Reverse Brain Drain Project of Thailand

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Perspective on

The Reverse Brain Drain Project

from Thais Abroad

With the advent of Thai Link, the Reverse Brain Drain project has once again been brought to the forefront of the public's attention. The electronic news group "soc.culture.thai" is served as an ideal battle ground of idea for all concerned Thais living in the motherland and abroad alike. All concerns raised are very legitimate and well deserved the attention of the Thai government. Thai Link has followed the development closely with great pride in the roll it played in spawning such a wonderful debate on a very crucial matter to the future of our country. With permission from the authors of the following news articles, Thai Link would like to pass these messages along to the Thai government and all the Thai people who can have influence on this matter either directly or indirectly. Let us come together to divert the Thai brain power back to develop a better future for Thailand.

On Thu, 18 Jan 1996, Piyapong Vongkovit wrote:


I would appreciate if anyone here could share his/her experiences with Thailink. I'd like to know the company a little more before I send them my whole life story.:) I'd be delighted to hear from the company itself as well. Thank you.

Here are the responses from Khun "Give me a break" and Thai Link.

Thailink: Dear Khun "Give me a Break", Thank you very much for expressing your thought about Thai Link to the newsgroup. I would like to take this opportunity to answer some of your questions.

Give me a break wrote: Hi ,

I looked at the Thailink Homepage. It seems that they are the company that do almost everything from A to Z. Here is what they act as

-- An employment agency
-- A translator
-- A School agency (find the school for Thai students)
-- A Business agency ( arrange the business trip to Thailand/USA)

I don't know what exactly they are. However, as it is imply, they are the company, not the non-profit organization. They do not represent the Thai government. They themselves do live in the USA, even though they want the other people to go back to Thailand.

Thailink: We do not think that we are an employment agency because we do not do what an employment agency does.

Yes ,..we are a private company, not a non-profit organization. We do not represent the Thai government, but have "very strong" intention to support Thai government and private sectors. I live in the U.S and have been working with Thai government and Thailand communities for over 6 years while I am in the U.S.

It sounds very unusual for anyone who registered a company and claimed themselves as the one who would create activities to support Thailand. If you have been working extensively on this project with Thailand over years with frustration, you may want to do the same thing as I am doing now. We believe that Thai Link will play a significant role in bringing Thai Bostonian community together.

Give me a break: You should read their HomePage and make your own decision. If I were you, I would not send my resume to them. Once they have it, it is with them forever. And you do not even know who these people are. Instead, I would fly to Boston and attend the Job Fair and give the resume directly to the Company. I do not quite understand why they need your resume to be sent to them.

Thailink: The reason Thai Link encourage them to send us resumes because we must prepare the resume booklet and give all resumes to the companies to review prior the Job fair event. The company will schedule the interview with the potential candidates before or during the event. The statistical information of the ones who submit resumes will be analyzed prior the event. Thai Link will need to know the candidates background in order to match your interest with the company's need.

All resumes and information will be kept confidential. I am not sure if your suggestion is a good approach. I very strongly recommend you not to join the job fair if you do not trust Thai Link.

To attend the job fair, you need to register with Thai Link and provide us your resume. Even though someone who does not have resume with them, they have to fill up the resume forms at the registration.

The companies support us to hold this event for their businesses, students and professionals. Thai Link must do their jobs in providing the information to the companies. We want to make this event enjoyable and successful.

Give me a break: Of course, they may have a deal with the company that if you get hired, they get money (for each head) from the company. That's the way the company makes money, anyway.

Thailink: We wish we could make money as you guess, when the participants get hired!!!! Would you like to encourage the company for us? If we can earn more money, we can establish scholarship for students and activities for any group of Thais in the U.S. Would you like to help us? I played a major role in organizing three successful job fair activities for Thailand. I don't see the way to make a lot of profit out of this activity. The expense is very high. We will be very lucky if we could cover our expenses, forget about our time. The Boston Job fair will be my fourth experience. I have built a respectable reputation among students , professionals and the organizations. You may be new to our Thai community in the U.S. We are not a "head hunter".

We aim to have some extra fund to support students' and professionals' activities if it's possible.

