The final networking this year for the combined Chambers of Commerce celebrated in the Amari grounds was a rather subdued ending for the 2016 networkers. Without the usual fireworks there was nothing to go Ooh Aah over so the networkers applied themselves to the beer and wines supplied by the host chamber, the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT).
Organized by the BCCT in cooperation with AMCHAM, AustCham, Belu-Thai, EABC, GTCC, NTCC, SATCC and STCC, the principal sponsors were Allied Pickfords, Regents International School Pattaya, Securitas and Amari Pattaya.
Waving the Union Jack were BCCT Chairman Simon Matthews (in a red floral shirt obviously left over from Songkran), Chris Thatcher, Vice Chairman of BCCT, and Greg Watkins, Executive Director of the BCCT.
South Africa was well represented with Graham Macdonald MBE, chairman of the SATCC, Allan Riddell, consultant to the board at SATCC, and Pasit Foobunma, director and web master at SATCC.
The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) was represented by the CEO of Hemaraj, David Nardone, and the Executive Director Judy Benn.
Rob Scarr represented Securitas, saying that they have had good expansion in the past couple of years. That sentiment was not shared by everyone, other than the optimists in the chambers.
Peter (AA Insurance Brokers) and Nam Smith took a break from planting rice in Isaan (I don’t know what else there is for them to do in the sticks) but were seen talking to Jack Levy and Noi Sripradwithaya from Macallan insurances.
The hoteliers included Kate Gerits and Daniel from the Holiday Inn who said that the occupancy rates weren’t too bad, but, “Say we’re enjoying 98 percent,” said Kate with a wide grin. Dmitry Chernyshev ([email protected]) also expressed a cautious slow return by the Russian market. David Cumming (Onyx) and Rob Rijnders (Amari) were reasonably happy.
Conveyor Tech Director Ian Sherratt was seen talking to Gerhard Hein who could clean his conveyors, while legal advisor Peter Mewes had come over from Cambodia to represent HBS Law and clean up all the legal questions.
Through all of the networkers strolled Shaun Venter, the Amari executive chef, weighing up his turkeys.
At the end I did get a calendar from Allied Pickfords and a wonderful exploding umbrella from the BCCT themselves, so while there was very little to be ecstatic about, at least I had a brolly if there are dreary days in 2017.
The first Combined Chambers Networking in 2017 will be organized by the South African Chamber and I believe will be held in the Amari Orchid grounds again.