CanCham News

  • More awards targeted for Four Points by Sheraton by Destination Group

    More awards targeted for Four Points by Sheraton by Destination Group

    March 20th, 2017

    Riding on the back of its successes in 2016 where the Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok was awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence and won the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards in four categories including: Best 4-Star Hotel, Concierge Excellence, Housekeeping Excellence, and Service Excellence (Accommodations), Destination Properties, a part of the Destination Group, has targeted new goals for this high potential property in 2017.

    Hotel exterior

    Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok  exterior

    “Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok targets 2017 as the year to drive major growth in its MICE business by leveraging the hotel’s unique location on Sukhumvit and in between Asoke and Nana, its strong corporate production, and capacity to host the most exciting array of F&B offerings of any hotel in Sukhumvit,” says Peter Nicholas Lucas, General Manager of the Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok.

    “The strong PR visibility of Four Points has enabled the hotel to become the ‘go to’ hotel and holds the majority of the city’s social and networking events including various Chambers of Commerce, sporting events and hobbyist group events,” the GM notes. “Examples of the last category would be our close cooperation with the Bangkok Salsa Latin community and Bangkok Full Metal Dojo.”

    In addition to its presence in the MICE industry, the hotel’s Irish pub – The Drunken Leprechaun, placed a respectable third in TripAdvisor’s ranking of Bangkok’s best pubs and bars in 2016. Given the venue’s potential to attract more guests, Destination Properties’ President Peter Lucas, adds that Destination Group’s aims for the Drunken Leprechaun, a brand owned by Destination Eats which is part of the new F&B arm of Destination Group, is to achieve the award for the capital’s top chain restaurant in 2017.

    With the team’s track record of winning regional awards over recent years, there is certainly more scope to expand and build upon the ongoing cooperation with many longstanding customers in the hotel’s complementary MICE and food and beverage businesses.

    About Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok

    The hotel is owned by Destination Properties, a part of the Destination Group. Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok is conveniently located in the heart of a residential and commercial enclave in Sukhumvit Soi 15, the Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok is a great value business hotel with MICE facilities, ideal for savvy travelers seeking a central location with easy access to business and entertainment venues.

    Pinwheel 2-resize

    The hotel features 268 rooms furnished with Four Points by Sheraton Comfort Beds, a well-designed spacious workspace with desk lamp, executive chair, a Plug & Play station and an easy view of the 32-inch LCD television. Complimentary internet, tea, coffee, and bottled water are also offered.

    Dining options include The Eatery which offers all day dining, the award-winning Irish pub The Drunken Leprechaun offering a selection of Best BrewsTM, or enjoy sunset snacks and cocktails at the rooftop pool venue amBar. A 24-hour in-room dining service is also available.

    Meeting and banquet facilities totaling 400 square meters are on the ground floor and rooftop levels, each with their own private courtyards and glass walls that bring in ample natural light. The venues collectively accommodate up to 120 people in meetings and 350 people for banquets.

    All meeting spaces offer Wi-Fi and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. A full-service Business Center is available to support guests’ business needs.

    Other facilities include a rooftop outdoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and free services at the Business Center. All public spaces have access to free internet services.

    The hotel is a few minutes walk from both Asoke Skytrain Station and Sukhumvit Subway Station, allowing easy access to much of Bangkok, one stop from the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre and two stops from the major shopping and entertainment districts.

    For find more about Four Points by Sheraton, visit www.fourpointsbangkoksukhumvit.com
    For further information and reservations: Tel: +66 2 309 3000
    Email: fbadmin.sukhumvit15@fourpoints.com

  • New law on interest overcharging

    New law on interest overcharging

    March 12th, 2017

    The first enactment of Thailand’s Interest Overcharging Law, which came into effect in 1932, prohibited any person from loaning money to another person and subsequently charging them interest at a rate that exceeded the rate prescribed by the law.

    2017_th_new law on interest overcharging 02
    Eighty-five years later, Thailand finally promulgated a new law focused on this topic called “The Act Prohibiting the Collection of Interest at an Excessive Rate B.E. 2560 (2017)” on January 15, 2017. The new law was made effective the following day, repealing the 1932 version.

    A key element of this new law is the enhanced stringent penalties imposed on any person who loans money to an individual and then levies interest on repayments at a rate exceeding that permitted by law. This action will result in the offender facing criminal sanctions amounting to imprisonment for no more than two years, a fine of not more than THB 200,000, or both. These penalties are significantly stricter than those meted out under the previous Act, which only imposed up to a one-year imprisonment term, a fine of not more than THB 1,000, or both.