Give me a break: One question I have for them is that "If their intention is to promote the Drain Brain project, why they have to do some other stuffs" ?

Thailink: I don't see the reasons why we cannot do the other stuffs. We have been doing the other stuffs before working on the Reverse Brain Drain project. We just did not do it as Thai Link in the past. Our activities and mission did not change much. I have been assisting Thais in many ways as listed in our services.

Give me a break: I think this company intention is to make money. I think the ATPAC (Associate Thai Professional in America and Canada) is better organization. I don't think ATPAC does something else for money. And ATPAC is sponsored by our Thai government ( I believe).

Thailink: We wish we could make some money as you guess. I believe we should not compare ATPAC with Thai Link. Thai Link's activities will strongly support ATPAC's activities. How much do you know about ATPAC? Yes,..ATPAC is sponsored by our Thai Government. I am one of the "ATPAC founders". I have been extensively involved and supported this organization. The support that we received from the government was limited. The nature of non-profit organization like ATPAC also limits us from doing some activities. With Thai Link we have more freedom and wider scope of activities we can do to promote Thailand.

Give me a break: Thailink seems to use the word "Brain drain" or "Return Home" as the bridge for their company success.

Thailink: I don't believe that this word will be a key for our company success, but it is a key "word" and our goal which I have been working with Thailand close to 10 years. This word came to my mind since Dr. Chira of Thammasat University and his group came to research on this project. I have been involved with this project since then. I have been traveling back and forth between Boston and Thailand to work for Thailand for over 6 years to support the Reverse Brain Drain project. Although I live in the U.S, I can do a lot more for Thailand over here. Would you like to do something for your beloved country too? So, join us.

Give me a break: Be aware.....

Thailink: I would encourage you to get to know ATPAC and Thai Link more and more and work together to build a better world for Thailand.

The Response to "Give me a break" regarding the message posted on newsgroup on January 30, 1996 at 21:09:50 UTC.

Give me a break: To ThaiLink,

Sorry that I did not have time to respond to your mail immediately. From what I remembered from your mail, you seemed to involve in this "Brain Drain" Project for a long time. I really do hope you have a good intention to make Thailand a better place as you said in your mail.

Thailink: Dear Khun "Give me a break",:

Yes, I would like to confirm that we have good intentions. Our team is now bigger and stronger, therefore we can do much more than what we did in the past. Thai Link is run by Thai people. Some of us live in the US, and some live in Thailand. That is why we understand the mutual feeling and the need to bring Thai students and professionals to meet Thai Companies.

Give me a break: My intention is not to discredit your company or whatsoever. People can do any business as they wish.

Thailink: Thanks. You are absolutely right. People can do any business that they wish. Our Thai-US background makes it easier for us to offer anything, as you called it "from A to Z".

Give me a break: I have nothing against that as long as they do not mix up the word "money" and "Brain Drain".

Thailink: You always mention the word "money". What is your point? Is making money bad? Would you like to work for nothing when you get a job? Making money (or rather making a living) is always good, so long as it is honest and legal. If we could earn some money, it will be wonderful. All of our income is derived from the tasks accomplishment, and not from stealing from our neighbors! Is this a problem? Absolutely not!

From my past experience of being involved in job fair activities and our current Boston jobfair, we found that is not the way of making money. If I were in it just to make money, we could be doing the other things to make money. I do not see the need to work very hard for "Brain Drain" to make money. I do it because I enjoy helping Thai people. Our accomplishments are our rewards, not the money. However, we need thesemonies to continue our endeavors. Even though the job fair event is not until February 24th, we feel successful from the responses we have received already. Every day the people mail and call us to thank us, and to express their appreciation for us doing the right thing.

Give me a break: As I discussed this "Brain Drain" project with some of my friends and my former professors in Thailand, I realized that your good intention might have an affect on some young Thai people who live in Thailand in a long run.

Thailink: I think differently than you. I believe the Brain Drain project will help many of your friends and your former professors in Thailand in the long run. The people who return home will support those people and our country in many ways. For example, bringing new technologies to the country, bring new models of working to increase productivity, bringing new ways of teaching and doing research to the academics to improve the quality of education and human life. This will benefit both private and government sectors. I always see the positive side of bringing these people back home. I have seen many examples which I could name for you if you could identify yourself.

