British Chamber of Commerce Thailand celebrates 70th anniversary
Thai-UK 2016 was a 4-day celebration of Thai-UK friendship and successful business partnership that took place from 7th to 10th September at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre. Thai-UK 2016 also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT).
Thai-UK 2016 is the third such celebration. The first took place in 1996 at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel and Amarin Plaza and coincided with the State Visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to Thailand. The second was the first collaboration with Bangkok Exhibition Services with co-location next to the well-established Food & Hotel exhibition at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in the heart of Bangkok.
All the major British investors and brands in key sectors in Thailand were represented at more than 30 corporate booths in Thai-UK 2016. In addition, there were some British iconic attractions:
– A classic original London Routemaster bus from the Technik museum in Nakhon Pathom
– Vintage Rolls-Royce Corniche, Austin Healey and E-Type Jaguar cars
– New cars and motorcycles from Jaguar/Land Rover, MG and Triumph
There was a pictorial display, with dual language commentary, of the History of UK-Thai relations from the very first trade contact more than 400 years ago; the 1996 State Visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II to Thailand; and a BCCT’s first 70 years.
Founded in 1946, BCCT is the oldest and one of the largest foreign chambers in Thailand. BCCT is also the oldest and largest British Chamber in Asia, in terms of corporate membership.
At its inception there were 20 founding British members including several companies represented at Thai-UK 2016. There are now more than 600 corporate members with close to 3,000 representatives. Just as the UK is an open trading economy, membership of the BCCT is open to companies of all nationalities and sizes.
In 1996 BCCT organised 35 events. Last year a dedicated events team of three organised more than 130 events. Thai-UK 2016, The Life and Style Garden Party at the British Embassy, Taste of Britain 2016 with Tops, the Annual Christmas Luncheon and our new International Business Awards with Big Chilli are BCCT’s five major events this year.
Eastern Seaboard activity began with the formation of a sub-committee in October 1997 under the Chairmanship of Graham MacDonald. Nearly 20 years on, Graham, Jim Howard, David Nardone, Peter Malhotra and Greg Watkins regularly attend Eastern Seaboard events to this day. There are now monthly multi-chamber business networking evenings and occasional briefing sessions. Approximately 10% of BCCT membership is either based on the Eastern Seaboard or has significant business there.