    The enactment of this new legislation is aimed at preventing and suppressing loan shark debts and usury loan problems, whereby a lender charges the borrower unreasonably high interest rates. This mostly occurs between individual lenders and individual borrowers (i.e., an informal debt), which can later cause social and criminal problems within society.

    Apart from prohibiting the practice of overcharging interest, the legislation also deems that any act which has the intention of concealing such borrowing/loan activities, in any of the following ways, should also be subject to legal sanctions:
    • Interest overcharging;
    • Including any false statements concerning the loan amount, or other matters relating to evidence pertaining to loan evidence, or other negotiable instruments, in order to conceal interest overcharging actions; or
    • The lender prescribes to take or accept benefits other than the interest (whether in the form of money, property, or by any other means), which show that he/she will gain excessive benefits that are more than those typically accrued by the normal practice of a lender and an individual that borrows money.
    Nonetheless, it should be observed that the interest rates permitted by Thai laws can differ. For example, loans for consumption under the Civil and Commercial Code must not exceed 15 percent per year, while loans with commercial banks could be higher, as permitted by specific legislation, such as the Interest Rates for Loans from Financial Institutions Act B.E. 2523 (1980) and the BOT’s notification subject on interest, fees, surcharge for personal loan.

    If you have any questions about Thailand’s new law on interest overcharging,  contact bangkok@tilleke.com (www.tilleke.com).

  • New SEC regulations designed to protect investors

    New SEC regulations designed to protect investors

    March 11th, 2017

    Since the beginning of this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been actively reforming its regulations in response to the changing landscape and development of the country’s capital market.

    2017_th_new sec notifications

    On January 12, 2017, the SEC issued the Notification of the Securities and Exchange Commission Kor. Jor. 4/2560 on Determination of Definitions of Institutional Investors, Special High Net Worth Investors, and High Net Worth Investors. This notification revoked the Notification of the Securities and Exchange Commission Kor. Jor 9/2555, issued on July 9, 2012. The aim of the new Notification is to provide new definitions of investors that fall into the categories of Institutional, Special High Net Worth, and High Net Worth, and it is a main reference for any SEC Notifications that mention these key terms but do not include specific definitions.

    Moreover, the SEC promulgated the Notification of the Securities and Exchange Commission Kor. Thor. 1/2560 on Determination of Public Advising Which Is Not Classified as a Securities Business in the Category of Investment Advisory Services (as amended by Kor. Thor 8/2560). These Notifications revoke several Notifications in the same category and set out various scenarios that allow investment advisory services to be provided without triggering licensing requirements, such as providing advice exclusively to Thai institutional investors. In addition, the Notifications allow foreign securities firms to provide advice to Thai investors through Thai-licensed intermediaries if they are able to meet certain requirements prescribed in the Notifications.

    As Thailand’s capital market continues to mature, many new notifications from the SEC will continue to pursue the paramount goals of investor protection in tandem with the liberalization of the capital market. 

    If you have any questions about these notifications, please contact Cynthia M. Pornavalai at cynthia.p@tilleke.comor +66 2056 5559
    (www.tilleke.com).

  • Grant Thornton finds proportion of women leaders in Thailand continues to be in top three in Asia Pacific

    Grant Thornton finds proportion of women leaders in Thailand continues to be in top three in Asia Pacific

    March 11th, 2017

    On International Women’s Day, a report based on Grant Thornton’s annual survey of 5,500 businesses in 36 economies reveals that the proportion of senior business roles held by women in the Asia Pacific has risen from 23% in 2016 to 25% in 2017. This has been driven by improvements in emerging countries in the region, which saw the proportion of senior roles held by women rise from 26% in 2016 to 29% in 2017, while in developed countries the percentage remained static at 13%. However, the results of the survey also revealed that the percentage of businesses with no women in senior management across Asia Pacific has also risen, from 31% in 2016 to 35% in 2017.

    GT

    In Thailand, women hold 31% of senior roles in 2017 which is one of the top three countries in Asia Pacific after Indonesia (46%) and the Philippines (40%). This year the research also showed that 25% of businesses in Thailand have no women in senior management, up from 21% last year. The senior management role with the most females in Thailand is CEO (40%) and CFO (34%). Globally, the travel, tourism and leisure industry have the highest proportion of women in senior management (37%).