Give me a break: As far as I remembered the "Brain Drain" project that the Thai government talked about long time ago was to persuade some Thai Professional, such as Doctors, Engineers, etc., who work outside Thailand to come back home to work and to share their knowledge with Thai people.

Thailink: Yes, you are right, but it did not work as well as they expected. It's not easy to persuade Thai professionals who have worked and lived in the US for a long time. Those people have many responsibilities and concerns about their families and living. They have settled in the U.S. Their children grew up in the U.S. They do not speak Thai and they are in school. Therefore, the government changed the direction to persuade Thais to come back and work for short term and long term in the form of lecture, seminar, workshop, joint research and special development projects.

Give me a break: But for you or anyone who set up the Job Fair to say that your Job Fair is to support the "Brain Drain" project, I think it is a little bit ridiculous. I don't see how it will support the project.

Thailink: I strongly believe that the job fair truly supports the "Brain Drain" project. While I was working on an ATPAC membership drive, I persuaded Thai professionals and students to join ATPAC and to return home to work for Thailand. The most asked question was, "What do I get?, what would Thailand have to offer?" I had no answers. The job fair motivated many people to return home because every organization/company has many good opportunities to offer them. NSTDA supported ATPAC to work on the Reverse Brain Drain project. I was the one who prepared the 80-page ATPAC end of year report for NSTDA and the job fair was one of many activities we did. If you identify your self to ATPAC or NSTDA, you may request access to that report.

Our goal in doing the job fair is to introduce the job market in Thailand to Thais abroad and to bring Thai people and companies together. We feel that Thailand is still a good place to live and work for a lot of us. So, when you are done with school, lets go home, shall we.

Give me a break: I don't see how any Thai professionals who are working in the US will go to your Job Fair, have an Interview , listening to your seminar, and then feel that now they can go back to Thailand.

Thailink: Come to the Boston Job Fair, you will see it. By organizing this Boston Job Fair, I found over 600 new names of students and professionals who we never had while doing the membership drive for ATPAC. Many of them called to have their names on our mailing list because they could not attend the fair at this time.

Many professionals who have worked in this country for over 5-30 years registered, called us and let us know that they will come to the job fair. They see very good opportunities to utilize their skills for our country. They want to retire in their mother land. Not only do they want to attend our job fair, they also volunteered to speak on our panel. We now have more than enough speakers for our panel. I believe that our panel discussion will build very good understanding among Thais, government agencies and private sectors. In the morning, the companies will tell us what they have to offer. During lunch, we will tell the companies our expectations and concerns. This will be very good match.

Give me a break: Your Job Fair is nothing much, except to help some Thai students here to get the job in advance before returning to Thailand. It is good for those students I can say.

Thailink: Yes, it will help many Thai students to prepare for their careers ahead of time. These students will have very good opportunities. When I graduated from school 10 years ago, there was no job fair for Thailand in the U.S. I had no ideas about jobs in Thailand. I graduated with Computer Science degree, but did not know what I could do in Thailand to utilize my skill. During that time Massachusetts was booming with technologies, it was very challenging for me to get hands-on in that environment. I got the job here and have settled my family here, and have joined the Reverse Brain Drain project since 1988.

Give me a break: However, you are creating an UNEQUAL opportunity for young Thai people who live in Thailand.

Thailink: Why do you think that I am the one who creates an "UNEQUAL" opportunity for young Thai people who live in Thailand? Don't you know that an "UNEQUAL" opportunity in Thailand has been existing for over 100 years. How much do you know Thailand? How long have you lived in Thailand? Look at some data from a report on International Education Exchange. It may make sense to you. These numbers are foreign students from Thailand who studied in the U.S.

Year ..........# of Students

1994/95........10,889 ... increase 14.2 % from last year

These figures are the college students, it did not include students in high schools. I have learned that many students now attend high school in the U.S. The number will increase next year. If you call this as an "UNEQUAL" opportunity, it will be very high rate of students coming to study in high school since the International school in Thailand could not accommodate their needs.

