AEC drives Saha expansion

Saha Group, Thailand’s biggest consumer goods conglomerate, plans to spend 2 billion baht through next year to build more factories and expand logistics networks in both domestic and foreign markets to cash in on opportunities from the imminent Asean Economic Community.

Chairman Boonsithi Chokwatana said the international expansion would focus mainly on Asean, particularly Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, as well as some emerging markets such as Bangladesh and certain African countries.

With the aggressive expansion in Asean, the group’s sales contribution from the bloc will rise to 40-50% over the next five to 10 years from less than 10% at present.

In Myanmar, Lion Corporation (Thailand), a consumer goods manufacturing subsidiary of Saha Group, will join with local partners to set up a detergent factory in Yangon.

The new factory will cost 500-600 million baht, and its output will serve the local market.

At the same time, Saha Group through its Thai President Food Plc (TPF), the maker of Mama instant noodles, is looking for a new plot of land in Myanmar to set up a second factory over the next two years.

In Ghana, TPF has already bought a 40-rai plot and is in the process of designing an instant noodle factory in the West African country.

Construction will start later this year for a 2016 completion.

“We give investment priority to developing countries, where local people are willing to try new brands from foreign countries,” Mr Boonsithi said.

Saha Group through its subsidiary Tiger Distribution and Logistics yesterday signed an agreement with MK Group, the biggest logistics firm in Myanmar, to set up Tiger Distribution and Logistics (Myanmar). It will handle product distribution in the neighbouring country.

The Thai-Myanmar venture has US$300,000 in registered capital, with Saha Group holding a 60% stake and MK 40%.

The 20-year-old MK Group has distributed Saha Group’s consumer products in Myanmar for more than a decade.

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