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April 2017 Issue 34


Message from your Chamber


 "We recently proudly celebrated our 40th Anniversary.

This is a major achievement for AustCham, which has gone from strength to strength over that period, and deserves reflection on its origin, aims and achievements.

AustCham originated in a small informal group of individuals (including myself) calling themselves the Australian Businessmen’s Luncheon Group in the early 70’s. It was constituted as a group to socialize and exchange information and experience, to liaise with the Embassy, Austrade and visiting Australian politicians, civil servants and other notables. An important element was to provide a group who could offer practical assistance and advice to fellow Australians looking at investing in Thailand or entering into trade and commerce or provision of services relating to Thailand.

Thai Glass (ACI) and Thai Industrial Gases (BOC Australia) were the only majors in Thailand out of Australia at that time and they were key supporters, later joined by South Australian Fisherman’s Co-operative (SAFCOL). Most of the others were individual Australians heading up or working for non-Australian employers.

After a few years, a sufficient core of dedicated members had developed and were ready to take on the serious commitments of a registered Chamber of Commerce. They proceeded to register the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce on 21st of March, 1977.

The membership was small and the funds low. The office was where the President happened to work and his office staff did the Chamber work. No computers, no faxes (only telexes), no mobile phones, and an awful land line system with long hours of queuing for an international phone call, and a patchy supply of electricity.

Well, 22 Presidents and 12 Executive Directors later, we proudly stand amongst the leading independent foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand and with a membership of 350+ and actively engaged in representing the best interests of our members. This has involved continuous close collaboration with other Chambers of Commerce on key common issues, and with the Thai Chamber of Commerce, via our seat on the Thailand Board of Trade.

The growth has all been built on the high levels of commitment, generosity and support (in both time and funds) which our various Presidents, Committees, sub-committees, staff, sponsors, volunteers and members numbering hundreds of people over the last 40 years have brought to bear, as well as the close collaboration and support given by the Australian Embassy and Austrade leadership and staff.

The self-less contribution of all these people, and the overall unity which has existed over this period in collective advancement of mutual Thai – Australian interests has been critical, and needs to be continued and further nurtured.

The Thai-Australian relationships and linkages on all fronts have grown and improved significantly over the last 40 years in so many ways. On the trade and commerce front, there has been major growth, a good part of it on the back of the Thai-Australia Free Trade Agreement ( TAFTA) ; on the investment front there has been an increased recognition and engagement by Thai multinationals in the investment and resource opportunities in Australia; and on the educational front there has been a major growth in Thai student flows to Australia, with some increasing reciprocity under the New Colombo Plan.

AustCham has over the last 40 years played an active role in providing input and support to all these advances. Through various initiatives it has sought to increase the engagement of the Thai and Australian business and alumni community in the networking, exchange of information and other person to person activities which increase Australian and Thai understanding, cooperation and advancement.

It is appropriate on this 40th Anniversary to express our collective recognition and thanks to all of these people for their contributions, and to encourage their continued good efforts in the coming years."


John Hancock

Honorary Member

Past AustCham President (1986 and 1998)

ANZAC Reception held at  the Sukhothai hotel in 1998. From left to right, Australian Ambassador H.E. Mr. William Fisher; Chodchoi Sophonpanich, President of the Thai Australian Association – TAA; Australian Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. John Howard; and Mr. John Hancock, Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce President (note: these were positions held at the time)



AustCham Evening Briefing “South Australia’s 10 Economic Priorities and Potential Destination for Your Business Growth”





Joint Chambers Launch event: Chiang Mai Connect



Joint Trade & Investment, Auto Council, and HR Committees Seminar


Joint Chambers ESB Networking



Commonwealth Sundowners

Save the date


Chamber Business news


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

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Australian Embassy's News


Australia-Thailand partnership under the Motor Vehicle Inspection Program helps Thai Cars Exports to Australia

Read more

Government abolishing 457 visas, Malcolm Turnbull says


The Federal Government will abolish the 457 visa and replace it with two new visas, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says.

Read more

Recent Changes to the Australian Migration Law

by Simon Wetherell


The Australian government has just announced sweeping immigration changes mainly impacting the 457 temporary skilled visa class and the Citizenship rules. The changes were introduced through a change to the regulations, which did not require parliament to be sitting, and caught everyone by surprise.

Read more

$AUS, When Should I Move My Money?

by Stephen Caswell - MMT Financial Solutions


The perennial question for Australian ex-pats is “which direction is the $Aus going and is now a good time to move my money?” Before we attempt to answer that question, it is appropriate to look at what influences the direction of the Australian currency; and then, as there are so many influences we will try to distil them down to a manageable few. Most fundamentally currency is demand focused, if more people want to buy than sell the value goes up and vice versa.

Read more

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.

Read more

Updates on AustCham's official Youtube Channel

Asean Now: Weekly Wrap Ep 86

Hellfire Pass Memorial, Kanchanburi


April Industry Focus: English Language Services


The Continuing Need for Communication Training in Thailand


By Ben Horgan, Senior Programme Manager at Language Express/Corporate Training Express



Several years ago, I was working as a TEFL (Teaching of English as a Foreign Language) trainer, preparing expats to become English language teachers to work in schools and language centres around Thailand. Several factors led to fluctuations in the number of new trainees on an individual course...

Read more

if you require the services of professional English language services, please contact anyone of our members below for further details:

Andrew Biggs Academy  null Berlitz 
RMIT English Worldwide

Language Express





Promotions for AustCham members

Special promotions for AustCham members.

Click here


New Member - Hellman Worldwide Logistics Co., Ltd.

Owned and run by the Hellmann family, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has been a successful logistics company since 1871. Our employees worldwide ensure quality and customer-oriented logistics services, with the constant guidance of our core values;​ customer satisfaction, quality, innovation, and economic, environmental and social sustainability.

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New Member - Mayer Brown JSM (Thailand) Limited

Mayer Brown JSM's Bangkok office was established in 1991 in direct response to our clients' needs for legal advice on investment and trade in Thailand and the neighbouring regions of South East Asia.

Read more


New Member - PharmaDesign (Thailand) Co.,Ltd.

PharmaDesign is a world standard manufacturing company supplying products to distributors throughout Asia.We manufacture Australian designed and tested products that are world-beaters and in some cases, world-leaders.

Read more


New Member - Beston Global Food (Thailand) Co.,Ltd.

Beston Global Food Company Limited (BGFC) is out to change the emerging global imbalance between food demand and supply around the globe. 

Read more


Business Briefing "Unlocking ASEAN Business Opportunities: Key Legal Updates across CLMV"

ASEAN Sundowners

More pictures

ANZAC Day 2017 in Kanchanaburi - Dawn Service

More pictures

ANZAC Day 2017 in Kanchanaburi - Commemorative Service

More pictures

ANZAC Day 2017 in Phuket

More pictures

ANZAC Day 2017 in Chiang Mai

More pictures

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

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



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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   ·   office@austchamthailand.com

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