KASIKORNBANK (KBank) represented Thailand’s private financial institutions in attending the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, held in early September. The Bank also joined a panel discussion, “Decarbonizing Southeast Asia: Charting ASEAN’s Pathway to a Net-Zero Future”, to exchange views and discuss the roles and perspectives of the private sector in the drive to achieve the net zero emissions goal. The Bank also invited ASEAN member countries to collaborate on decarbonization efforts at the regional level with the goal of establishing common standards in developing the ASEAN Taxonomy.
Pipit Aneaknithi, KBank President, said, “Thai private financial institutions were represented by KBank in the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Week, held September 1-6 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event featured various noteworthy activities, including the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit or ABIS 2023, under the concept of ‘ASEAN Centrality: Innovating Towards Greater Inclusivity’. The event brought together over 2,000 representatives from the government and business sectors worldwide, including leaders and high-level executives. Serving as a forum for exchanging views among ASEAN member state leaders, the summit also provided an opportunity for business leaders to engage in creative dialogue with policymakers.”
Additionally, KBank participated in a panel discussion, “Decarbonizing Southeast Asia: Charting ASEAN’s Pathway to a Net-Zero Future”, to exchange related perspectives, roles and concepts of the private sector, which plays a vital role in the drive towards achieving net zero emissions, as well as guidelines in establishing banking policies aimed at encouraging banks and customers of all walks of life to recognize environmentally friendly investment and promote sustainability at the regional level.
Regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions and other types of greenhouse gas, or decarbonization, within ASEAN, KBank noted, “Achieving such a target will rest with the potential of each member state to make adjustments in terms of finance, technological capability, and knowledge such as the United States of America, the European Union and the People’s Republic of China. Those with such potential will likely set the guidelines and regulations of the economic system. Meanwhile, most ASEAN member states are developing countries to varying degrees, and they continue to depend upon each other through trade and investment. ASEAN intra-trade presently amounts to 23 percent of its total international trade.”
Under such a context, ASEAN can explore new opportunities together by forging cooperation to ensure that decarbonization is an integral part of its regional progressive dialogue and in alignment with the dynamics of trade and investment, based on a common decarbonization standard. This includes hard infrastructure to which each country can contribute its resources, and laws and regulations [soft infrastructure] such as the ASEAN Taxonomy. Beyond promoting decarbonization within ASEAN, this collaboration could also help us take part in global sustainability efforts.
“Regarding climate challenges in the current business landscape in ASEAN, large corporates can make adaptations and comply with international regulations immediately with their ample resources, technology, funding, and knowledge. On the other hand, SME customers cannot adapt entirely on their own. They require assistance from the government, banks, or multilateral development banks (MDBs) to ensure their survival. As for retail customers, they must be encouraged to raise their awareness and cultivate ideas that will lead to behavioral changes, resulting in a new value system that would drive SMEs and large corporates to adapt efficiently in the future.”
Pipit noted in closing that promoting the development of a common decarbonization standard in the ASEAN economic region reaffirms KBank’s principles of a Bank of Sustainability with the aim of becoming an ESG leader among banks in Southeast Asia. The Bank is determined to participate in supporting and driving the Bank’s clients towards decarbonization in Thailand and ASEAN countries where KBank has a presence, in alignment with the net zero commitment of each country in the future.