    Noel Ashpole, Partner at Grant Thornton in Thailand said “This year businesses across Asia Pacific have increased the proportion of senior roles held by women, however, further progress is needed. In particular, the increase in the percentage of businesses with no women in senior management is disappointing and there is a need for businesses to recognising the untapped potential that women can bring to a management team.”

    “Whilst Thailand continues to be in the top three countries with women in senior positions, however, the trend is decreasing indicating the need for a continued effort to support women in the workplace. These results indicate that we could end up facing the same problem as developed Asia Pacific countries which only has 13% women in leadership positions. The balance between motherhood and career is one of the biggest challenges for Thai women, since having a family is often a significant priority. As a result, many have to choose between having a family and having a successful and fulfilling career due to the lack in supporting infrastructure.”

    Globally, Grant Thornton’s data shows developing regions continue to lead the charge on diversity with developed economies lagging behind. Eastern Europe performs best, with 38% of senior roles held by women in 2017 and just 9% of businesses with no women in senior management. Meanwhile the MINT economies (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) saw the most improvement, with the proportion of senior roles held by women rising from 24% in 2016 to 28% in 2017 and the percentage of businesses with no women in senior management falling from 36% in 2016 to 27% in 2017.

    This is a significant contrast to the major economies of the G7, which have remained static at 22% of senior roles held by women and 39% of businesses with no women in senior management. Developed APAC was at the bottom of the table with just 13% of senior roles held by women and 54% of businesses with no women in senior management, the worst performance of any region on both measures.

    Noel commented “The data for major economies is discouraging. The reasons for this lack of progress are many and varied, and they depend on the culture of individual businesses and the broader culture of the country or region in which they sit. However, this year we encountered a concerning sense that the issue has plateaued, as companies perhaps assume the diversity challenge has been dealt with. The evidence tells us this is not the case.”

    “Companies today need to be more productive, more innovative and in many ways more open if they are to grow. Diversity will be key to their success. Those that remain closed are putting themselves at risk of not tapping in to their full potential, and losing access to diversity of thinking.”

    (Noel has over 25 years of experience in providing audit, internal audit and advisory services to local and international clients. She has worked with a variety of entities including multinationals, local listed and unlisted companies, branches and representative offices. Her industry experience principal includes financial institutions, insurance, banking and funds and manufacturing.)

    To read more GT publications/news releases, please visit www.grantthornton.co.th

  • Magician’s dinner with Lucca the Illusionist

    Magician’s dinner with Lucca the Illusionist

    March 11th, 2017
    Lucca, the Magician

    Lucca, the Magician

    A magical evening will take place at Biscotti on 20 March 2017. Presenting another exclusive event in the calendar, Anantara Siam Bangkok brings world-renowned illusionist Lucca to Biscotti for one night only.

    This exclusive event will run from 6.00 pm – 10.00 pm. A carefully-prepared four course meal will showcase the fine Italian fare Biscotti is celebrated for, and a delectable wine pairing option will enhance each dish.

    The Art of Illusion

    Lucca is a highly creative magician and member of the Vienna Magic Circle since 1999. A skilled illusionist and speaker, he offers a captivating show that connects with the audience. Having performed world-wide with a number of prestigious magic awards to his name, Lucca is excited to host this evening at Anantara Siam Bangkok.

    The meal begins with Herb Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna accompanied by white asparagus and marinated capsicum. Diners can savour specially-created delights such as Mushroom Cappuccino with Parsley foam and Pan-Seared Salmon wrapped with Zucchini and Pancetta. Exquisite wine pairings include a 2006 Barolo Riserva from Piedmont, along with other vintages to complement each dish.

    Thin Slices of Herb Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna

    Thin Slices of Herb Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna

    A Fascinating Evening

    Guests can rediscover amazement and be thoroughly enthralled by this consummate entertainer whilst enjoying the finest Italian wine and food.

    The exclusive evening is priced at THB 1,900++ per person for the set menu and show, whilst the food, wine pairing and show is available at THB 3,400++ per person.

    For more information or reservations please call +66 (0) 2 126 8866 Ext. Biscotti or email: biscotti.asia@anantara.com

  • An evening with award-winning Sommelier Luca Martini

    An evening with award-winning Sommelier Luca Martini

    March 11th, 2017
    Luca Martini

    Luca Martini

    Embrace bouquets from across Europe recommended by award-winning Sommelier, Luca Martini. On Friday 31 March 2017, an exclusive wine dinner will take place at the Anantara Siam Bangkok’s Biscotti restaurant, showcasing the talents of the Best Sommelier in the World 2013.

