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Rimping Promenada launches their first wine tasting

Fine Italian wines were served at the Rimping wine bar at the Promenada Resort Shopping Mall.

By Shana Kongmun
Rimping Promenada hosts not only a supermarket but a sushi bar, oyster bar, restaurant and tucked in the back, a cozy wine bar. It was here that a wine tasting event was held offering a variety of Italian wines. The well catered event offered food from the restaurant along with a assortment of some very nice wines.
The room quickly filled with wine lovers who came for the event as well as a few people who joined on doing their evening shopping! President of the company, the well-traveled Phairoj Phatphornpinyosakul was on hand to greet CEO of ECC, the developer of the Promenada Resort Mall Tjeert Kwant who dropped by for some wine after grabbing a few things at the mall.

President Phairoj Phatphornpinyosakul is joined by Tjeert Kwant, CEO of ECC, Developer of Promenada Resort Shopping Mall, Mike, Toby Allen and Julie Hastings.

Pakin Ploypicha and Toby Allen of Oasis Spa also attended the event and congratulations were offered on the 10th anniversary of the founding of Oasis Spa.
The event was quite a success and was repeated with Spanish wines on the 30th of August. The Wine Bar at Rimping plans on offering regular wine tasting evenings, you can buy your tickets at the door, just be sure and don’t’ forget your shopping on the way out!

Pakin Ploypicha joins friends Jennifer, Julie,
Scott and Toby at the wine tastng.

Chiang Mai International Rotary Club holds inaugural meeting

Acting President Roger Lindley (far left standing) and Acting Secretary TJ Bouma are joined by friends and supporters including Elsie Chou of Rotary Club Chiang Mai North

By Shana Kongmun
The Rotary Club Chiang Mai International,, the first English only club in Chiang Mai, held its inaugural meeting at the River Market on Thursday, August 22, 2013. The club, while the first English only one in Chiang Mai, is certainly not the only one in Thailand as Tjeerd TJ” Bouma, Acting Secretary pointed out to the full house.

Lawrence poses questions in regards to Rotary volunteer work.

Over 60 people attended the inaugural meeting to hear Acting President Roger Lindley and Acting Secretary TJ Bouma talk about the goals of Rotary International, and the responsibilities and duties of membership. Roger explained the Rotary Code of Conduct which includes using vocational experience and talents to serve in Rotary International, conduct all affairs ethically, be fair and treat others with respect, offer one’s talents to provide opportunities for young people, to work for the relief of those in needs and improve the quality of life in one’s community among a few others.
There was considerable interest in the people attending the meeting in regards to volunteer activity and projects. Currently TJ is involved in distribution of eyeglasses to needy people in remote areas but as Roger pointed out, they are open to any projects that assist people. He pointed out Rotary International’s long term goal of eradicating polio nationwide and how well it has progressed with tens of thousands of people involved globally.
The Club will initially hold their meetings every Thursday at River Market at 7:30 p.m. but with the large turnout of interested people that may change. For further information contact Tjeerd (T.J.) Bouma at 080-126-1684 or Roger Lindley at 089-430-8067 or [email protected] for further information.

Roger receives a congratulatory bouquet of flowers from the Rotary Chiang Mai North club representative.

Expats club learns more about museums

Becky Wheldon is joined by members of the Expats Board and Nancy Lindley before the start of the meeting.

By Shana Kongmun
Becky Wheldon was the most recent speaker at the Chiang Mai Expats Club on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Le Meridien Chiang Mai Hotel. She spoke on her passion; museums, in a very informative and interesting talk that opened many of Chiang Mai’s long term and new resident expats to the many museums that Chiang Mai has to offer.
Becky was the curator with the Mae Fah Luang Foundation at Rai Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai and is currently working on the Prince Mahidol Museum Project. Becky, who grew up in Laos, has lived in Thailand for more than 30 years and was honored by the U.S. Consulate General as American of the Month for her work as part of the celebrations marking 180 years of Thai – U.S. friendship.
Becky noted that the museums in Chiang Mai are not well known and not publicized; pointing out that the Chiang Mai National Museum receives only 100,000 visitors out of approximately 2 million visitors to Chiang Mai annually. Becky pointed members to the nationwide anthropological database that is being translated into English for cultural visitors at, the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropological Centre. The website lists the many museums in Chiang Mai and around Thailand.
Members were quite interested in the projects of the Fine Arts Department here in Chiang Mai with many expressing an interest to visit the museums scattered around town. The next meeting of the Expats Club will be September 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai.

Charles and Ronny (standing) chat with Bob, Bruce, Kathleen and Alice at the Expats meeting on Saturday, August 24.

Long time resident Jerry (far right) shares a laugh with Uwe and Bill.

Skålleagues meet at the Rati Lanna Resort and Spa

Marc Dumur and Skål President Annette Kunagigon chat with Marc Miller and Mary at the cocktail hour.

