SET-listed CPF, the flagship company of the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, is ramping up its investments in Laos and Cambodia as part of its plan to prepare for regional economic integration in 2016, reports Bangkok Post.
Sakol Cheewakoset, the president of CP Laos and CP Cambodia, said a combined 250 million baht (THB) is being invested to set up a new silo and drying plant for maize at Pailin in Cambodia, and a new feed meal plant in Champasak, Laos. The goal is to strengthen the group's integrated agro-industrial business to serve the upcoming single market under the Asean Economic Community (AEC).
CP has invested in Cambodia since 1995. Its combined investment there amounts to THB3 billion, largely spent on feed, livestock farms and food-related production units such as sausage plants and slaughterhouses.
Mr Sakol said the silo and drying plant are to ensure effective distribution in western Cambodia and reduce logistics costs as the area is important for agricultural production.
He added the company is mulling investing in an aquatic business in Cambodia in the near future.
"CP's business in Cambodia is doing well as the food business still has opportunity to grow. Our five-year business plan aims to double our total sales every year," Mr Sakol told the newspaper.
For Laos, CPF plans a combined investment of about THB1 billion, mainly on the feed, farm and food sectors. Its food business there is just in the opening stages, with 'Five-Star' grilled chicken starting only recently.
CP Laos started operations in 2006, running animal feed and livestock businesses.
It has one feed mill in Vientiane with production capacity of 10,000 tonnes per month. The new feed meal plant in Champasak province, slated for this year, will have production of 5,000 tonnes per month to serve consumption in the country's southern region. The plant is expected to reduce logistics cost by eliminating the need for transport from Vientiane.
Mr Sakol told Bangkok Post that the company is studying the possibility of launching organic production both for livestock and plants in the two countries to cater to growing organic food consumption.
"The general election in Cambodia is this July and should stabilise the political situation, while Laos has a policy to deliver its people from poverty by 2020," he said.