    Six courses of authentic Italian food will entice diners on this celebratory evening with notes from Luca Martini. Feast on confit Langoustines accompanied by a fine Ronco della Mele Sauvignon Blanc. Follow the footsteps of Luca Martini through Europe as exquisite morsels tantalise the tastebuds.

    Delightful Bouquets

    Luca Martini has experience from the world’s finest restaurants and cellars. Offering his intimate knowledge of food and wine,  guests can enjoy the nuance of fine flavours complemented by fragrant top notes. Diverse vineyards bring a multitude of flavours to this wonderful event.

    This elegant event begins at 6.00 pm on Friday 31 March with a sumptuous Yellow Tail Tuna Carpaccio accompanied by a Ferrari Perle’ Brut 2008. Dine on mouthwatering dishes complemented by Luca’s solid recommendations to enhance each morsel.

    Yellow Tail Tuna Carpaccio.

    Yellow Tail Tuna Carpaccio

    Exclusive Vintages

    Each specially chosen wine will be paired with premium meat and seafood creations prepared on the evening by the talented Biscotti Chefs. Taste Braised Veal Shank Raviolo and Charcoal grilled Australian Lamb loin, with the top notes of I Sodi di San Niccolo as recommended by Luca.

    Toast to a wonderful evening at this special event in the award-winning Biscotti restaurant, from 18.00 – 22.30 hrs at THB 4,900++ per person.

    As there are limited spaces for this event, please book early to avoid disappointment.
    To reserve your table, please call +66 (0) 2126 8866 Ext. Biscotti
    or email: biscotti.asia@anantara.com

  • Magners International Comedy Festival

    Magners International Comedy Festival

    March 11th, 2017

    BUY 3 GET 1 FREE ON COMEDY CLUB BANGKOK SHOWS TILL MARCH 14TH!

    Comedy lovers, after The Comedy Club Bangkok’s countless great shows, including Jimmy Carr and Eddie Izzard, ‘The Magners International Comedy Festival’, the largest comedy festival in Asia is returning to Thailand!

    This year the festival is not only in Bangkok, but also Hua Hin, Phuket and Pattaya. For Bangkok there are two venues, Altitude at the top of The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, and of course The Comedy Club Bangkok.

    The carefully-selected comics who are all absolutely world class include a dozen top international comedians including favourites from last year, Frankie Boyle opener MARTIN MOR, along with Joan River’s favourite LARS CALLIEOU and MATTHEW GIFFEN from BBC’s ‘The Fear’. From Russell Howard’s ‘Good News’ DANA ALEXANDER, one of NZ’s finest exports ANDRE KING, the founder of East India Comedy SORBAH PANT, Canadian comedy award 2016 winner BRIAN AYLWARD and many, many more!

    Magners

    TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT bit.ly/COMEDYFEST2017, The Royal Oak Pub and The Westin Grande Sukhumvit!

    Bangkok shows as below; all shows have at least 3 comedians performing!

    Thursday 23rd March – 8pm, Altitude @ The Westin Grande Sukhumvit we have our GALA OPENING SHOW with MARTIN MOR(NIR), MATTHEW GIFFEN(UK), KELLY TAYLOR(CAN), TRISTAN BOTLY(UK),DANA ALEXANDER(CAN), and JUSTIN RIVERA(CAN/PHL).

    Thursday 23rd March – 830pm, @ The Comedy Club Bangkok we have INDIAN SUPERSTARS with East India comedians, SORBAH PANT(IND) AND AZEEM BANATWALLA(IND), along with Big V winner 2016 SIOUXNANDA(IND)!

    Friday 24th March – 7pm, @ The Comedy Club Bangkok we have ALL-STAR STAND-UP with MATTHEW GIFFEN(UK), LARS CALLIEOU(CAN), JUSTIN RIVERA(CAN/PHL) and ANDRE KING(NZ).

    Friday 24th March – 930pm, @ The Comedy Club Bangkok we have INDIAN SUPERSTARS with East India comedians, SORBAH PANT(IND) AND AZEEM BANATWALLA(IND), along with Big V winner 2016 SIOUXNANDA(IND)!

