PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. welcomed the commitment of a Bangkok-based firm to pour around $2.5 billion in agricultural technology development in the country.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said that officials of Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group (C.P. Group), led by its chairman Soopakij Chearavanont, paid a visit to Malacañang last Tuesday to discuss their company’s plans to bring in new technology meant to boost the local agriculture industry.

The C.P. Group plans to invest $2.5 billion from 2023 to 2027 for technology to be used in farming swine ($1.3 billion), poultry ($280 million), shrimp ($800 million), and other food products ($120 million).

“We’re very impressed with the new technologies that you use. I remember you told me that each plant farm you build is different from the last one because you immediately incorporate and adopt new techniques in technology,” the Chief Executive was quoted as saying during their meeting.

It was the second face-to-face meeting of Marcos and the C.P. Group officials following their initial discussion in November 2022 during the President’s visit to Bangkok.

The C.P. Group officials offered to bring in the state-of-the-art technology to fulfill the whole upstream and downstream raw materials up to the finished products for the market and for future exports.

The President said they would conduct more discussions with other stakeholders to determine the viability of implementing a project that would also boost the production and resiliency of the agriculture sector in the country.

“We will discuss it among ourselves and with those who will be helping put together the project. We will certainly see what the most ideal way is. We know that the government has a part to play. It’s not only the private sector partner. The government will support the program and that’s something that we have to decide,” he said.

“Learning new things and applying new things, that’s the only way I think to compete as well. C.P. Group has done so well to be a state-of-the-art company,” he added.

Marcos likewise pointed out that the country has the raw materials and a good labor force to complement available technology to boost the value chain in the agriculture sector.

“Even in terms of the ecosystem of agronomists and agriculturists, experts in fisheries, experts in rice, in broiler production, we have many people who are very, very good. It’s the system that we need,” he said.

“They’re not working independently as if the other parts of the system don’t exist. That’s more or less where we find ourselves. I suppose we could start from where we are and try to just keep improving,” he added.

The C.P. Group is a leading holding company in Thailand, which boasts of investments in 21 countries and economies worldwide. It operates through more than 200 subsidiaries and employs over 300,000 people.

Its operations are centered on agro-industry and food; retail and distribution; media and telecommunications; e-commerce and digital; property development; automotive and industrial products; pharmaceuticals; and finance and investment.