Fri, Jul 14, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Uni-President opens second aquatic feed factory in Vietnam

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業), Taiwan's largest food conglomerate, began operations at its second aquatic feed factory in Vietnam yesterday, hoping to expand its market share there to 25 percent by year-end.

The company invested US$18 million to build the plant in Tien Giang Province's Mekong River Delta in southern Vietnam, according to a statement released yesterday.

The new plant is expected to produce 100,000 tonnes of aquatic feed a year, contributing US$30 million in revenues per annum, the statement said.

As part of the company's ambitious goal to dominate Asia's food market, Uni-President Enterprises entered the Vietnam market in 1999. It has since expanded its production there to include instant noodles, drinks, aquatic feed and flour.

Its first aquatic feed factory in Binh Duong, northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, went into operation in July 2001, and churned out 75,000 tonnes of feed last year.

The company said that surging demand for aquatic feed in Vietnam had prompted it to open a second plant, aiming to become the country's largest feed manufacturer by the end of the year.

Aquaculture in Vietnam is experiencing a boom, with the export value of aquatic products amounting to US$1.2 billion last year, trailing only textiles and oil, the statement said.

Production of tiger prawns and freshwater fish topped 860,000 tonnes last year. This translates into a huge annual demand for feed of 800,000 tonnes, or US$400 million, the company said.

In addition to Vietnam, Uni-President Enterprises has also expanded into Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and China.

Its total investments in China have surpassed US$342 million, approaching the government's 40-percent cap of a company's net worth, company spokeswoman Selina Wu (吳旭慧) said last week.

Executive vice president Alex Lo (羅智先) said in May that the company aimed to become the largest food and beverage group in Asia -- excluding Japan -- within three years, through acquisitions in China and India.

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