    Saturday 25th March – 7pm, @ The Comedy Club Bangkok we have FOUR IN A ROW with DANA ALEXANDER(CAN), MATTHEW GIFFEN(UK), KELLY TAYLOR(CAN) and JUSTIN RIVERA(CAN/PHL).

    Saturday 25th March – 7pm, @ The Comedy Club Bangkok we have our final LATE NIGHT show, with a Kiwi special in the shape of one NZ’s finest exports ANDRE KING(NZ)! Joined by special guests including MATTHEW GIFFEN(UK)!

  • Canadians Perform Hockey Diplomacy on British Club Soil in Bangkok

    Canadians Perform Hockey Diplomacy on British Club Soil in Bangkok

    March 4th, 2017

    By Rockefeller St. Bernard

    When a Quebec Nordiques fan (and native Quebecer) stood in front of over a hundred (mostly) hockey players to auction off an Eric Lindros Philadelphia Flyers jersey, I knew the 23rd Annual Mekong Cup ball hockey tournament at the British Club had found its theme: samakee! (Thai for “unity.”) Some may not know the Nordiques nor Lindros. I won’t dwell too much on that story (a Google search will get you all you want) other than to say, there is lingering pain in that hockey past. Rejection and abandonment; anger and frustration; yes, that’s a part of sports. And when it comes to hockey (indeed, all sports), some things – controversial or not – just hang around for a while. Well, what was hovering over the British Club from dawn until way after dusk on February 18th, 2017 was not only hockey history, but hockey healing as well. Yves Gaboriault, a man of many talents – legendary French-Canadian goaltender, Bangkok based friend to all, highly experienced business consultant – put together a Mekong Cup that attendees will not soon forget.

    The champion Thai Stix squad.

    The champion Thai Stix squad.

    Competition is a funny thing. It brings out the best and the not-so-best in us. But, ultimately, we hope there is camaraderie in competition. Canadians are of course proud of their hockey roots. Fortunately, we have plenty of camaraderie in our celebration – as the Americans, Brits, Finns, Russians, Czechs, Swedes, Australians, Singaporeans, Hong Kongers, Japanese, Bhutanese, Iranians, and Thais (to name a few) at this year’s Mekong Cup can attest. I have personally witnessed the growth of the Mekong Cup. Seen the nurturing of its humble beginnings. A tournament that started because a hockey-loving-homesick-for-the-Stanley-Cup-or-any-cup-expat named Richard Meiklejohn faxed (whatever that is), another Canadian in Kuala Lumpur and said, “No ice, let’s play some street hockey in Phuket.” Three faxes (so, the paper comes out of a machine…or…?) and the Mekong Cup was born; every year since that day Phuket has played host – featuring teams from not only Asia, but occasionally Europe and the Canadian hinterland as well. When John Stevens, Bangkok hockey uber-legend, led the construction of Thailand’s first purpose-built ball hockey court at the British Club (making Bangkok the only British Club in the world with a true ball hockey court), the Mekong Cup had to eventually find its way to the Chaopraya. And so, 2017, the stage was set to make history, celebrate history, and prepare for future history: welcome to Bangkok. The stars had aligned…something unique was about to happen.

    Hootsuite, the global social media powerhouse, a Canadian company that knows exactly how to assess a great story, came onboard as the Mekong Cup’s sponsor. The world is indeed round, and who best to be Hootsuite’s Asia ambassador than the Mekong Cup’s original founder. Yup, Richard Meiklejohn returned to lead both the Hootsuite Team and the free beer for all players (Canadians apparently love beer with their hockey). The man who once faxed (is that even a word?) people to play his favourite game, was now making magic with a smartphone; the results of which also included several other original Mekong Cuppers – including Hall of Famer, John Casella, the tournament’s head referee and keeper of general Bangkok hockey order.

    The older, yet very competitive Wood Stix.

    The older, yet very competitive Wood Stix.

