Promoting trade in Southeast Asia 

By Johann Bhurrut March 24, 2015

In March, Cargill led a delegation of US-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Council members to Thailand to meet with top government officials. The main goal of the delegation was to discuss how the U.S. private industry can support the promulgation of new agri-innovation technologies to improve food security and productivity. The delegation met Petipong Pungbun Na Ayudhya, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives; General Chatchai Sarikalya, Minister of Commerce; Dr. Siriwat Thiptharadol, Advisor to the Minister of Public Health and Duangjai Asawachintachit, Deputy Secretary General at Thailand’s Board of Investment.

Bruce Blakeman, vice president of Corporate Affairs for Cargill in Asia Pacific and Chair of the US-ASEAN Business Council Food & Agriculture Committee explained the significance of the mission: “Thailand is ASEAN’s second largest economy, and the importance of the food and agriculture sector cannot be overstated. More than 10 percent of Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 40 % of its labor force come from the agricultural sector,” said Blakeman. “As one of the world’s leading agricultural suppliers, we want to continue to work together with the Thai government to ensure they are leveraging agri-innovation technologies which can propel the industry to even higher levels of productivity and yields. In addition, with the upcoming launch of the ASEAN Economic Community, we would like to see acceleration towards regional harmonization of standards throughout Southeast Asia.”

The mission to Thailand was part of an ongoing series by the US-ASEAN Business Council Food & Agriculture Committee to advance discussions on promoting mutually beneficial trade and investment relationships between the United States private sector and Southeast Asia. The Committee has already had delegations in Vietnam and Philippines and is planning more in other ASEAN economies.

Cargill has been in Thailand since 1968. Our operations today comprise the origination, sourcing, processing, handling, distribution and marketing of a wide range of products that include animal protein, agricultural commodities, animal feed, food products, as well as food and beverage ingredients. We are one of Thailand’s largest exporters of cooked chicken products. Our various ongoing corporate responsibility programs in the country promote rural development and enrich local communities by fostering education, improving nutrition and helping community projects. Our businesses and people continue to be actively engaged in giving back to the communities in which we operate.