Controversial Vietnamese rubber giant Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) Group is to expand its agricultural business in Cambodia to include corn, according to the company’s CEO Nguyen Van Su.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that Su said HAGL is investing more in food commodities to support increasing demand across the region.
The company also plans to list its farming business on the Singapore stock exchange next year to raise funds for further growth, according to Bloomberg.
HAGL, which holds economic land concessions (ELCs) in Cambodia’s northeast, came under fire last year when London-based NGO Global Witness published a report accusing the company of illegal logging outside of ELC areas and holding at least 47,000 hectares of ELCs, almost five times the legal limit.
In February, 17 indigenous communities who accused HAGL of land grabbing in their home villages in Ratanakkiri province filed a complaint to the International Financial Corporation (IFC) for investing in the company via an intermediary fund called Dragon Capital Group.
Eang Vuthy, executive director at NGO Equitable Cambodia, confirmed yesterday that the IFC had met with both the company and those communities affected earlier this month to carry out an investigation in to the complaint.
“First they [IFC] have to issue their assessment reports and they will convene a meeting . . . So all parties have a chance to comment and participate in the issue resolution,” Vuthy said.
HAGL declined to comment yesterday on their expansion plans.