Give me a break: I have a sister who graduated from Chula. She has to go out and look for a job. She has to fight with the Traffic jam in order to get to the company for an interview. There is no Job Fair for her. There is no one help her to screen her resume. It is not only her, but a lot of million young kids like her who must go through the same thing.

Thailink: I feel sympathy for her and those kids, but that is not my problem. I am not the one who could solve that problem for Thailand. I could do to support Thais in the US and to support Thailand for short term work only. Why don't you get an idea of doing some thing for those kids.

Give me a break: Here in the US you set up the Job Fair for the students who already have a good chance to get a job in Thailand because of their degree from foreign country and their English language.

Thailink: These students and professionals deserve to have this type of services and opportunities because they worked hard for it to come to study here. They also pay a lot more money to go to school here. We, Thai Link, is willing to support them and work with them for their future success.

Give me a break: Some of my former professors voiced their concern that a lot of companies will start coming to US and recruit the students from here instead of Thailand. Now students in Thailand who have the same degree with students here will have one less chance in their life to get a job.

Thailink: The Thai students that are in the US are getting good education. They will bring this education over to the businesses in Thailand. They will increase the efficiency of these companies. This will promote many things. For example, an increase in the average wage rate, improved working conditions, and more jobs.

Tell your professors that if they can make Chula better than Harvard University or at least the same level. Those students will not come to study in the U.S and they do not have to concern about the companies coming to the U.S and recruit students or I create an "UNEQUAL" opportunity for the young kids.

I wish this activity will continue and more company will join us in the future. I encourage the companies to come to the U.S and recruit Thais to work in Thailand. This will fulfill the Reverse Brain Project goal. Students in Thailand should not have less chance if their credentials satisfy the company's need. Remember, this is job hunting; the market place will dictate how they do it. If they are in a seller market, jobs will look for them (very rare). It is most likely that they are in a buyers market and they will need to find someone to assist them if they need jobs.

Give me a break: Of couse, I am sure that this is not the intention of the Thai government when they talked about the "Brain Drain" project.

Thailink: You may be right. I cannot answer for the government. I remember, Damrong Latthapipat Foundation was the first one that supported and organized the seminar and meeting on this project in 1991 and it has continued since then. The MOSTE then supports this project. I was invited to a meeting on the plan 8th of the MOSTE and learned that the MOSTE includes the Reverse Brain Drain project in plan 8th and propose to the parliament. Many private sectors also strongly support this project.

Give me a break: The "Brain Drain" project must be operated by the Government. Only the Thai government can persuade those Thai professionals to come back home.

Thailink: I agree that the project should be operated by the government, but I disagree that "only" Thai government can persuade those Thai professionals to come back home. I am Thai, I could do as much as I could to support this project since I have lived here so many years and have created linkage with many Thai professionals and students for many years.

Give me a break: Thai government must try to prove to these people what the government is trying to do and has been doing in order to guarantee to these people what they will have when they come back home.

Thailink: You can contact Thai government for this answer. Based on my experiences working with the MOSTE, NSTDA, NECTEC, universities and TRF, I found that they have been doing the best to offer good opportunities for us.

Give me a break: It is not a company like "ThaiLink" to set up the Job Fair and said that this Job Fair is to support the "Brain Drain" project.

Thailink: In this country we have freedom to do any thing which is legal. I don't see any thing wrong for any one who does the good things that benefit to our friends and Thailand. The outcome is to provide opportunities for Thais to return home. It fits the meaning of Reverse Brain Drain perfectly.

Give me a beak: Can you change the law in Thailand to guarantee these people they will make enough money when they come back home?

Thailink: I cannot, would you like to try it? I have no authority. Contact Thai government.

Give me a break: Can you change the government regulation to ensure that these people will have a research to do when they come back home?

Thailink: I cannot. The government may have the answer for you. You are Thai if you want to return home. You should work it out. It will benefit your future career and many other people.

Give me a break: I think the ThaiLink staffs should try to drain their brain back to Thailand. It will be more useful than staying here and creating an UNEQUAL opportunity for a job for young Thai people.

Thailink: I have not yet had plan to return home because I believe that staying here could help to support Thailand better. I could support both Thailand and Thai people here.

