Ajiya Bhd is investing RM30mil to set up a safety glass processing plant in Thailand this year the company’s second after a metal roofing manufacturing plant there.
Managing director Chan Wah Kiang said construction of the facility would start any time now and was expected to be completed by the end of the year.
He said having two plants in Thailand producing different building materials would put the company in a better position to serve its Thai customers more efficiently.
“We want to grow our business in Thailand similar to what we have done in Malaysia over the years,” Chan told StarBizWeek after the company’s AGM.
The new plant, with a built up area of 15,000 sq ft, is at Armata Nakom industrial estate in Chonburi Province, about 150km from its present metal roofing plant in Bangkok.
He said demand for building materials in Thailand was on the uptrend now due to many reconstruction activities following the floods which hit the country last year.
Chan said apart from damaged public infrastructures, properties and facilities, many multinational corporations (MNCs) whose manufacturing plants were affected by the floods were also relocating elsewhere in Thailand.
“They are relocating to areas which are flood-free and with that, construction companies in Thailand are busy building new plants for these MNCs,” he said.
Chan said Ajiya would also venture into Cambodia, adding that it was in the process of setting up its operations in the former French Colony.
He said instead of investing in a plant there, the company’s Cambodian partner would be the one to set up the safety glass processing plant.
He said the company would sign a technical agreement soon with the partner which would see Ajiya deploying its Malaysian senior management team to set up the plant and transfer the technology.
“Our Cambodian partner will pay royalty to us for the services. It is a win-win situation for both parties and is a low risk venture for us, as we are unfamiliar with the business climate in Cambodia,” said Chan.
However, he did not dismiss the possibility of the company setting up its own plant in Cambodia a few years down the road once it had gained enough experience there.
Chan said the next move after Cambodia would be Myanmar and the setting up of its operations in the country would be like what it did in Cambodia.
He said the company was confident that its ventures into Cambodia and Myanmar would produce positive results as its partners had been its agents for 10 years in marketing its products in both countries.
“Once we are comfortable in Cambodia and Myanmar, we will go to Indonesia and this is one country that any investors should not miss as it has good growth prospect,” said Chan.
For the financial year ended November 30, 2011, Ajiya recorded a net profit of RM24.35mil on revenue of RM362.76mil against RM26.78mil and RM329.69mil respectively in 2010.