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  1. #1
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    William Heinecke - Fusion of Asian and Western values key to billionaire's success

    BANGKOK -- William Heinecke, CEO of Thailand's Minor International, was born in the U.S. and speaks only a few words of the Thai language. Yet, his company has become one of the largest and most successful hotel and restaurant conglomerates in the country and now branching out to more than 30 countries. The naturalized Thai national sat and discussed with the Nikkei Asian Review on how he built his empire in the Asian business world.



    Q: How much of an advantage is it to have a Thai citizenship for your business at home and abroad?

    A: Certainly in Thailand, it is an advantage because although I look American and I was born in America, we are seen to be very committed to Thailand. In Thailand to be a Thai, it shows our commitment to business and whatever.

    But it has not been a disadvantage when we go outside too, because Thailand is famous for hospitality and famous for spas, famous for food. Actually what we are well known for are the trades Thailand is well known for. So we have Thai food in London, we have restaurants all over. It has been a logical extension and it has never been a disadvantage. And I get a great deal of support from the Thai embassy in all the markets we operate-- we are a Thai company and have many Thai staff.

    I came here when I was a young boy. It has been the biggest influence of my life as I have lived here the longest in my young life. It was only natural that I wanted to stay. It was comfortable and I knew it like my home. And it always has been my home for the last 52 years.

    To become a Thai citizen is not easy. I lived here for almost 30 years before I got my citizenship and it took me nearly 5 or 6 years in the process. So that is why I guess not many foreigners have adopted Thai citizenship. You have to be resident, have to live here, have the basic language skills have to demonstrate that you are good citizen.

    And don't forget, in my case, I had to give up my American citizenship. So that is that I don't have a second passport. I have only one. Wherever I go, I need a visa. When I go to America, I need a visa. I am treated like any other Thai. But it was absolutely worth it. No question.

    Q: What do you think about Westerners that fail in Asia and blame the closed society or cronyism?

    A: I look at it the other way. Thailand, I find it easier than countries like Hong Kong or Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam. In those places, the people are more concerned about foreigners because they have been colonized, whatever. Thailand has always been a fiercely independent country and therefore I think they accepted foreigners quite openly and on a fairly even basis whereas many countries do not treat them equally like Europe, for example. I can think of many other countries that are much more difficult. I think it would be much more difficult for me to start a company in Washington DC.

    [When people complain about cronyism] I think it's just that they haven't spent enough time yet in the country. I think the longer you spend the more you understand. I don't think you can understand in one or two years. That's why I made a commitment. There are so many things to learn about this country I'm still learning.

    More.....

    Interview: Fusion of Asian and Western values key to billionaire's success- Nikkei Asian Review

  2. #2
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    What a monkey journalist and a liar billionaire.

    The main reason why he quit his US passport was not to pay tax in US anymore !

    I understand why he accepts to be interviewed by an Asian monkey...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JournalistsAreLiars View Post

    The main reason why he quit his US passport was not to pay tax in US anymore !
    Quite sensible then. Why pay taxes in a country one doesn't live in and cannot take advantage of roads, sewers, water supply, community policing, et al..

    Oh wait if I'm a US taxpayer and if I get into trouble they are going to send an aircraft carrier!

    Smart man! Anyway he has decided to make Thailand his home and pay Thai taxes.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  4. #4
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    I am just saying that he is a liar by not saying the truth.

    I understand him because i have never paid and will never pay any tax in any country f this shiiite world, but he is a liar and the journashit a monkey like all of them, anyway !

  5. #5
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    ......and, of course, he became naturalised because the Thai thought he was just sooooo cute.

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