China puts B700m into durian plant

China puts B700m into durian plant

Chinese investors have set up a joint venture with Thai counterparts to build a 700-million-baht factory in Songkhla's Thepha district to make freeze-dried durian for export to mainland China.

Manguwang Food Co on Sunday unveiled its durian-processing factory in the southern province, one of the largest in the country. The deputy leader of the Democrat Party, Niphon Buyamanee, Rear Adm Somkiat Phonprayoon, secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre, and about 500 local officials and residents visited the factory.

Yao Huang Xiao, a managing director of the company, showed visitors around the factory, which has production machinery imported from China. He said the company is a joint venture between Chinese and Thai investors who put 700 million baht into the factory to process durian sourced from local orchards for manufacture into freeze-dried products for shipment to China.

He said about 1,200 locals are employed at the factory, adding the company has a revolving fund of about 2 billion baht and can buy 12,000 tonnes of durian annually. One third of the durian which the company buys is from local orchards in the southern region, he said. Next year, the company aims to buy an an additional 8,000 tonnes, Mr Yao said.

Mr Niphon said the newly-established company is expected to create jobs and generate income for locals, and also help guarantee good prices of durian. "The Chinese investment is proof they are confident in the prospects of doing business in the deep South," he said.

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