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CP Foods doubles down on facilities in Vietnam and China

Thai player earmarks nearly $1bn for overseas investment

CP Foods CEO Prasit Boondoungprasert explains the company's business plans. (Photo by Marimi Kishimoto)

BANGKOK -- Charoen Pokphand Foods will invest 30 billion baht ($977 million) in overseas plants as well as research and development this year, accelerating its pursuit of growth outside Thailand.

Vietnamese facilities that previously processed poultry for local buyers will be upgraded to start shipping chicken to customers elsewhere under plans unveiled this week by CP Foods CEO Prasit Boondoungprasert.

In addition, food-processing facilities in China will be expanded.

Exports from the Vietnamese facilities were previously limited to shrimp and other seafood. The Charoen Pokphand Group member plans to convert them into an export hub. CP Foods expects to begin exports from Vietnam in a year and a half, Prasit said.

One anticipated destination is Japan, with CP Foods-arranged meetings already held between executives from such Japanese trading houses as Itochu and Sumitomo Corp. and Vietnamese government officials.

Presenting a new business strategy, Prasit said CP Foods aims to lift annual sales to 800 billion baht within five years. The company reported total income of 555.5 billion baht for 2018.

The company, which generated 72% of sales in overseas markets last year, seeks to lift this to 75% by 2024.

With their home market aging, Thai companies are shifting investments in neighboring emerging countries into high gear. Vietnam is the third-biggest market for CP Foods, after Thailand and China.

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