(Yicai Global) May 8 -- China Minsheng Investment Group (CMIG), one of the country's biggest private investment managers, plans to team up with a Thai agro-industry conglomerate to build a CNY15-billion (USD2.4-billion) network of farming, entertainment and culture centers in the central Chinese province of Henan.
CMIG and Charoen Pokphand Group Co., Thailand's largest private firm, will build six complexes in the rural areas of Pingdingshan city over the next three years, CMIG Chairman Dong Wenbiao said at a press briefing. The pair will then roll out similar programs in the eastern provinces of Shandong and Hebei, and find partners to form a CNY10-billion fund and invest in related plans.
"With a cultural lifestyle on offer, we can gather talent and industries to form a healthy, modern and sustainable rural ecosystem,” he said, adding that the complexes will feature restaurants, cinemas, karaoke and book bars, and other entertainment facilities to enrich the lives of rural residents. The amenities will bring in business for a number of CMIG units, including those covering solar energy, prefab buildings, healthcare, tourism, smart transport and property management.
The 'Beautiful Village' project will become a link for online retailers to access more remote markets, for example by offering agricultural education or providing medical services in the countryside. But the connection can run both ways by bringing agricultural products to urban communities, Dong added, saying Henan, Shandong, and Hebei offer greater potential than regions south of the Yangtze River because they are more densely populated.
CP Group will build a modern farm covering the entire industrial chain, including seed, soil and product sales, he continued, saying the Chinese firm is feeling "upbeat" about the rural market, which boasts huge growth potential compared with the urban segment.
The centers will also play home to a farming base housing a million hogs, three million egg-laying hens, 30 million broiler chickens, 100 frozen product stores and 100 modern restaurants, added the city's Party Secretary Zhou Bin.
Editors: Emmi Laine, James Boynton