The Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (AustCham)

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March 2017 Issue 33


Message from your Chamber


   "Dear members, welcome to this edition of Advance.

It is hard to believe that we are now moving into April. It didn’t seem that long ago we were gearing up for Christmas and the New Year Break. This probably reflects how the Chamber is having a very active start to the year and it only looks like getting busier.

As many of you know, we recently held our Annual General Meeting which together with ‘Sundowners’ was wonderfully hosted by the Grand Hyatt in Bangkok. At our AGM we elected half of our Board Members under our new rotational board structure, and it is fantastic to welcome both Benjamin Kreig to the Board for the first time and also welcome back ML Kridakon Laksasubha who has been a long time contributor to Austcham.

On the advocacy front, we have also had a very busy start to the year, reaching out to senior officials in the Thai government and working with the Australian Embassy to help forward the business concerns of our Members.

The year started off with a small delegation of Austcham Members visiting Deputy Prime Minister, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong at Government House on issues relating to the government’s efforts to support the digital cconomy in Thailand. The meeting also included officials from counterpart Ministries, such as Labour, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Digital Economy. The meeting discussed a range of issues, in particular, easing restrictions around foreign investments in start-ups who wish to base themselves in Thailand.

Also in January, the Chamber had a visit from senior officials from the Thai Customs Department, led by Mr Kulit Sombatsiri, the Director General. Austcham prepared a submission based on the feedback of Austcham Members and focused on a number of key issues facing Australian businesses in Thailand. This included consistency in customs procedures and directives, as well as illegal smuggling and intellectual property issues surrounding the branding of Australian produce sold into Thailand. In this substantive meeting Khun Kulit outlined a new ‘Customs Alliance’ programme, which would facilitate faster and more transparent processing for Australian importers into Thailand – designed to minimise bureaucratic blockages and effectively create a virtual ‘green channel’ for selected Australian importers.

As a follow up to this meeting, the Australian Embassy in February hosted a presentation by both Australian and Thai Customs officials to further explain the ‘Customs Alliance’ programme – and we were grateful that Australian Ambassador Mr Paul Robilliard was personally able to welcome attendees. Austcham has been working closely with Thai Customs, Australian Border Force and Austrade to further understand and promote the ‘Customs Alliance’ programme. We encourage our Members to enrol for this programme by contacting the Chamber and we will forward your details to customs directly. For non-members who are interested in the ‘Customs Alliance’ programme, membership of Austcham is an essential pre-requisite to register, so we encourage you to contact the Chamber about enrolling.

Finally, on Australian immigration matters, we were able to hold an informal round table with the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection discussing visa and work permit issues faced by major Thai investors into Australia. We were joined by senior executives from Thai Board of Trade, PTT, Mitr Pol, Minor Group and Banpu to discuss common problems.

As you can see, the year has been kicked off to a busy start on the advocacy front. I look forward to hearing Members’ feedback and questions on these or any other issues.

In the meantime, please enjoy this edition of Advance and I hope you have a relaxing Songkran break."


Christopher Larkin

AustCham Director

Advocacy Subcommittee




Thailand Opportunity Seminar in Australia

For details


AustCham Thailand Business Briefing “Unlocking ASEAN Business Opportunities: Key Legal Updates across CLMV”


ASEAN Sundowners









Chamber Business news


AustCham has had a busy schedule in March with Business Meetings and Member Briefings. To see what’s been happening in the Chamber, click here for an update.

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Global economic growth and the investment markets?

By Stephen Caswell - MMT Financial Solutions


The fourth quarter of 2016 was positive for financial markets and growth assets in particular. The two major drivers over the quarter was the Trump win in the US election and the anticipation of tax cuts, increased infrastructure spending, and more relaxed regulation; the second driver was a strong rally in commodity prices principally on the back of increased Chinese demand, and for oil OPEC’s decision to curb production.

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JW Marriott Phuket scoops TCEB MICE Venue Standard Award


General Manager Oriol Montal received the award from Deputy Prime Minister Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn during an award ceremony at the ‘MICE Standard Day 2017’ event held at the Plaza Athénée Bangkok on March 13.

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Nominations for Alumni Awards are now open!


The Australian Alumni Awards celebrate and showcase the achievements of Alumni members who have applied their Australian education in their professional endeavours in Thailand.   Alumni can apply themselves, or be nominated by anyone, including their Australian higher education institution. If you, or someone you know, studied in Australia and have gone on to achieve success in your chosen field, apply yourself or nominate someone today.

