China Worldbest Group Co Ltd, a conglomerate with interests in fabrics, pharmaceuticals, machinery and real estate, yesterday signed an agreement to set up plants producing textiles and citric acid at the Rojana Industrial Park in Thailand.

The US$140 million (6.3 billion baht) project is the largest Chinese investment in Thailand and the first in the country for Worldbest. The new plants will produce cotton yarns, home textiles and citric acid for exports. The first of these should be operational by the middle of next year and will have a production capacity of 16,000 tons cotton yarns. The facility will provide employment for 1,300 local workers, and about 70 per cent of total production will be exported.

The agreement was witnessed by Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his Chinese counterpart, Zhu Rongji during the Thai Prime Minister's official visit to Beijing.