Unilever holds Asia-wide R&D meeting at Dusit
Pictured is Marcus Wirsching (6th
from left), resident manager of Dusit Resort, Pattaya, with the R&D food
executives of Unilever in the region led by Lou Lievense (3rd from left),
Vice President Asia, Research and Development.
The Research and Development division of Unilever in Asia
recently held its Foods R&D Asia Management Conference at Dusit Resort,
Pattaya with more than 100 participants from all over the region.
This was the first gathering of R&D managers in Unilever’s food categories
in Asia. The conference highlighted the company’s growth objectives, the
products launched in 2006, business performances in each Asia cluster as
well as innovations to come in Asia in 2007 and onwards.
Senator Mechai Viravaidya was the guest speaker at the two-day conference
attended by 110 executives from 15 countries in Unilever’s R&D areas -
research, savory, ice cream, beverage, brewing, spread and food solutions.
Unilever is a multinational company that owns many of the world’s consumer
product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care
Industry to invest Bt8 billion on pollution control at Mab Ta Phut
Industrial operators at Mab Ta Phut Industrial Estate have
agreed to invest about Bt8 billion in importing pollution control equipment and
installing it at their plants near the eastern resort of Rayong, said Deputy
Industry Minister Piyabutr Cholvijarn.
The state-run Board of Investment will in return offer a tax reduction on
imported equipment of as much as 70 per cent for three years, said Mr. Piyabutr.
As an additional incentive, the Finance Ministry will also deduct corporate tax
for industrial facilities that have invested in equipment for pollution control,
at double the actual cost of the investment.
“Overall pollution must be reduced at the industrial zone”, Mr. Piyabutr said,
“otherwise new plants cannot be built there as the level of environmental waste
has already reached its maximum permissible level.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Industry Minister Kosit Panpiemras has affirmed
repeatedly that he will control pollution emitted by industrial plants at Mab Ta
Phut. Mr. Kosit has pledged to reduce contamination in the area in the coming
months as new plants await permission to establish factories at the estate. The
total investment by these new plants amounts to some Bt200 billion.
“The Ministry of Industry is planning new regulatory statutes on collecting tax
on plants which release pollution and to introduce pollution control measures at
Mab Ta Phut Industrial estate and at other industrial estates across the
country”, said Mr. Piyabutr.
Mr. Piyabutr’s remarks were made after the non-governmental Eastern People’s
Network group met last Friday and renewed its call for the government to stop
pollution in Rayong and threatened to hold a major demonstration on April 28 if
their demands are not met. (TNA)
PTT buys out US-owned JET petrol stations
Thailand’s PTT Plc. last week agreed to take over US-based
ConocoPhillips’ entire retail oil business in Thailand valued at US$275 million,
which includes all the JET-branded gasoline stations and Jiffy-branded
convenience stores in the Kingdom.
PTT president Prasert Bunsumpun confirmed, after presiding over the purchase
agreement, that the Thai giant would administer all 147 JET stations nationwide.
PTT, the largest oil firm in Thailand, is expected to reach a licensing
agreement to use the JET/Jiffy brands for another two years in order to maintain
the high operating standards of the network.
According to Mr. Prasert, PTT will set up a new subsidiary to oversee the
administration of JET stations - which currently have about 3,350 employees and
that it would take two years to convert JET to PTT stations.
He said the acquisition of all the American company’s stations in Thailand would
save investment costs for PTT, as it had previously planned to establish another
200 major petrol stations within the next five years and would not now need to
After two years of operations, PTT stations which are located near JET stations
could switch to selling natural gas for vehicles while new negotiations will be
held on whether Jiffy convenience stores would be retained at JET locations or
be transferred to 7-Eleven, which already has an agreement with PTT, he said.
To counter criticisms by small oil operators that the JET acquisition would
allow PTT to dominate the local market, Mr. Prasert said the takeover would only
increase PTT’s market share by between 4 to 5 per cent, pushing it’s total
market share to 35 per cent while the number of its petrol stations would rise
ConocoPhillips is an international, integrated energy company. It is the third
largest integrated oil firm in the US, based on market capitalisation, oil and
gas proved reserves and production; and the second largest refiner in the US.
The company is known worldwide for its technological expertise in deep water
exploration and production, reservoir management and exploitation. (TNA)
Tesco Lotus to invest Bt7bn in Thailand this year
Despite a slowdown in the Thai economy, UK-based
hypermarket chain operator Tesco Lotus said it would invest about Bt7
billion and create 7,000 jobs in the kingdom this year, according to Jeff
Adams, Tesco’s chief executive officer.
Tesco Lotus sales have dropped below target due to the prevailing poor
economy, Mr. Adams said, but the company will continue to build more
branches this year and will invest approximately Bt7 billion - almost the
same as last year and pay about Bt250 million in higher tax than 2006. The
company has said it hopes to create another 7,000 new jobs.
Tesco Lotus has recently come under fire from small local retailers who have
charged that its expansion, especially upcountry, has hurt their businesses.
Meanwhile the Thai government is working on a new retail business law that
it hopes will satisfy both small and large retailers.
Declining to say how many branches would be opened in 2007, the Tesco
executive said it would depend on his company’s applications to the Thai
He also denied criticisms that Tesco Lotus dominated the retail business in
Thailand, saying that the firm’s market share here is around six per cent
while it had helped prevent the prices of goods from rising too sharply,
despite the considerable oil price increase in the past two years. (TNA)