    The first ball dropped early on Saturday morning and the games were, as expected, intense. Six teams, two from Thailand (young players with smartphones and old guys with wood sticks), Hong Kong, Singapore, Chiang Mai and Hootsuite, a team so ahead of its time, some of their players actually weren’t even in Bangkok; participating instead as Facebook holograms, an ingenious player strategy fitting of both the Mekong Cup’s emergence into the 21st Century and Hootsuite’s ability to make social media hockey magic happen. When the Hootsuite Owls defeated the Highlanders of Chiang Mai in one of the tournaments best games, we knew hockey was starting to enter into the truly transformational (cue Winnipeggers shouting, “See, we told you so!”). There it was, at the game’s final buzzer, the first Eric Lindros jersey sighting: number 88 levitating in black, orange and white next to the paid-for-by-Hootsuite-thank-you-very-much free beer. With hockey’s mysticism growing in the back of the British Club, the crowd had gathered for the two semi-finals. The Thai Stix (a team as old as the tournament itself – except with players who were barely born when the first tournament fax (maybe it’s two ‘x’s’) was sent vs. Singapore’s feisty Chili Crabs. The young Stix came out victorious to face the winner of the Bangkok Wood Stix (captained by an older-than-Jaromir-Jagr-Kelly-Cailes) vs. the always hard charging Hong Kong Islanders, winner of several Mekong Cups. A physical battle ensued (all players comforted by the fact that a professional Bangkok Nursing Hospital (BNH) nurse was in attendance throughout the day), the Islanders stood tall…the final was set. Skill, speed, intensity. Free beer flowing, crowd cheering, back and forth the score line, everything tied up until the tournament’s MVP, Canadian Marcel Bouwens snuck one in from a sharp angle and the seconds wound tensely down until the very impressive Thai Stix came out deserving champions. Quoting captain fantastic, Devin Keer (standing next to a Scotty Murray hologram), “It wouldn’t be right for us to lose the Mekong on the Chaopraya.”

    An exciting tournament’s end, an evening’s darkness, a big spread of delicious British Club food…players, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, children and the curious at their tables on a tropical club lawn. How would this tournament wrap-up? Samakee, of course! Eric Lindros, you are welcome to come to Bangkok to drop the opening ball next year (and please bring Rod Gilbert). The Land of Smiles is home to not only forgiving, kind Quebec Nordiques fans, but a whole bunch of others (including a very generous Thai-Canadian who successfully bid on your jersey at the charity auction), hockey loving faithful who, through a decades old tournament in Thailand, have managed to celebrate history, make peace with the past, and prepare us all for a great hockey future. Samakee!

  • Brexit: the vision, the process and the impact

    Brexit: the vision, the process and the impact

    February 13th, 2017

    Following the UK prime minister’s speech to parliament and the verdict of the supreme court, we have a clearer understanding of the UK government’s vision outside the European Union. Here’s more on the vision, what happens next and what it means for UK businesses.

    What we know following Theresa May’s Brexit speech
    The UK prime minister’s speech set out the Government’s 12-point plan. Here are the six key takeaways:

    1.The UK will control immigration from the EU
    The prime minister confirmed that Brexit will see the end of free movement between the EU and the UK.

    2. The jurisdiction of the ECJ in the UK will end
    “We will take back control of our laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain”.

    3. The UK will leave the EU single market
    The government has made clear that its approach to immigration and the supremacy of UK courts rule out our future membership of the single market. Whilst not seeking membership of the single market, the UK is prepared to make an “appropriate contribution” to gain preferential access to it.

    4. The UK will leave the EU Customs Union
    In seeking to secure independent trade deals around the world, the PM made it clear that the UK will want to set its own tariffs for goods and services from non-EU countries. This rules out full membership of the EU Customs Union (which creates common external tariffs as well as tariff free borders within the union).

    5. Regulations will remain the same at the point of Brexit; employment laws will be maintained
    The Great Repeal Bill announced last year will ensure EU legislation is transferred into UK law. Theresa May reaffirmed that this would not lead to a reduction in worker’s rights, stating instead that they would be “enhanced” (referring to proposals to give workers a voice on FTSE 350 boards).

    6. Default position is WTO
    The statement that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, suggests the prime minister is willing to walk away from the negotiations empty handed. This would mean the UK would have to trade with the EU under WTO conditions.

    Andrew McBean, Partner at Grant Thornton in Thailand, commented, “It is clearly quite hard to predict the timing and impact of Brexit given the current geopolitical jostling between Europe, the UK and now the US. Will Europe be ‘soft’ on the UK to keep it ‘close to the fold’; or will it be ‘hard’ to ensure others in the current EU know what might happen to them should they have the same urge? The effect of Brexit on Thailand will likely not have much downside but could indeed have some upside. Britain is keen on stronger bilateral trade agreements with countries around the world and there is no reason to suggest that Thailand would not be quite high up that list. Behind the scenes UK government ministers are quite keen on a more practical relationship with Thailand but have so far been held back by a more hardline approach from the EU in working with a military government. “Brand UK” in Thailand is quite strong and so the chances of strengthening trade ties in the future between the UK and Thailand would seem likely.” (Andrew is a specialist on ASEAN economics. He has delivered many workshops on the subject of “AEC: Myths and Reality” and is also a sought-after speaker on the subject of opportunities which will be brought to Thailand by the impact of world events.)

