The Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce marked 30 years as organisation in 2019, culminating with its ‘TSCC Nobel Gala Dinner’ grand celebration, held in Bangkok on Saturday 23 November.
Members and friends from far and near had also flown in for the auspicious occasion. Those from abroad (Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and Sweden) were especially highlighted with thanks by the TSCC President, Mr Anders Lundquist.
“We have all the reasons to be happy tonight as we are here to celebrate the 30 years anniversary of one of the most prestigious chambers of commerce in the region. We are pleased to have here tonight not only members and friends from Thailand but also a number of members and friends from other countries,” he began, as he named those international guests.
“30 years ago ten young businessmen took the initiative to establish the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce and were very strongly supported by our ambassador at the time, Olof Fernström, and as you can see, some of the founding members are here now as Governors, and, 30 years later, they look equally as young as then,” he joked.
Anders Lundquist also shared an anecdote from back when it had started: “We were immensely lucky to have His Majesty the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, accompanied by Queen Silvia, inaugurating our chamber. That was held at the former Siam Intercontinental Hotel. The King stood up and held a short speech, where he looked across the hall of the big room and said that he did not think our logo was sexy enough. A few years later I had the honour to meet the King in the garden of an old church here in Thailand and I reminded him of this. The King then said with surprise: ‘Did I really say that?’ Yes, the King said that.”
The President, who is holding this position for the third time, was also himself highlighted by the evening’s master of ceremony, Mr Lars Svensson, along with some other individuals in the founding team, namely Mr Göran Ehren, Mr Jan Eriksson, Mr Worachai Bhicharnchitr and Dr Soon Kaewchansilp.
The President also explained the chosen theme for the gala by saying: “Tonight’s table arrangement follows the formula of a Nobel Gala Dinner, and the dinner tonight is inspired by the menu of the Nobel banquet in 1989. And this is a time of the year when the Nobel prices have been awarded in Sweden, widely regarded as the most prestigious price for intelligence achievements in the world. The ceremonial presentations of the awards will take place in a couple of week’s time in Stockholm and of course for the peace prize in Oslo. This is a noble way to honour Alfred Nobel, arguably one the most famous Swedes of all times, and whose generous will was the origin of the prizes.”
The President continued to reflect on the 30 years gone past: “Having turned thirty and looking back at our efforts to promote Sweden, to promote Swedish companies, products and values, I feel that there is a lot we can be proud of. In some instances we have been forerunners; we were the first foreign chamber of commerce of any nationality to visit Vietnam after the war, foreseeing the economic prospects of the country.”
The President also mentioned some of many memorable functions and Annual General Meeting speakers and ended his speech by thanking the organising team of the chamber office, led by Executive Director Pojanath Bhatanacharoen, who had performed, he said, with “incredible spirit and feeling”.
A movie was then shown, featuring historic Thai-Swedish connections and milestones from the past thirty years with the chamber, sharing information that would later in the night be part of a smart phone-driven quiz that engaged all the guests with vibrancy.
Lars Svensson also thanked TSCC’s scholarship sponsor Mr Ingvar Krook for supporting young students to have scholarships at the Chamber – donated by this Swede from his own pockets.
Ingvar, in his speech, explained the background, how he used to be the Executive Director (ED) for the Swedish Foreign Trade Association, followed by the Swedish Youth Abroad foundation, also as ED, where he was involved in giving scholarships for Swedish youngsters living abroad and expanded that also to trainees at Swedish chambers of commerce organisations abroad.
“It’s great to be here and it feels almost as if time has been standing still, because I had some very early contacts with the Chamber, which was via Anders running things, and now I come back 30 years later and Anders is still here as Chairman!” said Ingvar Krook in his address.“
“I have seen the importance of the chambers during the years and also the cooperation of possibilities that we have, and – as was said – the chambers are part of Team Sweden, which is the government-created thing out on the local arenas in the world. And I think it’s a very important work that you do out here.”
I liked it so much to see young people having the possibility to come out to get the context and experience and maybe to go on work for some nice company afterwards. And I had such good experience from TSCC so I thought I’d make a scholarship on my own and I also started one in Burma,” he continued as he announced the scholarship for 2020 as anniversary gift to TSCC.
The Nobel Gala Dinner consisted in ‘Two Ways of Salmon’ as starter with Beet Root Cured Salmon & Smoked Salmon Tartare, Baby Herbs, Charcoal Tuile, Parsley Oil and Truffle Sauce, followed by mains; Australian Beef Sirlion or Butter Fish, both alternatives serviced with Green Pea Puree, Potato Fondant, Tomato Confit and Truffle Mushroom Sauce. For dessert the chef had made a modern interpretation of Mango Sticky Rice – ‘Filo Parcel’, with Vanilla Ice Cream, Coconut Crème Anglaise and Thai Basil with Berries Salsa.
Post-dinner a lucky draw followed with many and very impressive prizes. What made both the gift sponsor and the winner astonished was when Mr Anders Frummerin for the third time won a prize from Husqvarna, handed over by Mr Jan Eriksson. It was third in a row for Anders, as TSCC celebrated thirty in style.