Sir Leahy voiced his concern that because world and regional economies have changed, any new retail laws should employ both traditional and modern business models to aid retail survival.
Sir Leahy emphasized that Tesco and its Thai hypermarket unit, Tesco Lotus, are in Thailand to stay. The group has done a lot for social development projects and for education. Also, Tesco Lotus neither pulled out nor reduced its investment during the economic crisis. Furthermore, Tesco promotes Thai fruit and flowers to the world. In 2009, for example, the group expects to be able export Thai fruit (such as lychee and longan), for up to $238.8 million — a 30% growth over 2008.
If the Thai government facilitates a reduction in air transportation costs, Tesco is confident that it can export more Thai fruit. (At present, Tesco exports about 220,000 tonnes per year.) The transportation cost from Thailand to America is $3.6 per kg. compared to $2.4 per kg. from Vietnam to America; this reduces Thailand’s competitiveness