SINGAPORE, June 18 China's sovereign wealth fund
is eyeing more investments in agriculture, including
partnerships with governments and other institutional investors,
its top executive said in the Financial Times, in the latest
sign that China wants a bigger foothold in the food industry.
China Investment Corp would also strive to shore up
food security in places that it invests in, and contribute to
local job creation, Ding Xuedong, chairman of the $575 billion
fund, wrote in an opinion piece in the newspaper.
"We are keen to invest more across the entire value chain -
in partnership with governments, multilateral organisations and
like-minded institutional investors - in areas that will help to
unlock the industry's potential, increase the food supply and
offer attractive returns," Ding said.
"We believe the agriculture sector offers stability, a way
of hedging against inflation and a device for spreading risk."
China, with nearly 20 percent of the world's population, is
the biggest consumer of a broad range of agricultural products.
Rising wealth has increased demand for high-protein food such as
meat, while the country is also putting a greater focus on food
safety afer a series of scares in recent years.
Ding's comments follows aggressive acquisitions by Chinese
companies in the food sector. China's largest grain trader COFCO
Corp earlier this year agreed to buy majority stakes in Noble
Group Ltd's agribusiness and Dutch trader
Late last year, Chinese meat producer Shuanghui
International Holdings Ltd bought U.S. pork producer Smithfield
"While CIC invests to make stable financial returns over the
long term, we also strive to shore up food security in places
that we invest in, and contribute our share to local job
creation and economic growth," Ding wrote.
(Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)