LAHORE – Charoen Pokphand (CP), a group of companies from Thailand, is investing in Punjab’s agriculture and food sectors, said an official of the Punjab government. However, it is yet to be cleared that in which specific field the CP Group is going to invest and how much investment they are bringing in the province.
From the Group’s profile, it is established that CP Group is a leading agro-industrial and food conglomerate in Thailand and Asia with annual turnover of $7 billion in food sector only and $17 billion overall. CP Group operates its overseas business through its subsidiaries in Turkey, China, India, Malaysia, England, Russia, Laos and Vietnam. Besides its agri-food business, other main business of the group include telecommunications, e-commerce, international trading, marketing and distribution, petrochemicals, property and land development, Insurance automotive and industrial project, crop integration and pet foods. It was one of the first companies of the world to be allowed FDI in China.
It is merit mentioning here that Punjab government is focusing on corporate farming in a bid to lure multinationals into investing in agricultural sector to reform it through industrialisation. Top business and political families of the province are also shifting their old businesses towards agriculture sector. In recent past, dozens of multinational companies focused the country for investment in corporate farming especially in AJK, Punjab and Sindh.
Reduced agricultural wastage, better quality yield, reduced minimum support price and induction new technologies are being said the advantages of corporate farming but the traditional farmers of believe that it bring lower profits for farming households, higher environmental costs and risk to monopolistic economies. They say that if the multinational companies’ investment trends continued in the country, there would be no place for the small farmers in future.
A statement issued by the provincial government regarding the CP Group said that a high-level delegation from Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group led by Natthakrit, Vice Chairman of the group (CP Food) visited the Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) and held talks with PBIT high-ups about investment opportunities in Punjab. Chief Executive Officer PBIT Habibur Rehman, and Ambassador of Pakistan to Thailand Sohail Mahmood received the CP delegates, along with other team members of PBIT. An MoU for facilitation between CP Group and PBIT at the occasion was also concluded, whereby PBIT team renewed its assurance to support CP Thailand with their venture into Pakistan and especially Punjab.
Speaking on this occasion Natthakrit said “We plan to enter into Pakistan, not just to sell, but to serve the farming community, generate employment opportunity and invest in agriculture research to improve the quality and quantity of food in the region.” Sohail Mahmood highlighted the significance of Thailand’s investment into Pakistan for the bilateral relations and assured CP Group of unrelenting support from the Government to help realise their investment project in Pakistan. Habibur Rehman at the occasion said “Entry of CP Group is very encouraging and must be looked from a broader perspective in which CP and other global business conglomerates of CP Thailand can help redefine the face of investment in Punjab.”
“CP Food is investing in Punjab, considering the vast potential in the agriculture & livestock sector,” the statement added. The other members of CP included Santee, President, Somkid President CP Pakistan and Bangladesh, Boonkial Senior Vice President and Thosopol Poo, General Manager.