    GT

  • Prudential reveals Thailand’s 2016 Prudential Relationship Index

    Prudential reveals Thailand’s 2016 Prudential Relationship Index

    February 8th, 2017

    Prudential Life Assurance (Thailand), one of the leading insurance brands in Asia serving customers in Thailand for 22 years, reveals the result of the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index (PRI) . The purpose of the PRI is to develop a better understanding of personal relationships between people in Thailand and in other countries in Asia. Thailand scores favourably overall, ranking 5th out of 10 participating countries in the region. Thailand’s Prudential Relationship Index satisfaction score is 71/100, considered as a high level of relationship satisfaction (Vietnam scores highest with an index of 83/100). Further, the results also reflect many ideas on how to improve or strengthen people’s primary relationships with partners, family, friends and colleagues.

    The relationship survey shows surprising results related to digital life issues. Thai couples have the highest frequency of arguments, and addiction to computers or smartphones has become one of the most common causes of arguments between couples. Besides financial issues, drinking and smoking, Thais indicate their partner spends too much time with high-tech devices rather than partaking in involving activities together.

    A supporting culture is widely found among Thais from the survey, especially between parents and their children. Thai parents are the most generous in Asia in terms of giving gifts to their children. Most Thais place a very strong importance on their parents, ranking 2nd in Asia. Somewhat paradoxically, Thai people report that they have the most arguments with parents, more than any other people in the region. Relationships with friends are another aspect of life that Thais give precedence to, ranking 3rd in the region for this category.

    Key speakers and organizers of the event

    Key speakers and organizers of the event.

    Mr. Arthur J. Belfer, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Life Assurance (Thailand) Public Company Limited, says that study of the Prudential Relationship Index shows us the relationship status in many aspects of Thai life and between Thai people, and clearly, Thais place an importance on all of their relationship aspects.

    “Relationships are at the heart of our business. We know our customers buy our products to protect the people and relationships they care most about. In addition to standing beside Thais to support their relationships from generation to generation, Prudential also believes that having a better understanding of their relationships, including both positive and negative factors, can allow people to improve their relationships and generate more personal relationship satisfaction in life.”

    “The findings from the research are cause for both celebration and concern. We celebrate the fact that people in Thailand have high scores on their relationship satisfaction compared to other countries in Asia. However, the PRI indicated a growing concern among people in relationships regarding a gap that exists between couples because of the excessive use of digital devices. The study is therefore important because it highlights areas in which couples can make improvements and enjoy better and deeper relationships. People should use devices wisely, and prevent themselves from spending too much time that may adversely affect their relationship. Placing more importance and allocating more time to people you love will provide more opportunities to make a life filled with laughter and joy,” Mr. Arthur J. Belfer adds.

    Relationship Survey in Thailand
    Highlights
    • Thailand ranks 5th out of 10 Asian countries in overall relationship fulfillment
    • Thais have the highest proportion in Asia experience couples’ arguments, and one of the most likely sources of angst between couples is spending too much time on the computer or smartphone
    • Parents in Thailand are the most generous in the region with the highest frequency of giving gifts to their children
    • Thais ranks 2nd in Asia for relationship satisfaction with their parents, but also 1st for reporting arguments with their parents
    • Thais value relationships with friends very highly, ranking 3rd in Asia

    Partners
    Highest number of arguments in Asia due to smartphone addiction
    The 2016 Prudential Relationship Index indicates Thais represent the highest proportion in the region in terms of experiencing upset or dissatisfaction with their partners. In fact, 37% said their partners make them upset weekly. Every week, 28% also seriously consider leaving their partners. The most likely sources of arguments between couples are money (45%), drinking and smoking (35%), and too much time on the computer or phone (32%).

    Mr. Arthur J. Belfer, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Life Assurance (Thailand) Public Company Limited.

    Mr. Arthur J. Belfer, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Life Assurance (Thailand) Public Company Limited.

    Getting along well is the most important factor in a good relationship
    Thai couples said they mostly appreciate partners who are easy to get along with (77%) as the most important factor for a good relationship. Other qualities include making each other laugh and smile (75%), and willing to do things spontaneously for them (73%).

