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Outward bound: British Ambassador sheds light on UK’s post-Brexit future

PHUKET: Those looking for a clearer answer as to what the British government is aiming to achieve in international trade and political relations post-Brexit were treated to some valuable insights by British Ambassador to Thailand Brian Davidson during his visit to Phuket last week.

economics, politics,

The Phuket News

Thursday 29 September 2016, 02:29PM

British Ambassador to Thailand Brian Davidson has a very positive vision for British business in Thailand.
British Ambassador to Thailand Brian Davidson has a very positive vision for British business in Thailand.

The unfolding post-Brexit scenario was an anchor of Amb Davidson’s presentation at the British Chamber of Commerce of Thailand (BCCT) Business Dinner held at the Amari Patong on Sept 22.

“I think the situation is still a little unclear as to what the final parameters of the negotiations will be, but my expectation – and this is my thoughts only – is that by early next year we will have a reasonable sense of what the Cabinet feels are the parameters for negotiations that will take us forward,” Amd Davidson said.

Mr Davidson noted that wide speculation in the press about Britain’s position post-Brexit ran the full spectrum from full self-regulation to a disguised re-entry into the EU market, but noted that UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had made very clear what Amb Davidson’s role in Thailand is.

“Boris Johnson, who was one of the key supporters of the Leave campaign, has very strong vision of where Britain should be in the world, and I think it is very helpful that he has been very clear,” Amb Davidson said.

“The UK is not looking back in on itself, we are looking more outward. The instructions I have for the mission (UK Embassy) is to look at the opportunities, particularly in Thailand and Southeast Asia, for the UK to expand its presence, to solidify some of the relationships we have, and to see what additional advantage we can gain before we Brexit finally becomes a reality,” he explained.

To this, Amb Davidosn pointed to the formation of the Thai-UK Business Leadership Council as crucial step in developing UK-Thailand trade relations.

“We have been talking to very senior business people in Thailand, and there is very strong support from the Thai side,” he said, praising the achievements of both Prime Minister’s Special Envoy Virasakdi Futrakul and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Thailand Mark Garnier.

“This is a very strong development in providing British businesses the best opportunity to enter the market here in Thailand,” he said.

C and C Marine

“We are close to making recommendations, but we need to make sure that what we present to the Thai government is what British business needs to support the development of industries in Thailand – and we need to represent the interests of SMEs (small- to medium-sized enterprises),” he said.

Noting from his experience in China, where he served “for the better part of 25 years”, Amb Davidson said it was important for people to keep in mind that China’s economic growth was not an overnight miracle.

“The assumption seems to be that the growth was a straight line of continuous development, but actually it was a process of peaks and troughs,” he said.

“Most countries move forward through this same process of peaks and troughs, and with Thailand I think we should focus less on the immediate and more on the long-term development.

“Not only should we look at what Thailand is doing for its own development, but also how it’s exploiting the developments within Southeast Asia and growth within the Asean community.

“We should see how the UK can support Thailand to take advantage of the developments within Asean and how the country is working towards moving up the value chain; to become a hub for the digital industry in Southeast Asia, and use the support we can give bringing in British expertise through businesses to help Thailand achieve its stated ambitions in these areas to create opportunities for British business interests in Thailand,” he explained.

“I think there’s a very positive vision for British business in Thailand,” Amb Davidson concluded.



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Christy Sweet | 04 October 2016 - 07:35:15

Dick Morris, actually women across the globe are refusing to act as servants and more women are staying single for this very reason. Japan is a notable example of this progression.
  Thai women seem to be a holdout on this expectation, hence  (IMO) the hordes of foreign men seeking them out and jumping through all manner of immigration hoops to do so. 
 I had a conversation with a Thai man just last week whose wife had left him-I asked how he liked cooking and cleaning for himself. He scoffed at that idea: " Oh , I moved back in with my mother.." He was aghast at how my floor needed a good scrub and that I asked him to keep on his shoes if he wanted. 

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Joe12 | 03 October 2016 - 16:02:59

Dick Morris... I don't think's you who isn't following the comments. You have to keep up man, we're on page 2 now. Try reading the start of the comments.

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Dick Morris | 03 October 2016 - 14:42:36

Some very views on her.

@Joe12 -I think you have missed the whole point.

@Kurt - Indeed time for Thailand to move forward in to the 21st century - although it will be a very slow process.

@Christy - So are you are claiming western woman are increasingly unwilling to cook, clean and serve meals or just yourself?

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Christy Sweet | 03 October 2016 - 08:43:41

Swerv, Of course not all Thai women are the same. Some would not dream of marrying a " farang". Roger Peabody, you're right, not just the gonads,  it's also about having a personal servant to cook, clean and serve meals, all tasks western women are increasingly unwilling to perform as a  matter of course.

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Kurt | 03 October 2016 - 08:05:56

Roger Peabody: I agree with you. It is really time Thailand reforms the, in 21st century thinking framework, Foreign Business Act.
Wonder or in the Asean Treaty are agreements noted about it between the 10 countries.
Japan did overcome Decima, the Japanese island that was the only place were foreigners were allowed to stay while doing trade with japan, many centuries ago.
Now it is time Thailand overcome such xenophobia and line up many laws to match more with international contexts. 

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Joe12 | 02 October 2016 - 22:40:42

Roger I said, the laws in Thailand basically "are not based on ‘western logic' ...but on the basis of what was good for Thailand, and for Thai people." and that, "What you fail to realise is that it is actually a visitor's obligation to understand and comply with the laws of the land and accept responsibility for mistakes in understanding."

So, if you don't know how to run your own business within the bounds as proscribed by law and work out how laws interact with each other, then you shouldn't be in business. 

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Roger Peabody | 02 October 2016 - 14:49:50

A major reform of the Foreign Business Act to allow foreigners to actually own their own business would be a great first step in the right direction, but sadly is very unlikely to happen. Much more likely to move in the opposite direction with further restrictions on foreigners trying to do any kind of business here.

For once I actually agree with something ChristySweet has said aboout gold diggers, although I disagree it is all about the gonads. 

Andy and Kurt are also spot on with their comments.

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Pauly44 | 02 October 2016 - 09:51:49

Joe 12, what has the comment "small investors nightmare" got to do with your comment of "small minds like small stones etc."?are you typing your comments from another planet?? Chinese tourists offer ZERO trickle down effect, western tourists are wising up to the fact only their $$$ are wanted, countless developments sitting empty and as even you've said laws are implemented to deter foreign investment so why would anybody in their right mind invest heavily here?? And don't tell me to read & interpret the law as that can be changed at anytime to suit and that is the very reason it is so very risky...

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swerv | 02 October 2016 - 09:32:55

Christy Sweet: You seem to have the typical narrow minded bigotry and generalization of some western women. As malczx7r stated if you hang around bars then that is the type of girl you are going to meet. Bars are for sex tourists, men and women.
Please don't denigrate Thai women...they are not all the same.
Many western men have Thai partners because they are sick of gold digging western women who do nothing but moan and whinge. Not all the same of course.

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Christy Sweet | 02 October 2016 - 08:19:01

Sure Malczx7r, Women-and men all over the globe use fake sentiments for monetary gain, the difference is that in Thailand, it's an honorable thing. Is it something you would want your daughter doing? 
Joe 12, "Tickle down effect"? [snickers] Is that something one gets at a happy-ending massage parlour? "Formula" ? I think you mean formulate. Ordinarily I would not be so pedantic, but time and again you have ridiculed others for just such errors, so...Meanwhile, the bulk of your comment is just the usual dismissal of other's opinions as invalid against your own. 

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