Give me a break: I am sure you do have a good intention. However, you should look at things in a broad perspective.

Thailink: I always look at things in a broad perspective that's why I commit myself to work very hard to support this project. I always think about the other people not only myself.

Give me a break: This is a long discussion. I may stop at this point. I shall be waiting for your reply.

Thailink: This will be the last reply to you. I suggest that you identify yourself and access to many valuable resources regarding this type of information. My time is more valuable to work on many creative projects to support our beloved country and my permanent job. If all of my answers still cannot educate you, sorry, I cannot help.

Give me a break: Thx.

From: Peter Srisavasd < > 9-FEB-1996 17:39:50 GMT
To: soc.culture.thai
Subject: Reverse Brain Drain Recruitment Efforts Of Thailand

The response to "Give me a break" at Newsgroup soc.culture.thai

The fact that Thais live away from their homeland does not mean that they have turned their back on their country. In Los Angeles area, we have many Thai associations and various communities that have been contributing greatly to charities and joint efforts in helping children's projects in Thailand as well as many other projects innumerable to mention here.

Likewise, the fact that Thais live in Thailand does not mean that they are doing good deeds for their country and their communities. We all know that there are Thais living in Thailand who exploit children as child labor, cheat and steal in government uniforms, engage in unscrupulous activities, indulge in all forms of corruption at the lowest and highest levels of governments and private industry, and other deeds that make the poor, disadvantaged Thais worse off by having these hypocritical Thais who claim to be "Rak Chart" or loving Thailand.

So, as you can see, the place where you live is a matter of personal choice and circumstances. There are Americans who do not like to live in the Unites States and prefer Thailand, as many as Britons, and other nationalities. They are in Thailand as a matter of personal choice and circumstances, and it does not mean that they are disloyal to their homelands at all.

Furthermore, the fact that one is critical of one's country does not also mean that one does not like his country and homeland. The more critical one can be, the more dark sports we can uncover so that necessary remedy can be sought by public awareness to soften or cure those dark spots of a society. There are Britons who are very critical of Britain as many as Americans who are angry with American society today. It also does not mean that they are disloyal to their countries and homelands at all.

The problem with some people is that they get too sensitive and lose their rationale. By using their emotions to accuse others by not examining their own opinions and allow others whose opinion is different from theirs the benefit of the doubt, they are truly narrow-minded and xenophobic Thais that we unfortunately have with us.

Such as the coward who is too afraid to come out of the closet he has been hiding and calling himself "Give Me A Break."

Come-on out, otherwise you are nothing but a Thai coward.


From: Peter Srisavasd < > 12-FEB-1996 17:51:01 GMT
To: soc.culture.thai
Subject: Reverse Brain Drain Recruitment Efforts Of Thailand (continued)

To give balance to this thread, I think there are Thai professionals in the United States who often think about returning to Thailand. However, they are responsible enough to think also about the well-being of their families and the education of their own children.

This aspect of re-location concept will have to be addressed professionally, by presenting information and solutions to the Thai professionals who wish to return home and whose expertise is needed by our country, Thailand. It is regrettable that in any recruitment efforts, such as in ATPAC job fairs that have been organized in the US, such re-location information was not presented succinctly to soothe the anxiety of the Thai professionals who were inquiring about the possibilities.

During the Chuan Leekpai government, there was a team of Thai educators led by Suthep Attakorn, former Minister of Education, who came to Los Angeles. We Thais went to the consulate to listen to the great harangue (a euphemism for "great bullshit") that we should return to Thailand to help Thai people and we all should "Rak Chart" bla..bla..bla. When questions were raised specifically by younger Thais and older Thais, the entourage of the Minister of Education was not prepared with facts or figures to convince any unretarded Thai professional why he or she should return home.

I still remember a Dr. Yanyong Thongcharoen, president of Thai doctors association of the United States, who rose to speak at the meeting that he had tried to contact the Thai government several times because some members of the Thai doctors association wanted to volunteer services to Thailand. However, he received only a letter of thank you, but that was the only letter he received and he as president of the Thai doctors' association had not received any further contact from any agency of the Thai government.

