It is my pleasure to be here today to present the prestigious Danish Export Association’s Diploma and His Royal Highness Prince Henrik’s Medal of Honour to Carlsberg Malaysia.
Carlsberg has an illustrious history and has made a significant investment and contribution towards the people, economy and societies both in Denmark and in Malaysia.
The geographical distance between Denmark and Southeast Asia may be formidable. But it did not prevent adventurous Danes from seeking their fortunes as traders, craftsmen and working in plantations, already in the 19th century.
Over the decades, Malaysia has grown to become one of the biggest growth markets in Southeast Asia with increasing trade and investment activities. It is increasingly a strategic location for Danish companies such as Carlsberg to grow their markets.
With continued strong growth rates in Malaysia and the ASEAN Economic Community to be achieved by the end of this year, trade and investments with the EU including with Denmark is set to expand.
In Denmark, Carlsberg Group is one of the pioneers of industrialisation and has made significant contribution towards the economy as well as arts and culture. J.C. Jacobsen, the founder of Carlsberg, was a respected individual. Well known not only for his entrepreneurial spirit but also his philanthropic heart in giving back to society.
He had the foresight to set up the Carlsberg Foundation in Denmark in 1876. Ever since, it has awarded grants in support of basic research in natural science, humanities and social sciences, which has helped to cultivate creativity and innovation. In 2014 alone, the Carlsberg Foundation gave out the equivalent of 125 million Malaysian Ringgits.
The history of Carlsberg in Malaysia goes back a long way. The first Carlsberg beer was imported as far back as in 1903. And when Carlsberg opened a brewery in Malaysia in 1972, it was only the second brewery to be set up outside Denmark, and the first and up until today the only one in Southeast Asia.
J.C. Jacobsen and Carlsberg have contributed to shaping the strong Danish business culture on Corporate Social Responsibility. It is therefore not surprising to note that aside from the substantial contribution that Carlsberg Malaysia has made to the Malaysian economy, the company has for many years had an active community outreach programme.
Building on these experiences, the company took a natural next step in 2014 with the establishment of the J.C. Jacobsen Foundation, the Carlsberg Group’s first affiliated charity foundation in Asia. As part of this, it is a pleasure today to also witness the re-launch of the J.C. Jacobsen Hua Zong Education Fund. With a revolving fund of 2 million Malaysian Ringgits it will be able to help many talented, but underprivileged Malaysian students pursue a tertiary education.
I am also pleased to note that Carlsberg Malaysia has played a role in promoting Danish science, arts and culture, for example through trips for Malaysian journalists to visit Copenhagen.
Last but not least, Carlsberg Malaysia has also implemented important CSR work, for instance to ensure that its suppliers comply with global CSR standards.
On this background, Regional CEO and Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia and Singapore, Mr. Henrik Juel Andersen, is tonight awarded the Danish Export Association’s Diploma and His Royal Highness Prince Henrik’s Medal of Honour, on behalf of Carlsberg Malaysia.
Thank you. Terimah Kasih.