On March 5, 1951, the Thai Rubber Association was established by those early traders under the name of "The Rubber Traders Association of Thailand". Its objectives were to serve as the central organization of companies comprising rubber producers and traders to foster co-operation between them as well as acting as the central entity for government agencies to contact the group and discuss or negotiate about matters of common interest. From that humble beginning, the Association has also been the driving force in pushing innovative activities concerning career development along with up-grading its members' standards of business administration.
The main purpose of the establishment of the Association at the beginning was to solve problems due to the non-regulated trade that lacked any rules and regulation. Buyers and sellers were free to trade and thus could satisfy their own needs and wishes without considering the impact on the trading as a whole. Understandably, there were problems of poor quality goods as well as difficulties of contractors who did not follow or abide with contracts. This occasionally resulted in lengthy disputes and harmed the trade and its traders.
Consequently, a gathering of rubber traders calling themselves "The Rubber Traders Association of Thailand" was formed with the prime objectives to eliminate unfair trading and to support its' honest trading members in accordance with formulated rules and regulation.
The office was appropriately located at the Bangkok Chamber of Commerce. The first meeting of the association was conducted on March 5, 1951. In its formative years, there were already 15 members including both ordinary members and special members.
It took the Association almost two decades to become a regular member of the Thai Chamber of Commerce. On the 29th of February 1968 the permit to become a trade association was given by the registrar of the Government Authority. The office was relocated at 57 Soi Rong Muang 5, Rong Muang Road, Pathumwan District, Bangkok under the name "The Thai Rubber Traders' Association".
The rubber production of Thailand increased not only by strong demand from the world market, but was also stimulated strongly through the replanting program of the Thai Government from 1961 onwards. This resulted indirectly in the establishment of rubber processing factories and rubber trading companies. As these professional groups needed to be in close contact with the farmers and plantation owners, their activities spread throughout the rubber growing area in the South.
The number of members of the Thai Rubber Traders' Association has, therefore, increased and presently comprises 54 leading companies. Some of these companies are rubber processors while others are traders. The Association is recognized by the Government and is respected by the public as the central organization in which the government and the private sector can get together.
MOVING TO THE SOUTH
With the main town of HatYai in Southern Thailand becoming a full-blown commercial centre, and with the establishment of the Deep-Sea Port in Songkhla, there was good reason to have the Association moving to the south. Not only is that the main rubber growing area with many rubber factories and intensive transport and trading activities, it is also close to our neighbor country Malaysia, the third world producer and exporter. In 1992 the Association moved to the town of HatYai, Songkhla Province and founded its office at 4/14 Thepsongkraw Rd.
In 1993 its members agreed to change the Association's name to the "Thai Rubber Association". In the following year the office was moved to a more appropriate facilities: 45, 47 Chotivithayakun 3 Road, HatYai, its current seat.
ACTIVITIES IN THE PAST
For over 60 years of the operation, the Association has conducted the following activities:-
1. MEMBER SERVICES
The Association is the centre of rubber business information for the members. The Association obtains the information from different sources and distribute it to its members and public by monthly news bulletin. In 2001 , TRA launched website at www.thainr.com for NR information.
Technical & Business Know-How
The Association supports the members in deriving knowledge and experience in rubber processing technique and rubber business through exchange of ideas, supply of information, arranging of study visits, inviting members to attend meetings, holding seminar and organizing training for both local and overseas attendees on appropriate occasions.
Rubber Business Disputes
When rubber trade disputes do occur, whether at local level or in overseas trading, the Association will act as a mediator in settling rubber trade disputes among members and defusing conflicts between members and non-members.
Rubber marketing promotion is another function of the Association. In this field, several activities were carried out in the recent past.
The association recently arranged several missions to rubber consuming countries in Europe, USA, South America, and SE Asia ,particularly in China and India to promote Thai Natural Rubber at our trading partners and local governmental organizations. The main purposes were - raising confidence of the consumers for Thai NR, its qualities, shipment and packaging, and the backing of rubber trading by the Association. Every year the Association arranges for its members to attend annual dinners of various rubber organizations overseas to strengthen the rubber business relationship, especially those with our neighboring countries.
