China's Tsingtao plans 56-million-dollar brewery in Thailand
China's Tsingtao Brewery Co has set up a joint venture with Thai partners to invest 2 billion baht (55.5 million dollars) in beer production near Bangkok, media reports said Saturday, according to dpa.
Theparak Luengsuwan, one of the Thai investors, said at a press conference that Tsingtao has chosen Thailand over Malaysia for its first-ever overseas brewery partly because of a free trade agreement the kingdom has in place with Australia.
"It had been considering Thailand or Malaysia, but our lower logistic costs and tax benefits from the free trade pact with Australia tipped the balance," Theparak told The Nation newspaper.
Tsingtao has been importing barley from Australia and Canada since the early 1990s when there was a scare about excessive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in Chinese barley.
Tsingtao Brewery Thailand, in which Tsingtao Brewery holds 40-per-cent equity and a group of Thai investors 60-per-cent, plans to produce 100,000 tons of beer a year of which 80 per cent would be exported to South-East Asia, Australia and Europe, Theparak said.
He said top Tsingtao executives would finalize the investment with Thai Industry Minister Charnchai Chairungrueng, who is to travel to Beijing Wednesday through April 4 to promote investment in Thailand.
China remains a modest investor in Thailand although the number and amount of investments has been on the rise in recent years. Cumulative Chinese investment in Thailand amounted to 35 billion baht at the end of 2008.