BY ANTONIO ANUP
BANGKOK, Thailand — A conference for Catholic business leaders will meet in Thailand in March to discuss Catholic social teaching and the vocation of the business leader in the New Evangelization.
“With the opening of the new Asian Economic Communities in 2014, the Church has to address and prepare for the future pastoral challenges influencing every human sector,” Msgr. Andrew Vissanu Thanya Anan, the deputy secretary general of the Thailand Catholic Bishops’ Conference, told CNA.
The Asian Conference on the Vocation of the Business Leader in the New Evangelization seeks to strengthen Catholics’ faith and to examine the dilemmas facing Catholic business leaders in an uncertain world economy. The conference will take place March 20-22, 2014, at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will deliver a key reflection on the topic, “Vocation of the Business Leader.”
The event is organized by the International Catholic Union of Business Executives (UNIAPAC), in collaboration with the Thailand-based Catholic Business Executives Group and the Thailand-based Catholic Young Executives Society.
Joseph Prachub Trinikorn, the chairman and coordinator of the business executives’ group, said that Catholic social teaching has not flourished in Catholic businesses, and as a result, many businesses have faced “crisis, insolvency and bankruptcy through bad practices of greed and corruption.”
He stressed that the core teachings of “Gospel values and principles” could be applied in business networks that uphold the “esteemed” virtues of love, service and charity.
Trinikorn added that businesses have a “social responsibility” and have many “resources” at hand to serve the community and the world.
“If you pay the employees well, you help their livelihood, and if your products help people for a better life, that is true love, and that is Christian teaching,” he said. This means that “doing business is evangelizing.”
Joseph Pholachart Kraiboon, the director of the Catholic Business Executives Group, noted that Asia is “an emerging major economic power hub.”
He told CNA that the conference will help business leaders share information and network.
The conference will include Mass, dining and social opportunities and 12 sessions featuring eminent speakers from America, Europe and Asia, addressing a variety of topics.
Sandro Calvani, a senior adviser to strategic planning for the Thailand royal family, patrons of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation, will discuss social and environmental challenges facing business leaders in Asia.
Virachai Techavijit, founder of Thailand’s Regent’s School Group, will discuss how to become “an ideal Christian business leader.”
Jose Maria Simone, the president of UNIAPAC, will discuss the promotion of Christian business collaboration.
Father Robert Sirico, president of the U.S.-based Acton Institute, will speak on the topic “Helping the poor to the help themselves through entrepreneurship.”
“If we apply Catholic social teaching, we can be successful and fruitful,” said Trinikorn.
He added, “Therefore, it is opportune to come together in promoting Catholic teachings of the Church, even with business groups, to understand social reality and to share common knowledge on good governance and social responsibility.”
More details about the conference and conference registration are available through the website www.cureourworld.com.
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