Message from the Chairman, Nitya Pibulsonggram
As K.I.Asia looks forward to entering its 18th year of operations, its mission to promote results-oriented, sustainable development in Asia, is more critical than ever. Great progress has been made in the region, but as the 1997 economic crisis taught us, development done poorly is not sustainable. As we move forward as a region, K.I.Asia will work with its partners in the private, public and civil society sectors to ensure the benefits of development are sustainable and reach all of its citizens.
In Southeast Asia in particular, we are seeing a resurgence of the importance of the private sector, which is leading to more and better efforts to link development initiatives between government, the private sector and civil society organizations. The model of private sector development applied by K.I.Asia since 1996, which was a very lonely time indeed for an organization that believed in the power of the private sector, has now become main stream. In some ways, K.I.Asia and its original development partners can view this significant re-alignment of the development model as a victory for our philosophy. However, in practice, much more work needs to be done. As such, K.I.Asia will continue with its efforts to bridge the private and public sectors to ensure development assistance is targeted, impactful and sustainable – linking corporate and societal needs to ensure better development. In particular, in 2013, we will be looking to develop partnerships with like-minded Thai companies to complement our multinational corporate partnerships and ensure that development resources are used effectively.
I am pleased to report that in 2012, K.I.Asia worked to expand its regional operations by registering its presences in both Lao PDR and Vietnam, with a goal of establishing permanent office presences. K.I.Asia also began its first projects in Myanmar, with funding from the Thai government, to help build SME linkages between Thailand and Myanmar. K.I.Asia was also pleased to work on a number of initiatives to help strengthen region. These included projects such as VALUE and MARKET, which are being implemented with US government funding to strengthen ASEAN. As well, K.I.Asia continued its close relationship with the Thai government in their efforts to promote SME development in the region, serving as the technical advisors to the Thai government for its upcoming role as the Chair of the APEC Committee on SMEs. Although K.I.Asia completed work on its USAID funded Greater Mekong Subregion-Responses to Infectious Diseases (GMS-RID) project this year, we began work on another USAID regional, public health initiative to control malaria, CAP-Malaria. As K.I.Asia moves into 2013, we will continue our regional push and to utilize our development expertise to strengthen Thailand and the region.
The past year has also been a year of change at K.I.Asia with the retirement of long-time President and Executive Director Paul Wedel, and the promotion of Richard Bernhard to take over Paul’s responsibilities as Executive Director for the past year, and the recent addition of K.I.Asia’s Vice Chairman, Piyabutr Cholvijarn, as President since October 2012. Everyone in the K.I.Asia family joins me in wishing Paul the best of luck in his retirement and in looking forward to working with Piyabutr and Richard in their new roles.
On behalf of K.I.Asia, I would like to conclude by thanking all of our partners, in Thailand, the region and globally, who support our efforts and make our work possible.