|Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)|
I wish to extend my congratulations to the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) for another successful year, and on the publication of its 2023 Member's Handbook and Directory entitled "United Kingdoms — Partners in Progress".
Thai- UK is celebrating 77th anniversary after sharing the unique feature of mutually beneficial trade, investment, and commercial links dating back to the 16th century. Throughout this long history, resilience and mutual goodwill have been the cornerstones of our shared prosperity, as demonstrated by our business communities being able to remain positively engaged and successfully deal with the many challenges of the global economy. With this background, I am confident that the United Kingdom and Thailand will be able to forge even more dynamic business partnerships in the years ahead, especially as Thailand continues with major infrastructure and connectivity upgrades, and advances towards being a regional hub for trade and investment in the ASEAN region.
The UK also signed a MoU with the Bank of Thailand to strengthen UK-Thai financial services cooperation. As a global leader in this area to promote financial inclusion and sustainable growth.
In this regard, I am also confident that the BCCT will continue to serve and promote British business activities in Thailand, and work closely with the Thai private and public sectors towards facilitating the expansion of new investment and commercial links between the UK and Thailand. The BCCT can also look forward to continued support from our government agencies in the fine-tuning of our many cooperative links.
On this special occasion, I would like to wish the BCCT and all its members every success, and continued prosperity in the years ahead.
|H.E. Mark Gooding His Majesty's Ambassador|
A year ago my message to you contained cautious optimism regarding Thailand's vaccination programme and the gradual lifting of restrictions from the pandemic. One year on and I'm pleased to say that the spectre of the pandemic does indeed to be receding and normality for the most part has returned. However Russia's illegal and reprehensible invasion of Ukraine in February has served only to deepen global uncertainty, exacerbating geopolitical shifts and creating very difficult economic times particularly for people across Europe and the UK.
That is why the UK Government remains committed to championing the rules-based international trading system and seeks to increase bilateral trade and investment with Thailand through reducing barriers to trade, improving the business environment, and directly supporting UK companies and investors domiciled both here and in the UK.
Despite the challenges of the past year, including a fair amount of political and economic turmoil in the UK, we have made significant and positive strides in growing our bilateral relationship with Thailand. This year has seen Ministerial visits to Thailand from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Ministry of Defence and Department for International Trade; thereby covering all pillars of the UK tilt towards the Indo-Pacific. These have been interspaced with numerous business delegations and multiple visits from the UK's Trade Envoy to Thailand; so we have been kept busy!
We also had the pleasure of welcoming Deputy Prime Minister Jurin to the UK for our inaugural Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) and Deputy Prime Minister Don for the fourth UK – Thailand Strategic Dialogue. The JETCO established a work plan of trade promotion and policy initiatives which we are working closely with the BCCT to deliver, and an agreement to work towards an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) as a first step in laying the foundations for a potential FTA in the future.
Finally, I would like to thank Chris, Greg, and the whole team at the BCCT for all they have done to support British business over the past year as we have exited the pandemic and begun the process of rebuilding despite the global headwinds. The Embassy's partnership with the Chamber continues to grow and we look forward to working closely with all involved in the years ahead.
|Secretary General of the Thailand Board of Investment|
On behalf of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), I wish to express my warmest congratulations to The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) on the occasion of BCCT's publication of the 2023 Handbook and Directory of Members. This 77th Anniversary edition continues to attest to the long-standing trade and investment partnership between Thailand and the United Kingdom and underlines the commitment to strengthen bilateral relations for the continuing prosperity of our two countries.
The BOI is committed to building a business environment that is conducive to the continuing expansion of economic engagement and growth. To this end, we have adopted a set of new incentive packages that include special privileges for long-standing investors and a relocation programme, which facilitates new establishment of headquarters as well as research and manufacturing facilities in Thailand. Most importantly, in this coming year, we are upgrading our investment promotion packages to support investments in our priority sectors including BCG, EV, Smart Electronics, Digital and Creative Industries. These and other incentives align with our aim of making Thailand an industrial base of the future and the technology hub of the region. With this in mind, premium incentives will be given to investments in upstream industries with a focus on innovation and high technology such as biotech, nanotech, and advanced materials that involve technology transfers.
For years, the United Kingdom and Thailand have shared a long strategic partnership based on unwavering goodwill. This spirit of friendship has laid the foundation for our economic relations which have remained robust even during challenging times. During 2016 - 2021, UK investment applications worth a total of USD 404 million were submitted for BOI promotion. The top three industries with the highest investment value during this period were service industries, automotive industry, and electrical appliances and electronic industries.
Since UK companies have played a significant role in advancing the competitiveness of Thailand, I truly believe that our collective efforts can sustain economic growth and continuing prosperity while helping address pressing issues such as food security, the search for renewable energy, and supply chain resilience. The BOI is confident that our two counties will continue to build on our past and current successes and reaffirms that we stand ready to provide our support in any way we can.
We wish the BCCT and its members every success in all future endeavours.
Narit Therdsteerasukdi, Secretary General Thailand Board of Investment (BOI)
|Chairman of The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand|
Thank you to all of our members for your ongoing enthusiastic support for the Chamber.
The British Chamber had a fabulous year, with everyone making the most of meeting in person again. We know from your feedback and comments how much members enjoy this aspect of the Chamber's events.