By Shana Kongmun
The August Skål meeting was held at the Rati Lanna Resort and Spa where General Manager La-iad Bungsrithong was on hand to greet guests and Skål members. President Annette Kunagigon welcomed newly approved by Skål International member Ann Fink, as well as new member Patrick Arnoldus, General Manager of CityLife Magazine and Young Skål member Patrick Hennessey who joined the evening along with his father, local member Ed Hennessey after a serious motorbike accident.

Martin Venzky-Stalling and Colin Jarvis share a laugh at the Skål meeting.

Marc Miller, the Political/Economic/Public Diplomacy Officer for the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai, was the guest speaker for the evening, discussing Thai politics and economics; he noted that these were his personal opinion. Marc piqued everyone’s interest when he added that he had studied Chinese and was posted in Beijing prior to his Chiang Mai posting.
Marc gave an overview of the political scene since the troubles, including the election of the current government and populist promises that the government made, noting that while some have come to fruition others have become stalled in Parliament.

Everyone was delighted to see Young Skål member Patrick Hennessey attend with his father Ed.

Marc also took questions from the crowd, many of whom were interested in his Chinese experience given the growing number of Chinese tourists coming to Chiang Mai. Marc said that they were now the world’s number one source of outbound travelers and added that Chiang Mai was the top destination for Chinese for this year’s Chinese New Year. A sequel to the blockbuster Chinese movie “Lost in Thailand” is being filmed, expecting to boost Chinese tourism even more. He noted that Chinese were now the top arrivals in Thailand and that Chinese were also the top spending tourists, adding $125 US to the Thai economy per person each day.
The evening concluded with everyone enjoying a fabulous buffet as well as the famous churrasco, Brazilian style barbeque at the Rio Restaurant at the Rati Lanna Resort. Paul Humphreys gave the Skål toast in English while Pim Kemasingki gave it in Thai.
The next Skal meetings will be informal and held on at Fiore Rosa Italian Restaurant, Doi Saket, on Sunday, September 8 and Thursday, September 26 where the hosts will be Skål Members Toby Allen and Pakin Ploypicha at The Green Table at Kantary Terrace on Nimmanhaemin Road.

Group photo of the August Skål meeting held at the Rati Lanna Resort & Spa (photo courtesy of CityNow!)

Doing business in Thailand

Chiang Mai Business Group seminar

Speaker Rob Hurenkamp (far right) is joined by Dr. Kanlaya Kaewma of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, Richard Prouse of the CMBC, Ben Svasti Thomson, British Honorary Consul, John Svengren of the EABC and Greg Watkins, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand.

By Shana Kongmun
The Chiang Mai Business Group together with the European ASEAN Business Centre (EABC) held a seminar on doing business in Thailand presented by Rob Hurenkamp, Managing Partner of Mazars in Thailand at Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai on Friday, September 30, 2013. The EABC is a Bangkok based organization set up to help facilitate market access for European business in Thailand. Ben Svasti Thomson introduced the CMBC and visiting EABC Executive Director John Svengren and then Rob took the stage.

Deputy Director of the BCCT Sarinthorn Sachavirawong (second left) traveled up from Bangkok to join the event with Ben Svasti Thomson and members of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce.

Rob began the seminar by going over some of the basics with discussion of the various types of businesses, noting that the only company formation that is able to obtain a work permit, at least in Bangkok, is the Limited Company. Rob also emphasized that manufacturing does not fall under the Foreign Business Act and can be 100% foreign owned so long as they export. He mentioned that the government is talking about updating the FBA and believes that with the implementation of the AEC that they will be forced to make changes. He noted that the Act itself was quite old and needed modernization.

Ian Bushell of Mentor International joins John Svengren of EABC for a chat.

He reminded business owners that nominee shareholders is not allowed under Thai law but that a preferred share structure whereby the shares of the Thai partners are the legal owners but allows the foreign owner economic control is still legal but suspects they may try to phase that out in the future.
Rob then discussed the rather complex process of setting up a Board of Investment (BOI) company adding that the BOI have done a fantastic job of promoting Thailand and has brought in a lot of companies to invest in manufacturing here. He said the BOI is talking of changing from Zones to Clusters adding that Chiang Mai is being considered as a “jewelry” cluster.
Finally he brought up the Taxation code and its complexities before breaking for the cocktail and networking period, catered by Le Meridien’s excellent chef, the food, wine and beer were enjoyed by all.

Le Meridien staff welcome Rachan Maneekarn and his Bangkok Bank colleagues for the seminar and networking evening.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Rimping Promenada launches their first wine tasting

Chiang Mai International Rotary Club holds inaugural meeting

Expats club learns more about museums

Skålleagues meet at the Rati Lanna Resort and Spa

Doing business in Thailand