General Prayuth Chan-ocha
I am very pleased to extend my congratulations to the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) on the publication of its 2018 annual handbook and member’s directory.
As Thailand is making progress towards the Thailand 4.0 era, I look forward to a vigorous role played by the BCCT to capture the opportunities in trade and investment brought on by successive reforms and government initiatives to lay the foundations for Thailand’s enduring economic and commercial resilience. For many years, The BCCT has thrived on being a principle conduit for one of Thailand’s closest and most important commercial partnerships. Because of this, the Thai and British business communities have had a robust relationship based on extensive experience, mutual understanding and shared confidence. With this unique lineage, I am confident that the BCCT will be able to expend its role in the years to come as Thailand look forward to a modern era of advanced logistical infrastructure, innovation and technology lead manufacturing and industry, not to mention a digital economy that will enhance Thailand’s competitiveness in the global economy. Moreover, as the Royal Thai Government is pushing ahead with the 10 S-curve industries, special economic zones, and the Eastern Economic Corridor, I am also optimistic that the BCCT will play an active role in promoting cooperation in these endeavours.
I would also like to take this opportunity to reaffirm my appreciation and support to the BCCT for its continuous work in promoting Thailand’s potential to British industry. I wish the BCCT and all of its members great success and prosperity.
Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)
Mark Garnier MP
The last year has been a particularly sad one in Thailand, following the death of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. My thoughts remain with the Thai people and in particular the Thai Diaspora in the UK who have been far away from home at such a difficult time.
Here in the UK, it has been a busy year for the British government as we continue our negotiations with the EU ahead of our departure in 2019. My department, the Department for International Trade recently celebrated our first birthday. We are already beginning to see the benefits of so many organisations coming under the same umbrella, and British exports are now at record levels.
I know how hard my team in Thailand has been working to support British companies export to Thailand, and I am particularly grateful to the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, for the excellent support that they continue to give to new exporters to the market. This acts as a great example of the way in which government and Chambers of Commerce can work together to promote British commercial interests in Thailand, and throughout the world. Thank you for all you do.
You will know from my previous visits to Thailand that I take close interest in the progress of the Thai-UK Business Leadership Council and I was pleased to hear of the success of the recent trade mission, and of the planned Tech Day in the UK early next year. Our work with TUBLC will remain a priority for the team, and will be supported by ministers from my department.
I was delighted to hear of the first British investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor, and I hope that this will be the first of many to come. Thailand’s plans to move towards a digital economy play very much to British strengths and we look forward to many more commercial opportunities in the future.
I wish the Chamber well in their endeavours over the coming year.
Mark Garnier MP
H.E. Brian Davidson
This year will, of course, be most remembered for the passing of His Late Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose cremation ceremony took place on 26 October. I was privileged to represent the Embassy at the ceremony, alongside HRH The Duke of York who represented HM The Queen. And was incredibly moved by the love of the people for His Late Majesty whish has been evident ever since his passing. We now look forward to the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, an occasion that will undoubtedly bring much joy to the country, following a long period of mourning.
Over the past year, I have continued to meet many British businesses who are finding great successes in Thailand, and there has been a steady stream of contracts that we are helping British companies to secure. We have already helped companies win over £50m of business this year, and we expect that figure to more than double before the end of the year.
My team is also working on market access issues and has successfully lobbied for the resumption of poultry exports. These were suspended following the avian influenza outbreak in the UK, and we are already seeing companies exporting poultry products to Thailand.
Over the coming year, the Department for International Trade team in the Embassy will be focused on ensuring that British companies are well placed to take advantage both of opportunities resulting from Thailand 4.0, and the Eastern Economic Corridor, and of opportunities that will emerge as the UK leaves the European Union.
We will work continue to work closely with the Thai UK Business Leadership Council on ease of doing business, export opportunities and technology and I look forward to attending the next bi-lateral meeting of the Council early next year. We also look forward to visits from the Prime Minister’s new trade envoy, Paul Scully MP, and a visit from Foreign Office minister, the Rt. Hon. Mark Field MP.
Finally, I would like to pass on my thanks to the Chamber and their staff for their great work over the past year. We look forward to another great year of business for British companies.
H.E. Brian Davidson
On behalf of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) I would like to express my congratulations to the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) and its member on the 2018 “United Kingdoms – Partners in Progress” Handbook and Directory.
