Source: Vientiane Times
PTT Public Company Limited, one of Thailand’s largest fuel distributors, has said it will focus on sustaining its existing business operations while considering selective investment for current business maintaining.
The company’s policy is linked to the unfavourable global economic outlook and continuing depreciation of the kip, which are impacting on businesses in Laos.
Managing Director of PTT (Lao) Co., Ltd., Mr Theera Weerawong, told Vientiane Times last week the outlook for the sluggish global economy does not appear to be brighter in the coming months.
There is no sign of an end to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which could create more economic challenges for developing countries, he said.
Since entering the Lao market more than 10 years ago, PTT has enjoyed success in its business operations, with the number of its petrol stations increasing to 54, along with the opening of 84 coffee outlets. At the present time, PTT Lao employs almost 2,000 people.
The Thai brand is well known and trusted by people in Laos, who frequently travel to Thailand because of the similarities in language between Laos and Thailand, and the strong influence of Thai media.
PTT not only sells fuel but also runs convenience and auto service outlets, so that PTT service stations have become a one-stop location for shopping, dining and banking, as well as the purchase of fuel.
Mr Theera said petrol stations cannot survive by only selling fuel.
The provision of other services such as convenience stores, coffee outlets and banking units are additional money-makers and help the company to make a profit.
He said one of the main challenges at present is the global economic downturn triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has driven up the price of oil. High inflation in Laos, which soared to 30.01 percent in August, and the depreciation of the kip, he added.
The depreciation of the kip makes it difficult for businesses to make a profit, Mr Theera said, adding that Laos must stabilise foreign currency exchange rates as this is considered fundamental to allow all importers, not just PTT, to run a successful business operation.
Laos needs about 120 million litres of fuel a month to meet the needs of the general public and businesses, according to a government report.
The government has pledged to ensure a sufficient supply of fuel in response to the demands of the Lao people.