The results are very encouraging, including an increased NPS rating from +4 in 2018 to +20 in 2022, and reaffirmed our direction of travel. There were also several great suggestions for us to consider, many of which have been acted upon already such as: private consultations with members; advocacy; access to government officials, assistance with finding new clients and raising awareness of member companies. Thank you for your feedback.
Over the past 12 months we have launched 5 new Working Groups in response to member suggestions. These were Advocacy; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Marketing Communications; ESG; and SME. We now have 18 Working Groups leading the Chamber, with very active support and participation by members.
A particular source of pride for me is our Women in Business group, which runs sessions every month and does an incredibly important service by mentoring future female leaders. We believe deeply in this mission, which is why our board is exactly 50/50 in terms of male-female gender representation. This is a great achievement for the British Chamber, affirming that we can indeed deliver on the goals we set for ourselves.
Other Working Group initiatives include community education, lobbying with Government, social events, and business networking in a manner that supports all members. Working Groups and Regional Representatives are the backbone of the Chamber, and we encourage anyone that is interested to put themselves forward to support their efforts. The more we can accomplish as a values-driven organisation, the more our Chamber's reputation will grow as a respected voice of British business here in Thailand.
Speaking of accomplishments: Although the pandemic caused major disruptions in recent years, our Chamber took on a leading role in the response. On the public health side, we let members and their organisations know that we could source vaccines for them, and arrange appointments. We then looked after people that weren't even members of the British Chamber. In total, over 7200 people have been vaccinated through this programme. In fact, it is still running today as people go back for boosters.
On the professional side, we moved our activities online to keep members connected during COVID – and then brought back live events to help our community return to normalcy when the worst of the pandemic had passed.
This level of coordination and continuity has allowed our Chamber to advocate even more effectively on behalf of its members. To that end, we're building on our excellent relationship with the British Embassy and the Department for International Trade, in anticipation of a number of expected visits to Thailand over the coming months by Members of the British Government. Lobbying for better trade arrangements between Thailand and the UK is essential, and we have held 10 events in the past three years which featured the British Ambassador, British Embassy, or British Ministers.
We have also been involved in supporting the various Thai-UK Business Leadership Council (TUBLC) initiatives that help build strong business relationships between our two Kingdoms. TUBLC comprises senior business leaders from Thai and British companies. Its purpose is to look for creative ways to encourage Thai and British businesses to build new and innovative partnerships and encourage the governments of both countries to foster trade and investment in both markets.
In the same way, we have fostered an excellent relationship with the Thai Ambassador to London. Last year we acknowledged the retirement of Ambassador Pisanu and welcomed his successor Ambassador Thani. We are delighted to announce that Ambassador Pisanu has agreed to become an Honorary Advisor to the Chamber, now that he has returned to Thailand.
Our Chamber has likewise been actively involved in regular meetings with the British Embassy and DIT, various Thai Government Ministries, and the Thai Chambers of Commerce/Board of Trade. During 2022 we also Chaired the FCA, an organisation made up of the Australian, American, and German Chambers, often linking with the Japanese Chamber and the British Chambers of Commerce in the UK and elsewhere overseas. As we listen to the concerns and priorities of British businesses here in Thailand, these relationships let us meaningfully convey such issues to the relevant parties for consideration.
Throughout these initiatives, we continue to promote the activities of the Chamber as part of an active social media campaign. This is an important two-way communication channel with members, which also increases our visibility to the wider professional community.
Behind the scenes, I am once again pleased to report that the Executive, the Board, Honorary Advisors, Working Groups, and Regional Representatives have worked tirelessly to deliver on behalf of you, our members.
Managing the day-to-day activities and all our events at the Chamber, we have a fantastic Executive team led by Greg Watkins and comprising Rungjit Jarernponganarn, Jina Phenix, Wanthep Pattanatiensakul, Warunee Krisee, Pattama Panjanont, and Krit Pongpitak who has retired this year. I would like to express my personal thanks to each of these wonderful colleagues, as their commitment and drive lets the BCCT continue to punch above its weight.
Looking ahead to 2023, our aim is to continually improve our support for businesses of all types and sizes. We are increasing the number of colleagues in the executive team. This growth will enable us to establish stronger relationships with senior government officials and ministers, organise more events, and support our Working Groups more effectively.
In line with our constitution, a number of Board Directors will be standing down and may stand for re-election - Amanda Dennison, Khemika Ratanakul, Kieran Taylor, James Teague, Robin Spencer and Donna Moolman. I would like to thank them all for their service and commitment to the BCCT. I have also reached the end of my term, and feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve as Chair.
I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who would like to stand as a director, or become more involved with a Working Group, to please reach out to Greg Watkins for further information. Stepping forward to participate is a great way to network and support the BCCT.
To find out more about the Chamber, its events, or other related activities, please visit our website https://members.bccthai.com/ or email Greg Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage you to join our new LINE Group, at @bccthai
Please also encourage any British businesses that are not members to find out more about us, and what we can do to support them.
Thank you to all of our members for your ongoing support and involvement with the BCCT. We are a true members Chamber, seeking always to act in your best interest.
Chris Cracknell, Chairman 2021-2022