BANGKOK (NNT) – With seasonal fruit about to hit the market, including durian, rambutan, and mangosteen, the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce has singed an agreement with CCIC Thailand to provide better traceability service for Thai fruit exported to China, following a new traceability requirement for all imported farm products into China.
With this agreement, CCIC Thailand as the local office of China’s largest quality assessment and traceability services provider, will help with legal procedures, as well as the requests for health and hygiene certificate, and compliances to additional regulations for certain fruit.
The Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce President Narongsak Puttapornmongkol said Thai fruit products have often been subjected to a lengthy customs clearance at China, however the new service provided by CICC Thailand will help shorten this process to no longer than 3 days, as product information can be traced back from a scan of a QR code. This streamlined process will be beneficial to Thailand’s export, especially fresh produce.
The export value of fruit products from Thailand to China in 2020 has grown by 39.43% at about 2.9 billion US dollar, despite the impacts from COVID-19 pandemic. The value of durian export alone last year is worth about 1.5 billion US dollar, a whopping 77.57% growth. These major growths have been contributed by the services provided by CCIC Thailand, who in the last year helped processed the export of durian, mangosteen, and longan worth about 8 billion baht to China. These services are expected to help increase the export of fresh fruit to China, albeit depending on the harvest volume.
Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)
What measures has SET taken to support listed companies’ compliance with ESG standards?
PAKORN: When we first began promoting ESG-compliant investments, we were met with little interest. We attributed this to a lack of clear data to showcase the economic benefits of ESG investment, and perhaps limited clarity as to what constitutes a sustainable or ESG-compliant investment. The launch of the THSI list and, subsequently, the SETTHSI Index, was designed to address this. Our most recent data, comparing returns for the SETTHSI Index with the broader SET and SET100 indices from April 2020 to April 2021, underscores the economic benefits of these investments: the group compliant with ESG standards outperformed the other two indices on every data point.
As of May 2021 Thailand was home to CG and ESG assets under management totalling BT54.8bn ($1.7bn) across 50 funds – up from 23 funds in 2019. Meanwhile, of the BT187.1bn ($5.9bn) raised in green, social and sustainability bonds since 2018, BT136.4bn ($4.3bn) was raised in 2020 – 83% from the government and the remainder from development banks and private players. This rising demand, in a move to manage risk and generate returns, has been complemented by growing supply and promotion: supply from ESG-compliant businesses aiming for resiliency and sustainable growth, as well as promotion from regulators highlighting investment opportunities with good CG and SD practices. Indeed, the pandemic has been a catalyst in shifting the view of ESG compliance from a luxury to a requirement in the new normal.
In what ways can enhanced standard-setting and regulatory mechanisms overcome the remaining barriers to improved ESG performance?
PAKORN: A multi-stakeholder approach is crucial for enhanced ESG performance – not only in Thailand, but around much of the globe. This can also help to address the standout incumbent challenge: access to reliable, wide-ranging ESG data. For example, the 2020 update to the 56-1 One Report established clear ESG standards and triggered online and offline capacity-building programmes to support listed firms’ compliance. SET is developing an ESG data platform with a structured template to promote the availability of comparable data, maximise value added from corporate sustainability disclosures, and foster collaboration between the business value chain and stakeholders. This is expected to support Thai companies along their ESG journey in an economically sustainable way, result in a greater number of sustainability-focused products and services, drive sustainable investing in the Thai investment community and ultimately “make the capital market work for everyone”, as outlined in the SET’s vision.
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