BANGKOK • For generations X and Y and the millennials, it is difficult to imagine Europe 100 years ago. It is also difficult for them to imagine South-east Asia 45 years ago.
At the time, there was war in Vietnam and Laos and genocide in Cambodia, as well as communist guerrillas in Thailand. Myanmar was closed and so was China.
Today's Asean is vastly different. There are endless opportunities for Thai businesses to enjoy.
The situation is similar to the opportunities in Europe when the European Economic Community was formed after World War II and all Western - and today, also Eastern European - countries prospered.
The same will happen here, according to Mr Harald Link, chairman of B.Grimm and B.Grimm Power Group.
B.Grimm, one of Thailand's oldest companies, with 140 years of history, is eyeing the opportunity, with projects worth many billions of baht in other South-east Asian countries. The group is already active in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, and exploring projects in Myanmar and Indonesia.
"Our desire is to do business with compassion in every country we operate in and to be considered a company fully integrated into the host country's society, thereby creating goodwill and better understanding among all South-east Asian nations, making wars a thing of the past," said, the German-born business chief, who speaks Thai fluently.
B.Grimm's main business focus in these countries is in the field of energy generation and distribution, in both renewable energy and in conventional fuels.
B.Grimm's first hydro project in Laos started operation this month, with nine others to follow soon. The group's operations service 150 big industrial customers in Vietnam. The company has a distributed solar energy business in the Philippines, is building a distribution line in Cambodia and is working on a massive solar project in Malaysia.
THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK