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Sunday, November 1, 2009

AustCham Thailand - Connecting Australia with Thailand

During the October visit Bangkok I decided to update contact with AustCham Thailand.

A brief email was dispensed, it was not long before an email came back to say hello from a fellow Sandgroper.  To my surprise the new Executive Director, Brett Gannaway is product of W.A. The connection triggered a volley of emails and a phone call.  Brett’s enthusiastic invitation was all I needed and a meeting was set.

The enthusiasm increased when Brett mentioned their office is on the BTS line. The BTS (skytrain) is an incredibly efficient "Train in the sky" (you'd say mono rail) in the heart of Bangkok. The BTS almost takes you to the door of their offices.

When you disembark at station Surasak make sure you check the correct exist (it’s a long walk back up and over). Look  over the side and spot the famous is “Blue Elephant” Restaurant, it’s feature is a Century old building and immediately behind is AustCham office in the Thai CC Tower.

The website picture of the Blue Elephant is a slight mystery; it's surrounded by blue sky whereas in reality it's shadowed by the 20+ storey building (Thai CC Tower).

We created a map link to AustCham on Thailand’s ever popular Longdo Map service – click here. To know more about the BTS skytrain system refer to our Travel Thailand website – click here

So, for about about 30 baht and 20 minutes to journey to BTS station Surasak (form BTS Asoke) then a very brief walk past the “Blue Elephant”, a fast elevator ride to the 20th floor to AustCham Thailand office.
On entry you will see a patriotic Green and Gold colour scheme which is complimented by a ever so polite Thai smile and welcome at reception.

Adjacent to reception is the Boardroom, apart from it’s comfortable fit out is a hi-tech coffee machine. I always notice these machines because I have issues with the 2 in our offices in W.A., anyway don’t say no to a cupa because the aroma will haunt you.

Pictured Right

Phill Smith AusWaThai with Brett Gannaway Executive Director AustCham Thailand

Brett arrived, wearing an 8ft tall and 3 foot wide chassis, I thought he was the captain of the all blacks but he assured me he is a W.A. product.

We worked the afternoon meeting running through the usual protocol, but ever so different because of the W.A. connection. It does remind me of the value of an association, be it Geographical or a membership/club.

A brief recital
The Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (AustCham Thailand) was the first Australian Chamber to be formed in the ASEAN region. It was established in 1977 with the charter to promote business relations between Australia and Thailand.

The Chamber acts as a contact and information point for Australian businesses in Thailand, Australian businesses wishing to trade with or invest in Thailand and similarly for Thai enterprises interested in doing business with or in Australia.

AustCham Thailand aims to provide quality and constructive input into the formulation of policies impacting on business (both by the Thai and Australian Governments), and their administration, and to contribute to the development of relations between the two countries. AustCham Thailand is a member of the Board of Trade of Thailand and its President is automatically a Director of the Board of Trade.

With over 30 years and over 400 member experiences to draw upon, AustCham Thailand has all of the resources and contacts any company needs to set up and do business in Thailand.

My observation
Company mission statement means a lot if it's lived by it’s people, the workers that represent the company.

I only met a few staff on arrival, however I met a few more later in day as they queued to bid farewell to Brett. Apart from the obviously politeness of the thai Culture the staff showed a culture and enthusiasm which flowed from the 1st contact with Brett. If this is culture of AustCham confirms what I hear about the Members monthly sundowners – "Charm" and the reason the Sundowner is a sellout.

AustCham Thailand offers significant Network opportunities into Thailand, it's a must do strategy for any Aussie genuine about entering the Thailand Business arena.

Dispel the myth:
1. Membership cost is not the rumoured 12,000 dollars it’s around 12,000 baht.
2. They DO have a close working relationship with the Aust Embassy and the Thai Government.

AustCham Focus
Promotion of business between Australia and Thailand
Representation and dialogue between AustCham,
Thai Government and other business groups
Providing a dynamic networking, social and sponsorship platform
Community Services

I hasten to repeat quotes from previous articles: Whatever you hear on the grapevine; Bar stool and comments by those that like to "thin kthey know"! PLEASE, if it’s important to you or your Business, visit the providers website or consult a Professional.

Now a word about Brett; a Dashing, Athletic, Brilliant, Charming, all round good guy (obvious W.A. features) he decided to go see the world when he was 21. When he was in transit in Thailand he kinda stayed or at least did not stay away for too long.

Over the past 15 years he worked for Thai and Chinese companies, self taught the language, got married (Thai) and started a family. He career path has included a variety of occupations facilitating contact with local and International custom predominately in the promotion and marketing Industry leading to his current position as Executive Director with AustCham Thailand.

I was so impressed by Brett’s energy and testament to the capacity of AustCham Thailand I have applied for membership and I recommend you do the same.

I look forward to meeting AustCham members in future trips.

AustCham Thailand office is conveniently located in the Thai CC Tower, 889 South Sathorn Road, Yannawa, Bangkok. This area is also home for The Australian Embassy.
The AustCham Sundowners are not members only however they do have priority. Entrance price is discounted for members, did I mention the value for money on the sundowner? Not only do you have the opportunity to benchmark and network with 200-400 people the food and beverages as 5 star never ending ... (say no more)

AusWaThai is an Independent Web service providing Links Between West Australia and Thailand for Community Travel and Business.

Our Business division is reviewing all Business Networking structures, visit us at, we care!

Other AustCham articles - click here
Our webpage about AustCham Thailand

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