BANGKOK • Asean should attract more foreign investment in order to further boost its economic growth, according to Mr Krisda Monthienvichienchai, chief executive officer and president of the world's fourth-largest sugar producer, Mitr Phol Group.
The 58-year-old said companies in the region should increase their competitiveness by applying innovation and technology to reduce cost, boost their production capacity to serve rising demand for products in the region, and develop human resource skills.
The Mitr Phol Group, which is the largest sugar producer in Thailand and Asean, has an annual total production capacity of two million tonnes.
The group is also the largest biomass electricity producer in Asean and the largest ethanol producer in Asean .
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Mitr Phol broadened its production base to the Savannakhet province in Laos in 2006, after the Lao government awarded a 40-year concession to the company to plant sugar cane.
Of its total sugar production output there, 80 per cent is exported to the European markets, while the rest is consumed in neighbouring countries.
The company has adopted modern farming practices.
It has also set up a biomass power plant in the sugar mill in Laos to generate electricity for the production plant, with the excess being sold to the Lao government.
The group is also aiming to sharply increase the area of its contracted sugar cane farmlands in Thailand.
The company said that the total farmland area under the internationally recognised Bonsucro certification standards will reach 64,000ha in 2021, up from the present 7,062ha.
Established in 2008, Bonsucro is a global non-profit organisation that aims to mitigate the environmental and social impacts caused by business operations in the sugar cane and sugar industries.
THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK