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WTO access encourages CP Group to look at Vietnam

THAILAND - The Charoen Pokphand Group plans to set up its second manufacturing base for livestock and aquaculture in Vietnam within 10 years, thanks to the country's generous trade and investment sweeteners.

"The company will develop a manufacturing base integrated from farm to finished product in Vietnam, because its government provides many privileges to foreign investors," Sooksunt Jiumjaiswanglerg, president of Charoen Pokphand Vietnam, said yesterday.

Vietnam's recent accessionto the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will also make it one of the world's most attractive investment magnets for foreign investors, he said.

At yesterday's seminar entitled "Vietnam's Accession to the WTO: Benefits and Challenges for Thai Enterprises", government officials and private enterprises warned local enterprises to accelerate upgrading their business; otherwise, Vietnam could win out over Thailand. It could become the world's major exporter of agricultural and industrial goods, as well as a major provider of services.

The CP Group, Thailand's biggest agro-conglomerate, has invested in Vietnam for more than 15 years and enjoyed annual revenue growth of 10-15 per cent. However, sales have jumped by 30 per cent in the past few years and the company expects to keep that pace up for another year due to rising market demand.

Source: The Nation