On Friday, 30th October, H.E. Mark Kent returned to the Eastern Seaboard to give his latest update on what has being going on from the British point of view here in Thailand. During his speech Ambassador Mark Kent shared his thoughts on the UK-Thai relationship and also provided an update on the Consular, Trade & Investment, Visa and Economic priorities of the British Embassy.
The event, sponsored by Regents International School Pattaya, BMW Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd., and Savills Thailand, had many of the usual BCCT stalwarts attend at the Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa to hear his comments – these included Jimmy Howard from SOS Group, Clive Butcher, Mark Bowling from Savills and Chairman of the BCCT on the Eastern Seaboard. Also, in attendance were Simon Matthews of Manpower and Carl Sellick from Lucy Electric.
British Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Mark Kent, was guest speaker at the BCCT Eastern Seaboard Dinner with the British Ambassador held on Friday 30 November at Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa. Pictured from left are MBMG Managing Director Graham MacDonald, Regent International School Pattaya Principle Iain Blaikie, British Ambassador H.E. Mark Kent, BCCT ESB Chairman Mark Bowling, Savills CEO Robert Collins and BMW Manufacturing CEO Jeffrey Gaudiano.
The BCCT is also to be congratulated for allowing the Royal British Legion Thailand set up a stall for the evening which let attendees buy various items so their donations could go to the Poppy Day Appeal.
Mark reiterated the strength in relations between the UK and Thailand and emphasized that as the latter was the second biggest economy in ASEAN, close relations had to be maintained. He reiterated how good the British education system was and that Thailand was 9th in the list of international students who attended an educational establishment in the UK.
Another important item that both the Embassy and the BCCT was doing was uniting in trying to get more British companies to invest in Thailand. By combining the talents of both entities in what is called the Overseas Business Network Initiative it has been seen that they complement each other very well. These efforts have been recognized in London, and Thailand is now seen as an example for the rest of the world to follow. The ambassador formally thanked the chamber for all its help.
Mark also thanked Bert Elson for all his help with the consular activities he has to carry out in Pattaya. As there are over one million British tourists who come to Thailand every year, and Pattaya is one of the major destinations for them, it is well known that Bert is anything but idle. In fact, Thailand is second in the world for dealing with the amount of consular cases per annum. The embassy is very lucky to have him as he combines his role of consul with that of Secretary of the Royal British Legion Thailand. Many servicemen come here for holidays or to retire and Bert seems to know them all!
The subject of visas was also raised. His Excellency said they were trying to encourage more Thais to go to the UK as, apart from the Chinese, they spend more money than any other nationality. More importantly, it was seen that Thailand is considered to be a major investor in the UK and it is hoped they will continue to be so.
The evening was a great success with some great questions at the end of the event. The next BCCT event will be the Combined Chamber Networking Evening on Friday, 20th November, at the Cape Dara Resort in North Pattaya.