A Brief History of MTCC
The establishment of the Malaysian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (MTCC) was made under the request of the former Minister of the Ministry of International Trade & Industry, Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz who had the aim of uniting loose group of Malaysian business people operating in Thailand.
MTCC was officially registered with the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand on 21 June 2002 and launched on 6 July 2002, with inauguration by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. MTCC focuses on promoting and developing economic relations and cooperation between Malaysia and Thailand, and among Malaysian entrepreneurs in Thailand and in neighbouring region.
At its first Annual General Meeting on 10 August 2002, a Board of Directors was elected to organize and carry out the day-to-day activities of MTCC. The Board meets regularly on a monthly basis.
Mr. Yeap Swee Chuan was elected as the first Chairman and Mr. P Ravidran, the then Malaysian Economic Counselor was appointed as an Advisor. While Dato’ Syed Norulzaman bin Syed Kamarulzaman, the then Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand was appointed as the first patron. MTCC current patron is Dato’ Jojie Samuel, the present Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand.
MTCC conducted its first official activity when it co-hosted a business luncheon in July 2002 where the then Prime Minister of Malaysia delivered a key note address to the business community in Thailand.
In keeping with its objective to promote business relations in the community, MTCC regularly organizes social functions like networking dinners, seminars and conferences, and golfing events. Some of the activities MTCC organized includes the Malaysian Food Charity Dinner in September 2011 where guests were served with authentic Malaysian food prepared by Dato’ Ismail Ahmad – a celebrity chef; a Charity Golf Game with Thailand DPM and Finance Minister, H.E. Mr. Kittiratt Na Ranong in 2012; a second Charity Dinner presided over by Thailand DPM and Finance Minister, the Malaysian Ambassador, and the Australian Ambassador in 2013; and a special networking dinner for Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry, The Hon. Dato’s Sri Mustapa Mohamed, and his delegation in conjunction with their work visit to Thailand in September 2013.
In 2015, a third charity dinner was graced by the Minister of Industry, H.E. Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang and attended by over 400 people comprising of delegates from the Malaysia Embassy, Foreign Chambers, members and guests. In 2016 and 2017, a dinner talk and networking night was graciously hosted by Mr. Vikrom Kromadit, CEO of Amata Corporation in his private residence at Kromadit Building, New Petchaburi Road. In past years, MTCC increased its networking and collaboration with foreign chambers like the Singapore-Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong Trade Association. A first and second Sing-Ma-Kong, joint chamber networking among three chambers were organized in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
In addition to the abovementioned activities, MTCC facilitates the visits of Malaysians from the business communities or government bodies who wish to know more about the Thai economy.
MTCC produces quarterly newsletters to keep members apprised of the latest governmental policies and economic developments. It also serves as an avenue for members to publicize their companies’ profiles or to disseminate information about their companies. MTCC newsletters are distributed widely both in Thailand and Malaysia, including government offices and corporate organizations. Aside from the quarterly newsletters, MTCC also produces annual handbook/directory.
A highlight of MTCC’s publication achievements is the official launch of its website in February 2005. The contents are frequently updated to provide useful and informative news to the business communities in Thailand and to other interested parties worldwide. MTCC has fostered a closer relationship to the online community by offering web links exchange, near to real time announcement, an online billboard and exchange rates. MTCC has achieved more than 612,569 hits since it has first appeared online in February 2005. In 2013, MTCC revamped its website to have a more user-friendly and modern web design which provides additional features and more interactive activities. In addition, MTCC also sets up a Facebook page to disseminate chamber activities in a more casual ways to better interact with our members.
MTCC moved to its new office premise in February 2015, at Sathorn Square Office Tower. The office is within the same complex as MATRADE (Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation). By providing office space for MTCC to operate, the Malaysian government is extending its support for the further growth and development of MTCC, and the promotion of closer ties between Malaysian and Thai business communities.
As MTCC becomes more established, it begins to look at its responsibility towards contributing to the community on behalf of its members. MTCC participated in the Malaysian Embassy’s initiative to visit fellow Malaysians incarcerated in Thai prisons which subsequently became a regular scheduled activity in the Malaysian Embassy’s outreach to our fellow countrymen. Recognizing that drug abuse is a serious social problem, MTCC supported the anti-drug campaign of a local foundation, thinkSMALL, to educate the youth on dangers of drug addiction. MTCC also extends its CSR outreach beyond Bangkok.
MTCC made a donation to the FXB Foundation (Thailand) to support a sustainable lunch programme to help poor students in Sakeo province learn to grow nutritious food for their own consumption. In 2011, when Thailand experienced its most serious flood in fifty years, MTCC was quick to respond to the urgent needs of the flood victims.
MTCC, with the support of Malaysian corporations and Malaysians residing in both Malaysia and Thailand, donated and distributed essential items such as dry food, drinking water and sanitizing liquid to flood-stricken communities in remote and inaccessible areas. In 2013, MTCC organized a second charity dinner to raise funds for disadvantaged and vulnerable members of society to show the goodwill of resident Malaysian Business Community towards the host country Thailand. MTCC raised 500,000 Baht for Watsungwej Temple School through the event.
From an initial group of 10 members, MTCC has grown over the years to 184 members, comprising both ordinary and associate members. Currently, MTCC has 101 ordinary members and 83 associate members. The majority of MTCC members are natural or juristic persons having Malaysian nationality or Malaysians who are partners or shareholders of locally incorporated companies in Thailand. The members involve in a wide spectrum of sectors such as manufacturing, banking & financial services, construction & property, transportation & logistics, trading & distributors and general services.
Any chamber is as strong as the size of its membership. There is much to gain through networking with fellow Malaysians and other Thai businessmen, who are members of MTCC. MTCC encourages Malaysians in Thailand to join the chamber to reap the benefits of being a member.