Do you expect the well-intentioned Thai doctors to have to go to Thailand to apply for jobs in Thai hospitals? Why should they do that when they already volunteered through the US Thai Physicians' Association and the Thai Government then was negligent in responding?

I think it is about time that we stop the political harangue of reverse brain drain by creating a special task force comprising of competent members of the private industry and the government, to tackle the situation in a productive manner.


From: Peter Srisavasd, Los Angeles Free-Neti < >
Subject: Input on The Reverse Brain Drain Project of Thailand
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 1996 20:13:03 -0800

Khun Chol:

I received some input form engineers and accountants who participated in the job fair. It seems that the recruiting companies do not quite understand the overall living circumstances of Thai professionals in the US, i.e. free public education for their children, personal income tax breaks provided by the US tax law versus little or no tax breaks provided by current Thai tax law, the 401 K or pension plans that allow employer's liberal matching contributions which are not available in most Thai companies, and the overall intellectual stimuli the work environment in America has to offer to the Thai professionals as opposed to the dictatorial style of management and close communications practices by workers in the same organization in Thailand, etc. I could go on a long list, as I was once recruited by IBM World Trade and spent sometime in Thailand in the 1970's and later with Lever Brothers Co., and another large conglomerate, until I decided that I had had it with Thailand and brought my 2 small kids and my wife back to New York to work for a large US firm in the late 1970's. I had executive positions in Thailand with these top multinationals, but yet I could see that lack of educational facilities commensurate with the abilities of my children, etc. so until today I've never regretted making that fateful decision to come back to America where I and my family have been truly happy in beautiful, sunshine Southern California.

If you are good and work hard, you can make a good living in America just as well. There are countless examples of successful Thais in America, as I've lived in the East, the Mid-West, and the West, through corporate relocations and transfers for the past 20 years since I came back for the second time in 1976. But I cannot deliver this to the Usenet group, as the life's losers do not like to hear success stories of the winners -- it's a blow to their ego. So really, unless Thailand can come to grips with the depth of the problems of recruiting high-caliber, successful, Thai professionals, we will continue to see many more dog-and-pony shows in various cities called the job fairs as well as the occasional "tonga dance" by the politicians who are appointees to the posts of cabinet ministers.

Khun Chol, please excuse my cynicism, as I can see things so clearly now on this Reverse Brain Drain issue.

Best Regards,


From: Sanpawat Kantabutra < >
To: soc.culture.thai
Subject: Recruitment of Thai Scientists (Response to Khun Peter)

Date: 14 Mar 1996 13:34:25 GMT
Organization: Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (USA)

Dear Khun Peter,

In response to your post on passive recruitment of Thai universities, in my opinion it is not the way they recruit that has problems. The universities themselves and the way they run their business are the major problems. When you want to do something, it usually takes a century to get an approval from the government. The tape is apparently red.

Aside from the long process of government approval, Thai universities are not really research-oriented (at least yet). Good scientists will not be able to do anything best suiting with their capability. Teaching is important but good teaching must combine with research. --research-- I am referring to is a hard and serious research which as far as I know no universities in Thailand are pursuing it. Most research in Thailand are somewhat application-oriented. They are not doing anything innovative. Good scientists will probably get bored with this kind of research and it will even hinder their research progress. I have a few scientist friends and relatives. One of my uncles told me that he will not have a chance to do innovative research if he goes back to teach in Thailand as opposed to when he is in the States. His research and papers have been both cited by computer community and published in IEEE and ACM. He will certainly have no chance to do like this in Thailand. This same problem, however, seems typical in Asian countries. Another friend of mine graduated from Brown and went to teach at Hong Kong Institute of Technology and University after he finished his Ph.D.. He told me the same thing, even in Hong Kong, that there is no real and innovative research. He got bored so much that he had to take a leave to do research at Princeton this year.

As long as Thai universities do not start to do any real and innovative research, it is going to be at best hard for them to recruit good scientists back home. Here is a funny story from my experience. I was at computer science depts at SYR for a year. It is known that computer science here is very research-oriented. All I learned in one year was proving things mathematically which is the very most important thing (and hardest) in doing good research *BUT* all these great stuffs will become completely useless if I go back to Thailand. Nobody is going to pay attention to it since they mostly look for people who know how to --apply-- the technology to real applications. In business it is okay but in the universities, especially in graduate level, it should not be this way. For this simple reason, the Thai will have to follow the American invention step by ten steps. We will never lead or even catch up with the American since we always look obediently for their invention instead of inventing one our own. The worst thing is the innovative invention by the Thai in the States will become the American property.

