Come 2015, when the Asean Economic Community kicks off, ThaiBev will have easier access to a larger market and more partners with whom to carry out social initiatives
Owned by Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thailand’s wealthiest citizen and case study example of rags-to-riches, ThaiBev is listed in Forbes’ Global 2000 list at spot 1,080. In other words, ThaiBev plays an enormous role in both the Thai and the Asean region’s economy. And luckily for everyone else, the company has a friendly and inclusive attitude towards business, helping its partners grow along with it.
This includes a healthy and humble attitude towards private sector involvement not only in business but also in community initiatives all over Southeast Asia.
“We have been developing C-ASEAN together with large Thai and multinational conglomerates, as we see it is not just about Thailand – it is about the Asean community,” explains Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, President and CEO. “We cannot say that we will still be going strong for years to come; we are looking across to the region and the Asean country members. We are talking about the free flow of goods, services, capital and human resources the business gets and enhances.”
By integrating the region’s 10 economies into a powerful block, this union will give ThaiBev easier access to the more than 700 million consumers, trade partners and tourists in the AEC.
Yet another aspect of the initiative is sociocultural integration, and Mr. Sirivadhanabhakdi sees the private sector taking on ever more importance. “We and other large corporations are not just talking about the business side – we are also looking at the soft side, like cultural programs, arts and music, for us to understand each other even better. On the soft side, those are values that can blend in. We believe that we can help Asean and the community to understand each other faster.”