President’s Report to the Annual General Meeting

President’s Report to the Annual General Meeting of the Australia Thailand Business Council (ATBC)

Monday 13 December 2021 – ZOOM Meeting

Covid 19 and its latest Delta variant has continued to affect all business in the past year and the ATBC is no exception. Your Board has continued to evolve an ongoing strategy of moving with the times and especially since the worldwide epidemic has forced business to adapt.  It always does, most recently with the assistance of Zoom and like programs to communicate across widely spaced locations.  Our website and imaging, strategic partnerships, generous sponsor Kingsgate Consolidated and the efforts of a dedicated Board have all helped us to cope.  We must congratulate Kingsgate on their success in negotiating a reactivation of their gold mining activities at Chatree Thailand from December 2021. It will again be the largest Australian investor and one of the largest foreign employers in Thailand.

Although face to face meetings have not been possible, Zoom and similar meeting tools have made some things less of an obstacle.   In fact, I would say that the flow of contacts and information and ease of communicating through virtual meetings will be a way that business councils like ours can succeed.  It will never be as good as meeting people from time to time but with business pressures and distances it can keep us in constant touch.

The ATBC Board over the past 12 months has comprised President and Treasurer, Doug Blunt, Vice President Jamie Gibson, Secretary and Public Officer, Peter Siripol in Canberra, and Board Member Glen Robinson. A new Chapter (or branch) in Perth has now been formed with the keen and energetic Chris Moor at the helm.  Despite the pressures of his business, he is already making good progress as someone with a background of successful business experience and connections in Australia and Thailand. ATBC is now linked with the ASEAN Business Alliance in WA, the JTSI arm of the WA government and with many like organisations and their sponsors. We are delighted to have the continuing support of Khun Krirkrai Jirapaet in Bangkok as an Honorary Advisor to our Board. We will shortly attract more well-connected business advisors.

Ambassadors HE Busadee Santipitaks of Thailand in Canberra and Australian Ambassador to Thailand HE Mr Allan McKinnon PSM have also been great supporters. We welcome the joint announcement of a Strategic Partnership between Australia and Thailand which is now in Australia’s top 10 largest trading partners.

ATBC President Doug Blunt meeting with Ms. Santipitaks, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand to Australia

As Treasurer of ATBC I mention that on our financial side there were again virtually no office expense charges for the year, thanks to our generous sponsor Kingsgate Consolidated and voluntary contributions of time by our executives.  This has meant that we have had minimal compliance and admin costs. Together with colleagues in Sydney and region, Mr Peter Siripol, who is based in Canberra ACT continues as our local representative and Public Officer there and has been a very valuable contributor to the Council throughout the year.

I mention that Member subscriptions from established members were not called for again during the year 2020/21 as ATBC finances remained healthy and expenses very low. We do need to keep our finances stable as we are funded only by member subscriptions and generous sponsors with an interest in Thai – Australian business relationships. We will be asking all current and past members to review their level of membership and engage actively. All membership fees will be reviewed after the economy is projected to be become more open as the 2022 year progresses.  Fee rates available via the website, for new members. As will be seen from the Statement of Financial Position, the ATBC reports a good financial position as at 30/6/21. Cash balances currently total A$15,042 approx.

I’m pleased to say that the ATBC has continued to rebuild over the course of the past year, with a number of contacts for assistance received, resulting in a continual flow of referrals from us to Thai Government agencies such as Thai Trade and Board of Investment.  In line with our strategy, we have continued to build up our website as a go-to referral source. That said we may have to expand our resources during 2022 as business hopefully returns to a post – Covid normal.

As I briefly mentioned, the year 2020/2021 and to date has again been one of continuing activity for the ATBC. I am pleased to give some examples of our major activities which include but are not limited to:

  • Fairly regular working contact with the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (AustCham Bangkok) including virtual events which are available to ATBC members. See ATBC website for further details.
  • An MOU with the Thailand ANZ Business Council in Bangkok.  We recently gave an introductory address to TANZBC via Google Meet to their AGM.
  • Virtual Contact with the Thai Ambassador and Consul General, where possible and with the Australian Ambassador to Thailand, Allan McKinnon and Austrade Bangkok;
  • Any ATBC physical events have been postponed since March 2020.  
  • We have continued to support BOI presentations and promotions involving the Thai Ambassador
  • Re-development of our website as a basis for our focussed core activities, which has been relaunched.  An Exchange rate feed AUD/THB with our partner member Dollarsmart is being perfected.
  • Latest updates from the Thai Board of Investment are regularly published. Certainly, your input on how we can make our website even better will be appreciated and how we should communicate with members about events.
  • Weekly updates on international affairs are regularly published in conjunction with Australian Institute of International Affairs.
  • Our member Translationz offers written and verbal translations from Thai to English and vice versa as well as other ASEAN
  • More recently we have been working with Macquarie University researching how Australians from migrant backgrounds relate to international media and feelings of belonging.  

Most of all ATBC is about connecting businesses with Thailand as an alternative to an increasingly uncertain trade environment in North East Asia.  Our website is developing as a reference for the public and for the use of members. Thailand based AustCham’s e-magazine Advance remains available to all members via our website at: https://www.aust-thai.org.au

Members are encouraged to connect with Austcham Bangkok and AIIA webinars as advertised for a constant flow of information on what is happening in Thailand, across ASEAN and world affairs – which all affects business.

