The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce took place at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in the evening on February 27, with on-going political protests right on the hotel’s doorstep, and including over 50 guests in total during the post-AGM dinner, which meant a vibrant dining party while also listening to insights about Thailand’s current political and democratic crisis.
In these for Thailand special circumstances everyone was satisfied to see such a good turnout and the night’s honourable speaker, Khun Thanong Khanthong, Political Editor of the newspaper The Nation had probably convinced some more guests to attend. The AGM, followed by dinner, also turned out to be jolly as far as the Chamber’s AGM and the social parts.
Re-elections and four new Board members
It was a most pleasant event, which eventually saw Jan Eriksson re-elected as President. Some new board members were also elected, namely Jaques Michel (Volvo Group Thailand), Fredrik Bergman (Diakrit), Lars Svensson (Oriflame) as well as Johan Nordqvist (Amadeus). Meanwhile the following persons remained as Governors: Hakan Alm, Dan-Ake Enstedt, Lars Andersson, Jan Eriksson, Kenneth Radencrantz, Worachai Bhicharnchitr. In addition, resigning for re-election, Bjorn Richardsson, Christer Nilsson, Eric Hallin and Sutti Manokitjarunman, were also re-elected.
Overall the meeting went smoothly and had its moments that lightened up the procedures. The President prompted the meeting to vote things through without too much hassle – as that would enable every guest to reach faster to the second part of the evening; the drinking and dining. All smiles.
Happier than last year
Noteworthy was otherwise that the Board could announce, commenting on financial results, that TSCC had no bad debts in the result and a 20 per cent in paying members (exceeding one hundred.)
Significant revenue came from memberships and registration fees, the website and the Thai Property Guide and TSCC could report that a previous loss had been turned into a profit.
Over all the financial report was much happier this year, remarked the President.
Riding high on the 25 year anniversary
The outlook for 2014 will place focus on increasing efforts to generate more members and to improve their benefits. Net income for 2014 is also projected to be a profit.
The meeting also learned that TSCC would be able to ride a bit on the Embassy of Sweden, Bangkok’s activities since it will promote TSCC and the 25 Years Anniversary in all its public activities. This anniversary will be the one big project for TSCC during 2014.
“We need one project each year to stay in black. It’s a very important part for our revenue,” said Jan Eriksson and expressed hopes to see a lot of support for the upcoming jubilee activities.
Director Peter Björk reported on the 34 events that had been held throughout 2013. He especially highlighted some events, such as the Midsummer celebration that attracted over 100 guests (including many kids and with delicious food and more) to Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok; and the 7 November monthly networking with KTH & Alumni at Huntsman Pub, when 80 people attended.
Peter said that TSCC is trying to offer more for less, meaning saving on the costs by co-organising and increasing the collaborations with other chambers of commerce etc.
As in any year there had been seminars, Nordic Chamber networking, monthly TSCC networking events as well as events with other European and non-European chambers during 2013.
The meeting ended with a short break, in order for the new board to leave the room to appoint their President, the re-elected Jan Erikson.
Dinner with politics
More guests, who did not attend the actual AGM, had waited in the lobby and so everyone sat down at superbly decorated round dinner tables in the adjacent room and enjoyed Vickyssoise Espuma Foam with Light Smoked Cod as starter, and Baked Salmon Fillet with Lobster Basil Sauce and Creamed Potatoes as main course paired with a choice of white or red wine. A delicious Freshly Baked Granny Smith Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream was served as dessert, as it was time for the evening’s most serious matter.
The gathering listened intently as Khun Thanong Khanthong, Political Editor of ‘The Nation’ and the evening’s Guest Speaker laid his view on the topic ‘What will happen to Thailand?’ The audience got to hear many already known facts, and where Thanong Khanthong laid out the alternatives in the current scenario.
The political editor spoke to the audience as a closed group so the details stays with those who attended.
Nevertheless, the he began by congratulating TSCC to the election, jokingly comparing with Thailand’s difficulties in holding election.
He outlined four scenarios on the table and expressed what he found to be the best-case scenario ahead and that it could be done within the current constitution.
No matter which scenario, things would, he forecasted, start to happen imminently that would take things forward in one way or the other.
Thanong Khanthong also went into details about the country’s “pillars of stability” and its unique features that play significant roles.
The guest speaker also answered questions from the audience and the much-appreciated speech gave food for thought as the discussions continued afterwards among guests, and as something to digest while heading back home in the not so normal Bangkok.