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NEWS UPDATES 1 April 2010

Thailand’s turmoil will have short-term impact, says consumer products giant

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The ongoing political divide in Thailand will have an impact on the economy only in the short run and can be addressed peacefully, Thai News Agency reported, quoting a top executive in the consumer products industry.

Speaking of impacts from the political standoff on the business performance, Unilever Group’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman said the company had run its business in Thailand for many decades and understood the political situation and Thai society profoundly.

Consequently, he believed the ongoing political conflicts would have a way out and could be solved in a peaceful manner.

He said the company had not done its business in anticipation of achieving the ultimate goal in just 3-6 months. Instead, what it attempted to do is to explore investment trends and opportunities.

He conceded the political turmoil would affect the Thai economy but only in the short run. Given the economic fundamentals and the continued growth of local spending, he believed it would bode well for the company’s business performance.

“We continue planning to expand business in Thailand and will count on the country as a production base of some kinds of consumer products for export to other countries in the region.

“Additionally, it will give an importance to environmental conservation awareness and utilise the limited resources efficiently to cater to consumers’ needs. At present, Thailand is one of 20 major markets in the world we have given a priority for investment,” he said.

Regarding investment suspensions in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Mr Polman said the government and state agencies concerned had paid attention to taking care of and coping with impacts on the environment from the case.

He was confident the government would eventually manage to address the problem, said the Unilever chief.


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