During the past years the Thai government has been moving aggressively in adopting “Thailand 4.0” an economic model that aims to create a value-based economy driven by innovation, technology and creativity. Concrete developments have already been taken place such as in the form of legislative action and the implementation of important reforms in-line with the government’s 20-year national strategy. Additional investments in numerous major infrastructure programs are also underway to provide further confidence to investors and a positive outlook for the country’s long-term development.
The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project, a landmark investment area encompassing Rayong, Chonburi, and Chachoengsao provinces, is a major component of “Thailand 4.0” that will develop 10 target industries promoted by the government, including smart electronics, advanced agricultural and biotechnology, next-generation automotive, food for the future, affluent medical and wellness tourism, automation and robotics, biofuels and biochemical, aerospace, digital economy, and medical hub.
British companies offer world-class technology and the necessary know-how to be part of this important effort and there is considerable attention on the part of British businesses that expressed interest in investing in the EEC. Thailand 4.0 therefore offers tremendous potential for the next stage of our bilateral relationship in areas where the UK excels including aerospace, advanced engineering, high technology, education and other sections.
The UK holds an important position as Thailand’s second-largest trading partner among EU members and 19th in the world market. And the BCCT has a heritage and holds an important position as the oldest foreign chamber, the largest and oldest non-Asian foreign chamber in Thailand in addition to being the largest and oldest British chamber in Asia. I greatly appreciate the BCCT’s efforts in promotion “Thailand 4.0” and working diligently to increase bilateral trade levels, increase opportunities for British businesses to invest in Thailand and contributing to Thailand’s economic advancement
Thank you for your support and I wish the BCCT continue success and prosperity.
Mrs. Hirunya Suchinai
The British Chambers of Commerce in the UK has been working closely with the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand in recent years, strengthening the relationship between the two countries by assisting British businesses to export to Thai markets, and promoting UK inward investment opportunities.
The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand has been BCC Accredited since 2015, and is an important member of the overseas network. The BCCT has been working increasingly closely with UK Chambers to promote the benefits and opportunities of Thailand as a trading partner.
A member business of a Chamber in the UK can benefit from ‘takeoff’ services such as documentation, foreign exchange support, market seminars – as well as initial connections to Chambers all around the world, including in Thailand. In turn, these organisations, such as the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand, provide ‘landing’ services in-market with introductions to local partners, market entry support, overviews of cultural do’s and don’ts, and much more.
The past year has brought with it considerable uncertainty for businesses, both in the UK and abroad. While the final outcome of the UK-EU negotiations remains unknown, British business shouldn’t shy away from taking advantage of trading opportunities where they can. Now is the time to set their sights globally – particularly when help is readily available to them, both in terms of highlighting opportunities and utilising them.
No one understands business needs better than other businesses, and few organisations can draw on as much commercial and practical expertise as Chambers of Commerce are able to. Practical and on-the-ground support, which the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand offers, is crucial for firms looking to reach new markets and customers. The BCC in London is looking forward to a collaborative and active partnership with the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand in the years to come.
On behalf of the Thai chamber and Board of Trade of Thailand, it is my great pleasure to congratulate the British Chamber of Commerce for the publication of its 2018 Handbook and Directory of Members entitled “United Kingdoms – Partners in Progress”. This publication will serve as a valuable and useful source of reference for the promotion of trade, investment, technology transfer and innovation, as well as other mutually beneficial cooperative efforts between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Thailand.
Thanks to 71 year of the good relation between the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand and the British Chamber of commerce Thailand, we have been working closely as valued partner that greatly enhance our trade, investment and tourism. This has augmented our economic ties to achieve long – term mutual economic growth. The Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand is assured that the partnership we have built over many year of cooperation would be consistently sustained, and we are grateful for your generous support. Moreover, the Thai-UK Leadership Business Council which has been established for a year now plays a key catalytic role to expedite cooperation between Thai-UK private enterprises and to provide actionable pathway to the governments in improving the business environment and in facilitating trade and investment for both countries. It is imperative that our close collaboration be enhanced, for the good of the two counties.
It is a sincere pleasure for us to extend our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand and its members on the occasion of the publication of the 2018 Handbook and Directory of Members. I am confident that both of us will continue to work actively towards further strengthening trade and business ties for the mutual benefit of our private sectors in the years to come and look forward to fresh opportunities and co-operation in the fure.
I am pleased to present the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand 2018 Handbook and Directory of Membership.
For 2017 financially the Chamber has achieved its budget in most of the revenue categories. This together with control of expenses we will achieve our budgeted surplus.
