35th ATBC AGM outcomes

At the 35th AGM of the Australia Thailand Business Council (ATBC) held at the Offices of member firm Kingsgate on 30 November 2015, we are pleased to advise that the following Board was elected unanimously.

  • Joint National Presidents – John Connor, Doug Blunt and Robert Taylor
  • Treasurer – Doug Blunt
  • Secretary – Jamie Gibson ( Kingsgate)
  • Board Member – Kert Stavorn ( Siam Legal)

In addition Peter (Pichai) Siripol in Canberra has kindly offered to continue his role as Public Officer for filing purposes in the ACT.

Tony Moon (UTS) did not stand for re-election and the Board acknowledged the support he has provided to the Council over the years.

It was agreed to further explore the links with AustCham in Bangkok in respect to potential new members and services to our members, and to liaise with the Honorary Patron, His Excellency the Ambassador of Thailand to Australia in respect to Thai businesses operating in Australia to encourage their participation in ATBC.

A sub-committee of Jamie Gibson and Kert Stavorn are also looking at other ways to expand the member base, review the content and relevance of the ATBC website and other potential social media engagement.

A further meeting of the Board will occur in the new calendar Year at which time the various initiatives for 2016 will be prioritised and scheduled.

The Board has structured the organisational costs of the Council such that the annual costs are modest, and given the funds in hand, no membership fees are being charged to existing members for the balance of the 2015/16 financial year.

On behalf of the Board.

D R Blunt
R Taylor J Connor
Joint Presidents
December 2015

First Protocol to Amend the AANZFTA in force

DFAT advises that:

The First Protocol to Amend the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) will enter into force for seven countries: Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Burma [Myanmar], the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam on 1 October 2015. It is also expected to enter into force for Laos, Malaysia and Thailand on this date. It is not expected to enter into force for Cambodia and Indonesia before 1 January 2016.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website will provide up-to-date information on which countries have entered into force.

The First Protocol builds on the existing Agreement and aims to further enhance opportunities for business. The key changes affect the implementation of the rules of origin and the AANZFTA Certificate of Origin (CoO) used to claim AANZFTA preferential tariff rates. It is important that businesses using AANZFTA to import or export goods acquaint themselves with the changes to AANZFTA and ensure that they are ready for the implementation of the First Protocol.

Following the First Protocol’s entry into force on 1 October 2015, there will be a six month transition period which will allow for greater flexibility to provide business time to familiarise themselves with the changes. DFAT is working closely with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIPB) and with Australia’s two CoO Issuing Bodies, Australian Industry Group (AiGroup) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), on preparations for the 1 October implementation date.

The DFAT website provides detailed information on the First Protocol and what this means for business, including a guide for business. Enquiries can be directed to the DFAT AANZFTA enquiry point (asean.fta@dfat.gov.au). The Issuing Bodies will also be providing information to their members on their arrangements for implementing the First Protocol.

The ATBC AGM and 2014

Dear Members,

We have recently concluded the 2013 Annual General Meeting of Australia Thailand Business Council held at the offices of our valued member Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd in Sydney.

This year we passed another milestone with the retirement of Tamerlaine Beasley as our very energetic president and she will be missed in this position. She has borne a heavy load and her efforts and those of several retiring board members have greatly enhanced ATBC over the past two years.

So far, the ATBC has not filled the position of President for 2013 -14 and we will continue under the leadership of Past Presidents, Robert Taylor and John Connor and National Treasurer Doug Blunt, together with the larger board of ATBC. These three long standing members were elected as acting joint presidents and will share the role internally and each act as President from time to time externally.

The Australia -Thailand relationship is entering an interesting phase with two way trade and investment continuing to grow especially with more Thai owned companies beginning operations in Australia as well as Australian companies large and small finding the confidence to commence operations in Thailand. These companies will continue to need a collective voice in commerce and with relations with government and we are confident that there is a continued role for ATBC as economic relationships with regional countries continue to expand. Thailand has become a shining example in this respect.

As we have done for more than 30 years, we will continue to cooperate with member companies and other like-minded bodies including our sister organisation, Austcham Bangkok to pursue our founding goals. It will of course be event and member interest driven.

With Thailand currently navigating its way through political storms, business continues to focus on the risks and the rewards of engaging in the country;s growth. We will continue to update the web site and social media and undertake events as and when the opportunity arises.

With seasons greetings and wishes for a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2014

Robert Taylor
John Connor
Douglas Blunt
Joint Presidents

Thai PM at ATBC/Asia Society Dinner

SYDNEY, May 28, 2012

Thai Prime Minister HE Yingluck Shinawatra made it clear that Thailand is open for business in an address at a special dinner hosted by the Australia-Thailand Business Council and the Asia Society Australia Centre in Sydney. The Thai Prime Minister was touring Australia to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Thailand and was accompanied by senior Thai ministers and a 70 person business delegation.

Read the transcript here.

Watch the speech


ATBC Australia Thailand Business Dialogue

On Wednesday 2 May, The Australia Thailand Business Council convened the
inaugural Thai-Australia Business Dialogue, involving senior stakeholders in the
business relationship. Attendees included the Thai Ambassador His Excellency
Maris Sangiampongsa, representatives from the Thai Embassy and Consulate,
Thai Trade and Board of Investment, Austrade, the Australia Thailand Chamber of
Commerce in Thailand, the Australia Thailand Institute, the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade, the Board of the Australia Thailand Business Council and CEO’s
and members of the ATBC which are some of the largest businesses involved in two-
way trade. The event was kindly hosted by King & Wood Mallesons in Sydney.

Great optimism was shared among participants regarding the business relationship
and strength and resilience of the Thai economy. Two-way investment totalling
almost $5bn in the past year does emphasise the greater Thai focus on Australia
as an investment destination with nearly $3bn invested here and Australians only
investing $1.9bn in the Thai economy.

Participants in the forum focused on developing and supporting a focused business
agenda for the Thai Prime Ministerial visit from Her Excellency Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra in May and looking for opportunities for further and deeper
business relationships between the two countries. As a result of the success of
the dialogue, we are committed to ensure this event is a regular feature of the Thai
Australia Business Council calendar in future.


ATBC Represented at DFAT Function

Members of the ATBC represented the organization at a networking function hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the Australia Thailand Institute.

Pictured at right: John Hancock, Ambassador HE Kriangsak Kittisaree, Former Ambassador to Thailand HE Bill Patterson, Tamerlaine Beasley, John Connor.

ATBC meeting with Dr Ken Henry

The ATBC recently met with Dr Ken Henry and members of the team undertaking the review of ‘Australia’s future in the Asian Region’.

We have collaborated with our colleagues at AustCham to provide a submission to the review focusing on the importance of business networking and dialogue regarding emerging opportunities in Asia.