Seed World

APSA’s Operation Permit for Thailand Granted

Source: APSA

The Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance (APSA) has been granted a Foreign Private Organization (FPO) license to operate in Thailand. The license application, which was submitted on September 17, 2020, was approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Labor on February 23 with a one-year validity period.

“This marks a significant milestone in APSA’s ongoing process to maintain our operations in Bangkok, with our headquarters in Singapore. This also underlines our commitment to members who voted at the 2018 AGM in Manila, the Philippines,” says Kanokwan Chodchoey, APSA executive director. 

Chodchoey explained that the FPO license approval process involved comprehensive review and auditing of operations records and documentation.

A key part of this, she notes, were several public-private-partnership agreements and proposals that demonstrate clear benefits to Thailand and the APAC region from APSA’s operations in Thailand. 

For this, APSA has active Memorandums of Understandings with Kasetsart University, the National Science and Technology Development Agency or NSTDA as well as the International Seed Testing Association. APSA also has very strong collaboration with the Department of Agriculture in Thailand to enhance the capacity on phytosanitary measures, plant variety protection and laboratory testing.

“On behalf of the APSA Secretariat I would like to thank our past and current presidents, Mr. Manas Chiaravanond, Dr. Chairerg Sagwansupyakorn, Dr. Zhang Mengyu, Mr. Tahir Saleemi, Ms. Brenda Dossey and Mr, Wichai Laocharoenpornkul; and the executive committee and our members for their firm commitment and strong support,” says Chodchoey. “I would also like to give special thanks to our secretariat team, especially our administrative office manager, Ms. Weeranuch who has been working diligently and closely with Thai officials on compliance particulars over the past year.”

APSA President Wichai Laocharoenpornkul also expressed his gratitude.

“It has been slow but steady progress leading up to this point, and the executive committee is pleased about this news. Aside from the hard work by Dr. Chodchoey and her team, I would also like to give credit to the leadership of my fellow office bearer members and predecessors, including past presidents Tahir Saleemi and Brenda Dossey, as well as former treasurers, Jack Metzelaar and Dr. Manish Patel, whose guidance and persistence have ensured we remained on track throughout what has been a long yet rewarding process,” he says. “We remain committed to achieving what we had set out to do. That is to keep our operations based in Bangkok through a regional office, while keeping our headquarters in Singapore.” 

APSA was first registered in Thailand as the Asia and Pacific Seed Association, based in Bangkok since 1994, initially with the support of various public and private stakeholders. As a Thai entity under Thai Association Law, the association faced various obstacles to operate as an international association. 

Thus, during APSA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting in Manila, the Philippines, members voted to establish and shift all membership activities and operations to be under one, newly registered  “Asia and Pacific Seed Alliance,” with registration in Singapore. This ensures that the APSA Secretariat office can continue to operate in Bangkok under a regional office in full compliance as an international seed trade association.