Well, it starts getting longer. So, let me sum up my thoughts. The way to attract good scientists back is probably to provide anything they need for their research. Turn the color of the tape to some other quick colors. Establish research centers for them to work and probably have frequent exchanges between foreign scientists and Thai scientists with foreign universities. Support their research to be published in the American journals. Also, give students an opportunity to participate in research efforts. Student groups can be senior upto graduate. One more important thing. Let these scientists live financially stable. Ex. give them a good salary and do not make them wait for 12 months (for god sake !) to receive their money. This, I believe, will be a good start.

Best regards, Sanpawat

PS: hope there are some administrative persons reading this post. :-)
"Vision is the art of seeing things invisible."

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 22:14:52 +0700
From: Worawan Chandoevwit
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: No more reverse brain drain, please...

Labour mobility is happening everywhere mainly due to economic reasons. It is reasonable for skilled Thai labours to have migrated to North America. These people can survive anywhere since they have skills and knowledge.

Recently, Thai government has allocated 25 million baht to the Association of Thai Professionals in America and Canada (ATPAC) in order to reverse brain drain. The attempt has been made mainly to recruit Thai professional in North America to teach in Thai universities. These Thai professionals will receive 90,000 baht per month in return. Is it worth doing this? Most importantly, is it fair for other local professionals?

Although Thai professionals in North America may earn more than 90,000 baht/month outside Thailand, it is quite unfair to the local Thai professionals who decide to stay and serve their country. There is no reason why they should not also get 90,000 baht/month if they have equivalent level of education and experiences to those from America. In other word, they should have the same economic return.

So many things are unfair in our country. But, at least it's not the task of the Thai government to make things more unfair. We still have lots of high potential people in our country. Take care of them! The government does not need to be worry about brain drain. The slow down in North America's economic, the high unemployment rate, high lay off, racism and social problems together are going to reverse our brain drain naturally.


From: SMTP%"" 13-MAR-1996 13:25:04.04
Subject: Vit's retrospective

Thai Link Boston Job Fair 1996 - Retrospective

In truth, I had not even heard of the organization Thai Link until a month before the Job Fair. When I contacted Khun Cholthanee, my only intention was to gain information about what the Job Fair had to offer. She was extremely informative and was also interested in my perspective about returning to work in Thailand. I guess she liked what I had to say and thought it was relevant to the theme of the Job Fair, such that she invited me to be a panel speaker. I decided to attend with a reservation that the worst that could happen was that I would get the chance to meet some Thai professionals in the Boston community.

On the day of the Job Fair, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the whole function room was filled up with attendees as well as many recruiting companies. It was exciting to see and hear the amount of interest the people had in wanting to work in Thailand. The recruiters I spoke with also gave me encouragement that there are opportunities for finding a good job in Thailand.

I was nervous during my speech and hoped that the concerns I had about returning to Thailand were felt by others. My fears were alleviate after the panel discussion, when many people I didn't know came up to me and told me that they could really relate to what I had to say. I was glad to know that I was not alone in my desire to becoming a participating member in the development of Thailand, that my concerns about returning to Thailand were shared by many in the audience, and that my dream for a more beautiful Thailand is the same dream as others.

Looking back on the Job Fair, I felt honored to have participated. I think of it as my first step in fulfilling an obligation to contribute to the positive development of Thailand. Even though I have not yet received a job offer as a result of the Job Fair, I consider it a success. I met many people and made many friends, I accomplished my task of finding out about work opportunities in Thailand, and most importantly, I discovered that there are many people who want to help Thailand develop into a respectable and productive nation.

Personally, the Job Fair has inspired me to focus even more on returning to Thailand. It was motivated me to continue to educate myself and to believe that I can make a difference. Like I said during my speech, I want to be there, and know that I had a hand in the continuing development of Thailand.

Success in Life,

Vitipoan Sangnam

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