The team is on track to achieve the KPI's set by the Board in terms of financial control and collections, membership development, quality of events. The Board greatly appreciates all the efforts of the BCCT team on behalf of our members.
BCCT Groups have continued to be active in 2017 many of which have been led by Board members and have been busy arranging events, information dissemination and activities.
The Overseas Business Network initiative (OBNi) is on track on its service deliverables.
The UK government continues to reduce the funding we receive. The OBNi steering group has worked on plans to mitigate this impact as well as leveraging the expertise we have to add further value to our members.
The Chamber also continues its strong relationship with The British Embassy by regular working lunches, Embassy staff attending board meetings and working on special events and roadshows such as the “Taste of Britain 2017: Food is GREAT” campaign.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the membership and the Board for their continued support in 2017.
Finally my thanks to our 2017 Sterling Partner Bangkok Patana school and our Sustaining Partners Tesco Lotus, , GlaxoSmithKline, Property Care Services, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, KIS International school, Brighton college and Rugby School Thailand, and our Airline Partners British Airways Finnair and EVAair as well as our supporting partners.
As the UK and Thailand move into the fifth century of relations, I would like to highlight the Bowring Treaty that our nations agreed to over 160 years ago. The important elements of the Treaty have stood the test of time: the establishment of a permanent British diplomatic presence in the consulate in Bangkok and a new system of liberalised trade rules. The treaty is regarded by many historians as paving the way for the liberalisation of trade across South East Asia.
In these increasingly turbulent economic times it is a fitting tribute to the openness of our nations that we continue to trade and find business opportunities with one another. This is a partnership that already sees the UK as one of the leading European investors in Thailand with a stock of c. £9 billion and a cultural exchange that sees almost 1 million UK citizens travel to Thailand every year.
After first establishing a presence in Thailand 65 years ago, the British Council is committed more than ever to developing relationships between UK and Thailand, with teaching and exams operations reaching over 30,000 young people year. This, coupled with a commitment this year by the UK to invest £9 million under the Newton Fund, in support of UK /Thailand research and innovation, sends a powerful message of cooperation between our two Monarchies.
And there is plenty of business to do in ASEAN’s second largest economy, accounting for roughly 16% of the region’s GDP.
UK companies and CBI members have been active in Thailand throughout 2017 and, in some cases for more than 100 years.
Rugby School, located in Warwickshire and one of the UK’s oldest education institutions, will open its second location in Bang Lamung later this year, whilst HSBC will celebrate its 130th year in Thailand in 2018.
And Tesco Lotus, Tesco grocery’s Thailand brand, has also established a strong presence with over 1400 locations across the country and a robust online shopping presence.
Thailand offers opportunities for British businesses across a diverse range of sectors, including agri-business, food processing, food and drink, consumer products, advanced engineering, aerospace, services, education and skills.
And the UK is one of the leading European investors into the country with companies such as Boots, Standard Chartered, British Airways, RBS and DLA Piper busy expanding their Thai business.
So to conclude it is good to see that the global spirit of openness and liberal trade, first expressed in the Bowring treaty over 160 years ago, is still alive and well in UK-Thai relations.
May I wish the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand every success for its 2018 Annual Handbook and Directory.
Thailand is very much open for business and alive with opportunities for UK companies. It remains an exciting time for Thailand as long-planned infrastructure and digital improvement projects are starting to come to fruition. This means that more international investors are viewing this dynamic market as their Southeast Asian hub.
Thailand’s impressive growth looks set to continue, averaging over four percent consistently for the last decade. As one of ASEAN’s powerhouse economies, the rapidly-growing middle class is helping to fuel transformation of its economy into one of the most diverse in the region.
The country’s comprehensive infrastructure plans, linked to the generous investment incentives, are key to attracting international companies into the new industrial clusters of aviation, smart electronics, biofuels, and next-generation cars. Thailand is an impressive market and UK companies should look at the full range of opportunities and incentives available to use Thailand as a springboard into Asia.
The UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC) provides practical advice and guidance on how to do business in ASEAN, using their ASEAN Export Specialists to link through to our expert business partners in ASEAN, which includes the BCCT. We also bring ASEAN to the UK through a sustained calendar of events including market briefings and targeted meetings with ASEAN decision-makers.
The UKABC is delighted to continue working closely with the BCCT to inform UK companies of the fantastic business potential in Thailand. These companies can then use the BCCT’s comprehensive in-market support to access the great opportunities and receive guidance on how to win business in this key market.
I wish the BCCT and its members every success for what will be another exciting year ahead.
Mr. Kevan Watts