The ATBC’s traditional role as a high-level organisation aimed at facilitating trade and investment between Australia and Thailand faced increased demand this year.  As we look ahead to the next year we will be once again focusing on:

  • providing bilateral business services to Thai and Australian companies/individuals;
  • building a diverse and active membership base;
  • continuing to promote the Council’s good name and reputation at all levels of engagement;
  • hosting events aimed at providing relevant and meaningful networking, business development opportunities; and
  • continuing to improve our website as the basic go-to starting point for businesses large and small wanting to engage in two-way trade and investment with Thailand.

In conclusion, I think 2020/21 has been a pleasing one for the Council despite a continuance of closed borders and meeting restrictions.  We encourage anybody with an interest in doing business in Thailand to get in touch.

ATBC is all about making connections for business.

Douglas Blunt, ATBC President

Thailand Investment Review – September 2021

Download the Thailand Investment Review for September 2021.

Based on its survey of multinational companies across 15 industrial sectors in 26 economies, the World Economic Forum concluded in “The Future of Jobs Report 2020” that the 4IR technologies, which have been widely deployed by businesses as a productivity enhancement strategy, are bringing sweeping changes to the labor market worldwide and at a faster rate than expected in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

TIR September 2021

Courtesy of the Thailand Board of Investment.

Thailand Investment Review – June 2021

Download the Thailand Investment Review for June 2021.

With global warming demanding rapid and far-reaching actions to reduce carbon emissions, many economies have galvanized their efforts to change towards clean energy and decarbonized living. In Thailand, action is being taken to fulfill the country’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one-fifth from its business-as-usual level, while some major economies around the world have initiated even more drastic efforts to keep the global temperature below 2 or preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than the pre-industrial level by 2030.

TIR June 2021

Courtesy of the Thailand Board of Investment.

Thailand Investment Review – May 2021

Download the Thailand Investment Review for May 2021.

With the coronavirus expected to remain a persistent threat to the global population for many years to come and with healthcare technology rapidly advancing, Thailand is looking at tapping into the strategic advantages of its competitive industrial and healthcare supply chain and improved R&D resources to propel the country’s medical device technology to the forefront of the global market.

TIR May 2021

Courtesy of the Thailand Board of Investment.

Thailand Investment Review – April 2021

Download the Thailand Investment Review for April 2021.

Attached herewith please kindly find the TIR for April 2021 discovering the endless demand of colocation data centers & cloud technology in Thailand and beyond, the adoption of new softwares & communications technologies, an ongoing IT infrastructure to support the growing market, and much more across every sector.  Also, there is a capture on the BOI’s incentives for the digital industry granting to companies that like to have business ventures (as minimum as 1 million baht where the cost of land and working cap excluded) in Thailand.

TIR April 2021

Courtesy of the Thailand Board of Investment.

Thailand Investment Review – March 2021

Download the Thailand Investment Review for March 2021.

Thailand’s farm and food industry has been constantly incorporating new innovations in an effort to meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of a global market that is becoming swamped with virtually endless options. Staying ahead of the game in this hugely competitive environment requires access to a wide diversity of raw materials on vast agricultural plantations and a well-developed supply chain. Leveraging advancements in digitalization and utilizing deep technology such as 3D printing, AI and big data, the Thai agri-food industry is also producing foods that align with mainstream intelligence technology as well as addressing environmental concerns.

TIR – March 2021.pdf

Courtesy of the Thailand Board of Investment.

EEC Updates and Investment Opportunities

EEC Updates and Investment Opportunities – Joint ATBC/RTE/EEC & BOI Webinar 26 February 2021

Download the presentation from the EEC Updates and Investment Opportunities joint webinar.

Jointly hosted by the the Royal Thai Embassy, Canberra and the Australia-Thailand Business Council in collaboration with the Thailand Board of Investment, Sydney Office, the presentation highlights the key points covered during the webinar.

Thailand Investment Review – September 2020

Download the Thailand Investment Review for September 2020.

Facilitated by easier access to high-speed internet, the rise of Thailand’s vibrant digital industry over recent years has been underpinned by the rich creativity and strong entrepreneurial spirit of Thailand’s tech-savvy digital generation. At the forefront of this brave new digital world, Thailand has seen its economy consistently prove its readiness to embrace the new  opportunities presented by the global digital revolution.

TIR – September 2020.pdf

Courtesy of the Thailand Board of Investment.

Thailand Investment Review – August 2020

Cover of TIR August 2020

Download the Thailand Investment Review for August 2020.

As Thailand progresses towards its goal of sustainable development under the Thailand 4.0 model, the smart city is front and center in the country’s action plan. Leveraging cutting-edge ICT technology and new generation platforms, such as the cloud computing that enables on-demand computing, mobile, AI, and big data analytics, Thailand’s smart city plan centers on providing innovative services to citizens, businesses and tourists in the form of social, business and environmental solutions.

TIR – August 2020.pdf

Courtesy of the Thailand Board of Investment.

Thailand Investment Review – July

Download the Thailand Investment Review for July 2020.

As digital technology becomes firmly entrenched in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not
only in healthcare where it takes a prominent role but also increasingly in business operations and even
people’s daily lives. In this changing environment, Thailand has shown itself to be one of the world’s
most resilient and thriving smart electronics manufacturing hubs.

TIR – July 2020.pdf

Courtesy of the Thailand Board of Investment.