July 15, 2008


Thailand's CP Group to build feed plants in India's Assam and Gujarat


The Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), Thailand's largest agribusiness conglomerate, is preparing to expand in India by establishing two more animal feed plants, the Bangkok Post reports.


The new plants would be located in areas where raw materials are widely available, said Pinij Kungvankij, CP's senior vice-president and also a vice-president of CP Aquaculture (India).


The first plant, with an initial investment of US$10 million, would be constructed in Assam starting late this year or early in 2009. The facility is expected to be completed within one year.


Another plant, which would produce shrimp feed, would be located in Gujarat.


So far, CP has invested US$60 million in India in two feed plants that employ more than 400 people, said Mr Pinij.


Bilateral trade between Thai and India last year was worth US$4.7 billion, compared with US$1.5 billion before the two countries' free-trade agreement (FTA) took effect four years ago, according to figures from the Commerce Ministry's Trade Negotiation Department.


Chana Kararatanadilok, the department's deputy director-general said sectors such as agriculture were completely excluded from the FTA. As a result, Thai companies in these sectors would be better advised to invest in India to reach its market directly.


Chirasak Thanesnant, the Thai ambassador in Delhi, said that Thailand, India and Burma had also agreed to construct a road running from India to Thailand via Burma.


Construction has been started on the Thai and Indian sides but the Burmese military government is still finalising the route in that country.


The completion of the road would help facilitate trade between Thailand and India, he said.

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