(Bangkok) – The US-ASEAN Business Council concluded its annual Thailand Business Mission today, with 33 leading U.S. companies visiting Bangkok to further develop longstanding commercial ties between the two countries.
The three-day mission focused on identifying opportunities to bolster the U.S.-Thailand economic relationship and supporting the government of Thailand’s efforts to implement key reforms in order to help promote Thailand as a destination for high-value trade and investment. The delegation was received by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitakon as well as the Ministers of Energy, Industry and Transportation on Thursday, and met separately with the Ministers of Commerce, Digital Economy and Society, Finance, and Tourism and Sports, as well as officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Health, Bank of Thailand, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. The mission was co-led by Brad Middleton, Managing Director of Chevron Asia South Limited, Alexander Feldman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council, and Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council.
“With a new U.S. administration comes a new opportunity to strengthen a vital, 184-year old bilateral relationship. The U.S. business community is dedicated to ensuring that U.S.-Thailand trade and investment grows only stronger,” said Alexander Feldman. “We have seen this government enact positive economic reforms, including recently on customs and tax issues, and the purpose of our visit was to recognize those efforts and to support the Royal Thai Government in addressing remaining challenges. We are excited that Prime Minister Prayut will visit the United States later this year at the invitation of President Trump. This visit offers the two countries a chance to build on their important relationship and open new avenues for trade, investment and commerce for both Thai and American companies. ”
Discussions between the delegation and the government also focused on how U.S. companies can contribute to capacity building efforts, including human resource development, CSR, and SME training. The delegation also discussed the “Thailand 4.0” initiative, to identify opportunities for U.S. companies to support Thailand’s ongoing transition into an innovation and value-based economy.
“Businesses do best when they invest in the communities in which they work. This year’s Business Mission highlighted the great work that U.S. companies are already doing, as well as helped to identify additional opportunities to support educational programs, foster corporate social responsibility, and train small and medium enterprises to succeed in competitive markets,” said Brad Middleton.
“U.S. businesses are eager to engage with the Government of Thailand to continue our productive dialogues on critical issues such as the implementation of the Thailand 4.0 strategy and the development of Thailand’s digital economy,” said Ambassador Michael W. Michalak. “Thailand 4.0 represents the progression of Thailand’s economy to become innovative, efficient, and technology-driven, and the US-ASEAN Business Council is excited to help achieve this vision.”
Companies participating in the delegation included 21st Century Fox, ADM, AIG, Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, Bechtel, Chevron, Cigna, Citi, Coca-Cola, Dow, eBay, ExxonMobil, Ford, GE, Google, Guardian, Lilly, Medtronic, Monsanto, MSD, Novartis, Oracle, Paypal, Pfizer, Philip Morris International, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, Seagate, Time Warner, Uber, and UPS.