on services
LMG Insurance
15% discount on motor and
other insurance
Robere and Associates
15% off all training programs
Tahitian Noni International
- Annual membership fee waived
- Purchase products at
discounted member pricing
- Free shipping on orders of
Baht 6,000 or more
20% off all La Cimbali
espresso machines
Global Union Express
- 5% discount on Thai’s Royal
Orchid Holidays at regular price
- 4% discount from all international IATA published fares
ex Bangkok including RTW
30% discount off listed prices
The “Long Stay” package in
Superior Single/Twin/Double
Room for a minimum of seven
consecutive nights’ stay for
only Baht 3,399 net per night
(excluding ABF) or 3,799 Baht
net per night (including ABF)
Le Club Plaza
- Special price of Baht 5,999
net for Le Club Plaza or
- Baht 6,999 net for Le Club
Plaza with Wine Ambassador Club status
Mayfair Marriott Bangkok
- 10% discount off best
available room rate
- 10% off food and beverage
Raja’s Fashions
- Buy any suit and get 2 free
Egyptian cotton shirts
- Buy 4 Egyptian cotton shirts
and get the 5th one for free
- Baht 5,000 gift voucher on
sale for Baht 4,000 for your
loved one or colleague
Tour de Thailand
- Discounts for multiple riders
- 50% off all bike rentals
Rose Marie Academy
One year free tuition to the
Saturday English Program
for dependents (4-14 years)
of employees of AMCHAM
member companies
BNH Hospital
- 10% discount on medications
- 20% discount on ward
5% discount on goods
when paying with cash
Hard Rock Hotel & Café Pattaya
- 10% discount from published
room rate
- 10% discount on beverage at
Hard Rock Café Pattaya
Pan Pacific Hotel
20% discount at restaurants
Cascade Club
- 10% discount on Individual
- Baht 3,000 discount on Gold
English Solutions
10% discount
Holiday Inn Silom Bangkok
25% discount on food &
beverage at The Brasserie,
Tandoor, Orchid Lounge and
Hari’s Bar
Piyavate Hospital
- 10% discount on medicine,
lab and x-ray fees
- 10% discount on ambulance
- 10% discount on specific
dental treatment items
- 40-45% discount on health
check up
Sunrise Tacos
10% discount
Sinclair Paint
Discount of 25% (before VAT) on
all paint products for decorative
and architectural purposes
The Duke’s
10% discount
Your Promotion Here
First visit privilege:
Buy two get three
Bodywork services
Vektor Telematics
15% discount on products
and one free month of
service for using GPS to track
commercial vehicles
For information on
participating in the
Affinity Program contact
Khun Kittie at: [email protected]
Restrictions apply. Member must present AMCHAM membership
card to receive discounts. Offer is subject to change or termination;
new offers, changes and terminations will be announced in T-AB
Magazine and on the AMCHAM website. If you have not yet received
your AMCHAM membership card, please contact the AMCHAM
office. For details and restrictions on these offers please visit: www.
AMCHAM Membership:
Not Just for Americans
U.S. Ambassador Eric G. John and Mrs. Sophia John with the 2011 AMCHAM Board of Governors on October 20, 2010
Benefits of AMCHAM Membership
Through its committees and the Board of Governors,
AMCHAM works to address matters affecting members’
ability to do business in Thailand. Join with other
AMCHAM members experiencing similar issues, create
position papers and other advocacy pieces and engage
Thai and U.S. government officials under the banner
of AMCHAM. The AMCHAM Board of Governors is
committed to creating synergy amongst stakeholders and
connecting industry and government.
A few of AMCHAM/FedEx Career Camp 2010 attendees
Member Services
Network and make business contacts with representatives
of AMCHAM’s 650 member companies. Attend
presentations by prominent U.S. and Thai speakers,
monthly membership luncheons and social networking
events, golf and bowling tournaments and the annual
Installation Ball. Participate in over 20 AMCHAM
committees covering various sectors. Membership
privileges also include up to nine coupons for AMCHAM
monthly luncheons and, subject to certain conditions,
expedited appointments for U.S. business visa interviews.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Give back to the community where you live and do
business by donating to the AMCHAM Thailand
Charitable Foundation. Direct your tax deductible
donation to needy Thai public schools, scholarships for
university students and/or fellowships for teachers.
For more information on these and the many other
benefits of AMCHAM membership, contact Khun Orn at:
[email protected], call +66 (0) 2254-1041, or visit
the AMCHAM website at: and
click on Join AMCHAM.
From left: Brenda Bence, Chuck Kathrein, Ann Kathrein and
Daniel Jackman at AMCHAM/Cannes Advertisment Festival 2010

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