Joint chambers networking evening proves a popular concept

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Hemaraj sponsored social event held at the Hilton is a class of its own

The AmCham-AustCham-BCCT Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening was held at the spacious 17th floor lounge of the Hilton Pattaya on March 16.

The idea of having joint chambers networking events seems to be the norm recently and we found out the reason for this from David Cummin, director of BCCT and chairman of the Eastern Seaboard BCCT Group. He said, “Early this year heads of the various chambers got together and decided to organize joint events, because we thought that instead of holding individual events, sometimes the dates even clashing, it would be better to have one together where there would be a large turnout to make it worthwhile.

Tony Malhotra, Deputy Managing Director Pattaya Mail Publishing Co., Ltd., chats with Craig Muldoon Senior Consultant PFS international.Tony Malhotra, Deputy Managing Director Pattaya Mail Publishing Co., Ltd., chats with Craig Muldoon Senior Consultant PFS international.

“This evening there are more than a 100 people from the 3 chambers ensuring better organization and effective networking in a pleasant atmosphere thus lifting the profile of all concerned.

“We are actually thinking of holding an ‘All Chambers’ networking sometime soon, whereby the Germans, French, Irish and the New Zealanders could also join in. That would be a grand affair with attendance of at least 200 people.”

Joe Cox, Dence International Security Services poses for a photo with John Hamilton, director of WMS Waste Management Siam Ltd. Joe Cox, Dence International Security Services poses for a photo with John Hamilton, director of WMS Waste Management Siam Ltd.

Sponsor for the evening, David Nardone, president and CEO of Hemaraj Land and Development PCL spoke on a more serious note of the future of industry in Thailand.

David introduced his company saying, “Hemaraj develops and operates six industrial estates, located mostly on the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand, covering 31,350 rai or 13,000 acres. Our 475 distinct customers including 167 automotive with 717 land or factory contracts have invested more than US$22 billion. They employ over 80,000 people, thus contributing directly to the industrial strength of Thailand.

David R. Nardone, president & CEO of Hemaraj Land and Development PCL, with Anthony Nafte, senior economist of CLSA Limited.David R. Nardone, president & CEO of Hemaraj Land and Development PCL, with Anthony Nafte, senior economist of CLSA Limited.

“The investment climate in Thailand is very strong. In 2011 even after the interruption caused by the floods, it has continued to be strong. We see a large influx Japanese investment. The Asia Pacific region is a growth market and people want to be a part of that. We have seen a strong continuation for the last six months.”

Bruce Hoppe, vice president Materials & Quality of Emerson Electric (Thailand) Ltd with Judy Benn, executive director of The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.Bruce Hoppe, vice president Materials & Quality of Emerson Electric (Thailand) Ltd with Judy Benn, executive director of The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

Asked whether he thought the Japanese companies who were affected by the floods in the north of Bangkok would move to the Eastern Seaboard area, David said, “Maybe a little bit of that, but this isn’t really the core part of the business, it’s the fundamental choice of whether they want to be in Thailand. They have high costs and currency problems in Japan and they want to participate in the growth markets, which is right here.

(l-r) Peter Malhotra, MD Pattaya Mail, Nattanicha Benjabut, Joe Barker-Bennett, Terry Adams, Rod Baltzley, Peta Ruiter and Sunday Dhaninrat.(l-r) Peter Malhotra, MD Pattaya Mail, Nattanicha Benjabut, Joe Barker-Bennett, Terry Adams, Rod Baltzley, Peta Ruiter and Sunday Dhaninrat.

“The automotive market has always been based in the Eastern Seaboard, we have 250 automotive factories and we will see a continued increase in 2012.

“Confidence in Thailand is strong. Thailand has the benefit of the free trades agreements with many countries in the region and Thailand is a strong production base … we will see a lot more investments here. We expect a big influx of companies relocating their factories to Thailand this year. 2012 will be a very good year.”

Graham Macdonald, CEO of MBMG, Simon Matthews, country manager Thailand of  Manpower (Thailand ) with David Cumming, GM of Amari Orchid Resort & Tower and Head of the BCCT Eastern Seaboard Group.Graham Macdonald, CEO of MBMG, Simon Matthews, country manager Thailand of  Manpower (Thailand ) with David Cumming, GM of Amari Orchid Resort & Tower and Head of the BCCT Eastern Seaboard Group.

Looking around the room at the happy people of many nationalities from the various chambers, mingling and introducing themselves and their businesses to each other, it was obvious that the joint chambers networking concept is catching on and will be the business events to look forward to every month.

Ken Brookes, KA Shin Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd with Jean-Jacques Despert, industrial projects development manager of Geodis Wilson Thai Ltd.Ken Brookes, KA Shin Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd with Jean-Jacques Despert, industrial projects development manager of Geodis Wilson Thai Ltd.

Members of the 3 chambers of commerce in Thailand mingled with each other creating an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation.Members of the 3 chambers of commerce in Thailand mingled with each other creating an atmosphere of friendship and cooperation.