AIA Group today announced that it is investing THB10.5 billion in Thailand through two large-scale real estate projects, underscoring its long term commitment to the country.
The first real estate investment – the AIA Capital Center – is the company’s largest real estate investment in Thailand to date: a 35-storey commercial office complex in Bangkok, the building will be located next to the new Stock Exchange of Thailand and will form an integral part of Thailand’s first financial hub.
The AIA Capital Center is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. The second investment is another office complex, named AIA Sathorn Tower, scheduled for completion in 2015 in Bangkok’s Sathorn district.
Both office complexes will be constructed using cutting-edge green design technology to promote a more energy efficient and eco-friendly future.
“We are very proud to have been in Thailand for 73 successful years. We have enormous faith and confidence in Thailand’s future and the strength of its people,”
said Mark Tucker, AIA’s Group Chief Executive and President. “Together these two real estate investments reflect our on-going confidence in Thailand’s long-term growth.”
Mr. Tucker and Ron Van Oijen, Chief Executive Officer, AIA Thailand, made the announcement at a press conference in Bangkok earlier today. Mr. Tucker is in Bangkok this week to attend AIA’s annual Board of Directors meeting, its first to be held outside Hong Kong since it became a publicly listed company in October 2010.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our strong and continuing support for Thailand and our unwavering commitment to help build a bright future for the country,”
Mr. Tucker added.
Mr. Tucker and Mr. Van Oijen also spoke about AIA Group’s numerous initiatives aimed at assisting those worst impacted by the recent floods. These include cash donations, providing food packages, drinking water, and clothes, and the helping hands of many of AIA Thailand’s staff as volunteers on a daily basis.
“I was extremely touched by the immediate enthusiasm of our AIA staff to assist with volunteer efforts,” said Mr. Van Oijen.
“When I visited Ayutthaya and saw the devastation, I called for volunteers and received an immediate response from 80 staff and agents who wanted to participate in Ayutthaya’s Big Cleaning Day. I am proud to say that AIA was part of the first group that helped to clean the historic city and among the first corporations to provide assistance.”
With many employees and agent offices affected as well, the company is also providing a variety of employee assistance programs, including accommodations, emergency shelter, a flood hotline and an employee flood fund.
“In the aftermath of the floods, we are committed to helping flood victims rebuild their lives,” said Mr. Tucker, who was accompanied on his trip by AIA’s Executive Committee, members of which have set aside time this week to assist with the relief effort. “Playing an active role in supporting the communities
where we live and work is one of AIA’s most important corporate values. Locally, AIA Thailand directly and indirectly generates over 75,000 jobs. Furthermore, we continue to strengthen AIA Thailand’s deep roots in communities throughout the country.”
During the press conference, AIA Thailand also outlined its focus on raising awareness about the Protection Gap. Recent studies conducted by AIA Thailand show that 76 per cent of all Thais – more than 48 million people – do not have life insurance. It is becoming ever more important that Thais arrange protection cover against unexpected medical costs. AIA Thailand, as the market leader with a depth of experience in these classes across the region, aims to make a material impact.
“Our studies have shown that underinsurance is a significant issue in Thailand. Thai consumers need to be more aware of the gap between the protection they have, and the protection they need to ensure they and their families are fully financially protected against life’s uncertainties, in addition to building up regular savings towards the more predictable financial need for retirement income,” Mr. Van Oijen said.