Personalities Monitor

Well connected, Thailand is a centre of growth

PTT is Thailand’s largest company and its only enterprise to be listed on the Fortune Global 500.

In an interview with Upper Reach,?PTT?CEO Dr Pailin Chuchottaworn talks about Thailand?s solid position at the centre of the rising ASEAN region, and the soon to be inaugurated ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), as well as his own company?s goal to become a so-called TAGNOC, a technologically advanced and green national oil company.

How can Asian countries and economies adopt and restore confidence within today?s economic climate and help to stabilise the international market?

This is the only growing region in the world. I think we are well-positioned near China and India as the next centre of growth. Most of the companies in the Fortune 500 are companies from the US and Europe, but last year was the first year that Asia surpassed Europe and the US. ASEAN companies are already surpassing the US and Europe for the first time. Japan is also declining, whilst Chinese and Korean companies are on the up. We are becoming very strong.

Where would you place Thailand in the ASEAN region regarding this growth?

I always divide the ASEAN into continental ASEAN and island ASEAN. Continental ASEAN consists of five land-connected countries and the rest are mostly islands. If you look at Thailand today, we are connected on land. We are connected to China and India. The potential for growth is great. We are one of the leading five continental ASEAN countries, and we are becoming the gateway between China and India.

I believe that Thailand is the centre of growth within ASEAN. If we can resolve the landing issue in Bangkok and the land transportation issue from China to India, then this area will become a hub. Lots of these areas are emerging with natural resources, but whether we can pull the world out of the recession is another question. Europe is suffering from a deep recession, and it has been left unresolved for too long. If you compare the ASEAN crisis in 1997 with the crisis in Europe, four years after that, most countries were getting back on their feet; they said goodbye to the IMF and evolved stronger. But today, four years after the crisis in Europe, people are still struggling.

We need to move a little away from a resource base to a technology and knowledge-based company.?

PTT is the number one company here. How do you think PTT embodies the values and principles of the Thai people and how does it contribute towards the international image of Thailand as a whole?

We have become a leading company in Thailand and we are trying to show Thais that if you work hard, you can become a global player like PTT. We are not saying that we have the best management system or we are the best company in Thailand, but we want to show that if any company in Thailand works hard and they are dedicated and committed to its success, it can get there.

How are you going to make PTT a technologically advanced and green national oil company?

We have been doing very good business on the resource base for the past 34 years; but what if there are no more resources? Look at France with Total, which has become a very big international oil company. There was no gas or oil in France.

We need to move a little away from a resource base to a technology and knowledge-based company. PTT is the biggest culprit of climate change in Thailand as we use fossil fuels. PTT cannot escape the blame, so now is the time for PTT to take on the challenge to turn this country into a green country.

– The Worldfolio