The Association organizes annually a welcome party for those rubber organizations from abroad which visit rubber industries and businesses in Thailand. The Association has established an agreement with the Rubber Trade Association of Japan to trade NR only among members to ensure a smooth business relationship
2. CONFERENCE AND SEMINARS
TRA arranged several national and International conference and seminars in connection with rubber industry and trading. TRA president and manger also attended several national and International conference and seminars to present papers.
3. COOPERATION WITH THE GOVERNMENT
To assist the rubber industry at large, several activities were carried out in joint actions of the Association and Governmental Agencies. Additionally, the Association has also participated into many significant organizations by presenting or being assumed as:
The Executive Board of the Rubber Reseach Institute of Thailand (RRIT)
The Committee of Rubber-Processing Cost Analysis of RRIT
The Rubber Statistic Committee
The Committee of Agricultural Industries, Food & Agricultural Businesses of the Board of Trade of Thailand
The Committee of Labour Delegations & Labour Relations of the Board of Trade of Thailand
The Committee of International Trade Regulations of the Board of Trade of Thailand
The Committee of the Agricultural Futures Exchange of Thailand (AFET)
The Senior Advisor for Arbitration
The Marketing Strategic Committee of the International Rubber Consortium Limited (IRCo)
The Executive Board of the International Rubber Consortium Limited (IRCo)
Support Research and Seminar
The Association also worked with the Rubber Research Institute to set appropriate criteria in the fields related to the Association's activities in order to further up-grade the Thai NR industry. TRA supports seminars to transfer those research findings to the professional groups concerned and to the public.
4. CO-OPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL RUBBER ORGANIZATION
The rubber industry as a whole and trading with partners overseas calls for good relations with the international organizations concerned. The Association plays an important role at the international level with a number of activities.
Membership of the International Rubber Study Group
The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) was inaugurated in 1947 with the initial policy for collaborating in production, trade and consumption of both natural rubber & synthetic rubber among all relevant parts (the producing countries and the NR & SR consuming countries). Currently, there are consisting of 16 member-countries: Belgium, Republic of Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, France, Spain, Germany, the United States of America, Malaysia, Thailand, Italy, England, Japan, European Community Countries, Russian Federation and C?te d'Ivoire. The present head-office is located in Singapore.
Membership of the International Rubber Association
When the International Rubber Association (IRA) was inaugurated in Ottawa, Canada on 29 September 1971 with a membership of twenty-one organizations, the Thai Rubber Traders' Association was one of the initial members. At present, the Thai Rubber Association is one of the executive members of this top-level coordinating association.
Endorsement of "The Green Book"
In 1968 the International Standard of Quality and Packaging for Natural Rubber Grades, called " The Green Book", was published under the direction of the 4th IRQPC, held in Belgium. The Rubber Traders' Association of Thailand was one of the national rubber organizations that endorsed this important agreement.
Member of the ASEAN Rubber Business Council In 1992 The Rubber Trade Institutes of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand jointly established the ASEAN Rubber Business Club to consolidate views of members pertaining to the rubber trade and the trading system. The Thai Rubber Traders' Association is currently still a member of this club. At present , its members agreed to change the ASEAN Rubber Business Club to ASEAN Rubber Business Council.
THE POLICY OF NEW COMMITTEE (2010-2012)
To transparently administer with good governance.
To protect the most benefits of all TRA members as a main target.
To cooperate with various government & private sectors both in domestic and abroad.
To give full cooperation with rubber-producing countries around the world, particular Asian group.
To be a centre of cooperation among producers & consumers included seeking for any resolutions in rubber-business problems for mutual victory together between producers & consumers.
To build up a close relationship among all TRA menbers & the Association in order to achieve the firm development of Thai rubber industries.
To encourage the strength in trade & rubber industries of TRA members.