Belgian ingredients firms Puratos and Grand-Place Holding have decided to set up a venture in Vietnam.

The Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam venture will serve customers in the bakery and chocolate sectors.

Puratos, which supplies ingredients to bakers, confectioners and retailers worldwide, will hold a 70% stake in the venture. Chocolate ingredients firm Grand-Place will own the other 30%.

“With the growing population in the region and the rapid development of the bakery, patisserie and chocolate industry in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, this is the perfect time to strengthen our position in the market. Thanks to this joint venture, we will also be able to meet the needs of the full range of customers, from artisan semi-industry and industry to supermarket and foodservice,” Piet Sanders, director for Puratos’s Asia Pacific business, said.

The companies plan to invest US$10m into the business over the next five years. A distribution centre will be built in Binh Duong and the firms plan to set up an R&D facility. The existing Grand-Place collection and fermentation station will be turned into an industrial plant.

Grand-Place owner Gricha Safarian will become MD of the venture. He said: “We have been working hard on this market for many years and joining force with another Belgian group, a global player in his field, is going to provide us with the means of a strong acceleration of our long-term plans.”

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