    Parents and Children
    Thai parents are satisfied with the relationships they have with their children
    Thais have strong relationships with their children (51/100). Thai parents mostly want to enjoy companionship and interaction with their children (68%), while 61% said it matters being made to laugh or smile by their kids, another important element in parental relationships.

    The most generous parents in Asia
    Thai parents are most generous with their children – 76% give their children a nice surprise at least once a week and 43% give them a gift every day. This counts as the highest reported frequency in Asia.

    Children and aged parents
    Parents are the 1st priority. People stay with parents even after marriage
    Thai people feel satisfied about their relationship with their parents, scoring 54/100 on average. This is the second highest score for parental relationships in the region, with only those in Cambodia having a higher score. Also, 50% of married people in Thailand still live with their own parents or their spouses’ parents. They are the most likely in the region to argue with their parents, with 22% of them doing so every week.

    Thais put a lot of value on having parents being supportive
    The study showed 73% of adult Thais think it’s important that their parents stand up for them. They also feel that they can rely on their parents; 78% believe that their parents would provide help for them in emergencies. These are the highest PRI scores in the region.

    Panel Discussion.

    Panel Discussion.

    Friends and Colleagues
    Let’s have fun!
    Overall, Thais have a relationship score of 46/100 among friends – the third highest score in the region behind the Philippines and Vietnam. Laughter and smiling is highly important in relationships with friends. More than two-thirds (68%) of Thai adults think it’s important that friends make each other laugh or smile.

    Finances and Relationships
    Emergency support
    Thais are highly likely to have a system of mutual support in case of emergencies, particularly within families. The majority of those surveyed in Thailand feel that they can rely on their parents (78%), relatives (66%), or friends (62%).

    Thais do not only support each other in emergencies – there is substantial mutual financial support day-to-day. Thais are the most likely to give and receive financial support from parents. 79% provide some form of financial support to their parents; 51% say they receive financial support from them. There is also financial inter-dependence within couples, where 73% of men say they provide financial support to their spouses, considered more than women who support their men.

    Technology and Relationships
    More Thais are prepared to forego technology to improve their relationships!
    Amid the stress of modern life, the digital revolution has impacted relationships in Thailand, where partners and parents often compete with smartphones for love and attention. For instance, over half (51%) said that their partners sometimes prefer using their phones to being intimate with them. Also, 42% of parents think that their children spend too much time on their computers.

    With the addiction to always-on tech, many actually said they are prepared to forego technology, with 93% of people saying they would consider giving up technology for one day so that they can improve their relationships.

    “Besides being distracted by technology that affects relationships, another interesting point is that Thai people likely provide financial support to each other in emergencies, especially in receiving support from parents. I would take up on this point to emphasize the importance of financial preparation for all circumstances in life, so that financial issues do not damage your relationships. Certainly, buying insurance is one of the best options for you to plan and nurture your sustainable relationships very well,” Mr. Arthur J. Belfer concludes.

    DJ AUN addresses the participants at the press conference.

    DJ Aun addresses the participants at the press conference.

    ABOUT the 2016 Prudential Relationship Index
    The Prudential Relationship Index was developed to understand the state of personal relationships in Asia. Given the vital importance of relationships to people’s happiness, wellbeing and longevity, the Prudential Relationship Index offers deep understanding and insight into relationships: how to make them stronger, better and more rewarding. More than 5,000 interviews were conducted in 10 countries and territories in Asia. These included Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Interviews were conducted between 13 and 31 July 2016 with adults between 25 and 55 years of age. In Thailand, 500 interviews were conducted online with a representative sample of adults covering Greater Bangkok. Respondents are residents representing the top two-thirds of household income in Bangkok.

    ABOUT Prudential
    Prudential Life Assurance (Thailand) opened its door for business in Thailand in 1995. As one of the leading insurance brands in Asia serving in Thailand for 20 years, Prudential’s range of products and services offers confidence and security. Prudential’s operating policy is aimed at responding to customers’ needs and delivering superb financial services. Prudential’s International Business Model is positioned to provide products and services that meet our customers’ savings and protection needs, and to bring financial security to the Thai people.

    For more information on the Prudential Relationship Index in Thai and English versions, “That’s Me” Relationship Video Clip in Thai version, Please visit:
    1. Prudential Corporate Website www.prudential.co.th
    2. Prudential Relationship Index Microsite: www.prudentialrelationshipindex.com/th/

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