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Getting Thailand Back on Track with Growth and Prosperity for all


A new World Bank report explores how Thailand can restart its economic engine in ways that benefit all people in the country and help protect the environment.The report, “Getting Back on Track: Reviving Growth and Securing Prosperity for All,” is the first Systematic Country Diagnostic for Thailand, an assessment of the most pressing challenges and opportunities in ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

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Somkid urges Thai-CLMV master plan


Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, the new drivers for Asean and Asian economic growth, should come up with a joint master plan for connectivity and key infrastructure development to strengthen the region's competitiveness, says Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.

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BIG + BIH fairs to promote Thailand as hub for trade in gifts and homeware



THE Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) and the Ministry of Commerce are working with the Thai Lifestyle Products Federation and Design & Objects Association to present BIG + BIH April 2017, the 43rd Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair.

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Thailand wants more e-payments to boost competitiveness



2016 was a challenging year for Thailand, both economically and socially. The death of the much-loved King, His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, clouded a year also blighted by political instability, water shortages, and bearish domestic business sentiment. Although official figures have yet to be released, Thailand’s GDP growth for 2016 is expected to be 3.2 percent, the third lowest in the ASEAN bloc (after Brunei and Singapore).

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Connecting the past to the present



The Australian embassy in Thailand sits on Sathon Road behind a tall white fence, a mustard-gold building elevated on stilts, lined with tiles made by a ceramicist in Chiang Mai. A lake twists around and under the embassy and a flat shrub, perfectly fashioned in the shape of Australia, lies out the front of the building. For decades, it has been one of the most recognisable works of architecture on the busy Bangkok road.

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Updates on AustCham's official Youtube Channel

Asean Now: Weekly Wrap Ep 82

Hellfire Pass Memorial, Kanchanburi


March Industry Focus: Recruitment and Staffing


Trends in Recruitment & Staffing


By Gary Woollacott, Managing Partner of Horton International



Nothing is easy in Thailand, an ex-boss once said to me, but everything is possible. Well, nearly everything: hiring motivated and self-starting staff without considerable pain seems to elude most of us. A common refrain is that employers simply can’t get hold of the talent they seek – without paying over the odds (as they see it). Perhaps something is happening, almost imperceptibly slowly, that is changing the jobs market.

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if you require the services of professional recruitment and staffing firms, please contact anyone of our members below for further details:

Adecco  En World 
Grant Thornton

Horton International


Lee Hecht Harrison | DBM

Michael Page
International Recruitment

Pacific 2000 Recruitment 


P.R. Recruitment & Business Management 







Promotions for AustCham members

Special promotions for AustCham members.

Click here


New Member - Thai Airasia

Thai AirAsia, Thailand’s largest low-cost carrier, introduced its low fare, no-frills concept in February 2004. The Bangkok-based airline now flies to 20 domestic and 29 international destinations with its fleet of 51 brand-new aircrafts; 49 Airbus A320 and 2 Airbus A320 neo 

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New Member - Pattana Golf & Sports Resort

Pattana Golf Club & Resort is an all encompassing recreational sports resort destination dedicated to individuals, families, and groups with a healthy inspired way of living.

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New Member - JTJB International Lawyers Co., Ltd.

Our Firm traces its history to February 1988 where the practices of founding partners Joseph Tan and Jude Benny were merged and renamed Joseph Tan Jude Benny. Then, the Firm focused on maritime law, real estate and conveyancing.

Read more


AustCham AGM 2017 and March Sundowners

More pictures

International Women's Day Panel Discussion

More pictures

Evening Briefing Australian Visa Updates, Issues and And Answers

More pictures

Breakfast Briefing “The Culture of Communication in Thailand"

More pictures

Joint Eastern Seaboard Sundowners

More pictures

Editorial contributions to Advance Magazine are welcome.
Please direct queries and/or submit content to

20th Floor, Thai CC Tower
  43 South Sathorn Road
Bangkok 10120 Thailand
Tel: +66 2 210 0216-8
Fax: +66 2 675 6696
Visit our website:



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Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce

20 Floor, Unit 203, Thai CC Tower
43 South Sathorn Road   ·   Bangkok Thailand 10120

Tel: +66 2 210 0216   ·   Fax: +66 2 675 6696   ·

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