CP Laos Co Ltd plans to open three more operations next year in the northern provinces of Bokeo, Luang Prabang and Xayaburi in a bid to increase its business opportunities.The Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand Group, one of Asia’s largest agribusiness conglomerates, made its first investment in Vientiane in 2006, and the development of Laos since then has set the stage for new activities, said Thamnong Pholthongmak, vice-president of CP Laos.
Bokeo, Luang Prabang and Xayaburi are large provinces and many people living there have much more purchasing power than they did a decade ago, said Mr Thamnong.
He made the comments last week at a briefing in Vientiane for Thai journalists on Laos’s progress in the run-up to the formation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
Just as it has done with the plant in Vientiane, the company will invest in animal feed production, fully integrated layer and broiler chicken farms, and fish and fish processing facilities for the domestic and export markets in the three provinces, he said.
Mr Thamnong said that most Lao people like CP chicken products and that stands bearing its familiar Five Star chicken brand (in Thai) are familiar sights in the country.
Due to the popularity of the product, he is confident that layer and broiler chicken farming in the three northern provinces will go well.
As well, he said business expansion would help solve unemployment problems in Laos.
CP Laos now has a poultry farm and a pig farm in Xayathani district in Vientiane province. Established with registered capital of $15 million, CP Laos holds a 40-year concession from the Laotian government.
“Within this year we expect to boost our sales growth target to 25%,” said Mr Thamnong.
He said C.P Laos now employed about 600 local workers and 30 Thai staff. Some of the local staff were former university students who had been undergoing training with the company.
The company is now working closely with universities in Laos whose students to undergo training at CP Laos. Students with good performance on the job would be given a chance to work as the company staff after their graduation.
The current investment atmosphere in Laos is positive and more Thai businesses should seek the opportunity to grow in the neighbouring country, said Mr Thamnong.
They should also strengthen investment and trade ties with Lao authorities to prepare for the AEC in 2015, he added.
Photo Credit: Bangkok Post