Monday, July 27, 2009

Chinese investors eye Thai projects

Nine Chinese companies yesterday agreed to explore more than Bt10 billion worth of investment projects in Thailand with local partners on the first day of the Thai-Chinese Business Forum in Pattaya.

Some 35 local companies are also in talks on possible deals with Chinese companies, Industry Minister Charnchai Chairungrueng said yesterday.

The two-day meeting hosted by the Industry Ministry has drawn 260 Chinese investors from 50 companies belonging to the World Eminence Chinese Business Association, as well as 500 local businessmen.

The Chinese are interested in 16 kinds of businesses in Thailand and would like to set up manufacturing bases here.

Combined investment could reach as high as Bt20 billion.

Among the parties signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to conduct a feasibility study were the Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Office with the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises; the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand with Sunshine Biotech International; Bangkok Thonburi University with the World Eminence Chinese Business Association; Pacific Rubber Works with the Brazil-China Chamber of Commerce; and Petch Thai Pattana with Dashan Technology.

Sunshine Biotech International is interested in setting up a Bt3.5-billion biochemical plant in a local industrial estate.

Saha Farms, the Kingdom's leading boiled-chicken producer and exporter, entered into an MoU with leading investment conglomerate the New Hope Group to conduct a feasibility study on setting up a boiled-chicken base in Thailand.

ComLink will work with the China Sun Bio-Chem Technology Group to establish a processed-tapioca plant.

BBCA of China has asked the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand to help it find a location to open a processing plant. The company focuses on exporting citric acid made from cassavas.

Thai Diamond City has paired up with Luqing.

Saha Farms president and CEO Manoonsri Chotitawan said his company was looking for a partner to complete its new plant in Lop Buri province. The final phase requires Bt7 billion to install 10 new processing lines.

The plant now runs 20 lines capable of dressing 500,000 chickens a day. The expansion would allow the company to double that.

New Hope Group chairman and CEO Liu Younghao said if the Thai government could design clearer investment promotions and increase the benefits of foreign direct investment, his company would double its investment in Asean.

The group has poured US$100 million (Bt3.4 billion) into the Philippines. Its four core businesses are livestock and food, chemicals and energy, property and infrastructure and finance. The group achieved sales of $10 billion last year.

"It's a good time to explore opportunities in Thailand. It makes the group more confident in Thai politics, the economic crisis and the type-A (H1N1) problem," he said.

Amata chief operating officer Viboon Kromadit said the developer had reserved 600 rai of land in its Amata Industrial Estate in Rayong province for Chinese investors. The company plans to woo five-10 Chinese companies to build plants in its estate.

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