THE COUNCIL IN THAILAND
The centerpiece of the Council’s Thailand program is our annual business mission. With the assistance and guidance of Senior Council staff, Business Leaders from our members exchange views and solve problems in meetings with the highest levels of the Thai government. The mission is supplemented by additional visits to Thailand for major events and ASEAN meetings.
THAILAND IN THE UNITED STATES
When senior Thai officials visit the United States, a meeting hosted by the US-ASEAN Business Council is always on the agenda. The Council regularly meets with the Royal Thai Embassy and support s the official visits of Cabinet Members and key Thai decision makers.
A PERMANENT PRESENCE IN BANGKOK
Praab Pianskool opened the Council’s office in Bangkok in 2005. Praab helps our member companies based in the region and the United States navigate Thailand’s business environment from the ground. With long experience in the financial and media business in Thailand, Praab is able to support Council members in Thailand while serving as a troubleshooter and advisor to our members on key strategic issues.
SUCCESS STORIES IN THAILAND
The Council’s longstanding relations with the Royal Thai Government and the business community in Thailand have enabled the Council to work to create unique solutions to problems that serve the interests of both Thailand and the American business community.
The only country in Southeast Asia to escape colonization, Thailand (formerly known as Siam) is a Constitutional Monarchy ruled since 1946 by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest serving head of state. In recent years, Thailand has undergone a series of rapid changes in government, most notably the 2006 ousting of populist Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The current Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party, has been in power since August 2011 and has brought a measure of stability back to the Thai political scene.
Since 1984, US-Thai bilateral trade has expanded from less than $2.5 billion in goods to nearly $25 billion in goods in 2011. Formerly focused on agribusiness, the Thai economy is now one of the most diversified in Southeast Asia, with electronics and automobiles joining rice as strong export products.
The relationship between the United States and Thailand is the oldest in Southeast Asia, with the Council recently helping to celebrate the 180th anniversary of US-Thai relations. Despite periods of political turmoil within Thailand, the relationship between the country and U.S. business has always remained strong. During the Thaksin administration Thailand and the United States entered into discussions on a Free Trade Agreement, but those discussions were shelved in 2004. Thailand is currently working hard to continue to develop its creative economy and bring its Intellectual Property Rights protection up to the highest international standard.
Council Members maintain a number of active CSR projects in Thailand, including supporting Thailand during the unprecedented floods in 2011. The Council organized a donation drive in support of the flood relief efforts of the Princess Pa Foundation of the Thai Red Cross.