Cargill Inc. is investing $70 million to advance its seafood and poultry business in Thailand, the latest in a string of investments aggressively expanding the company’s protein presence in Asia.

The funds will cover a new facility for cooked poultry products at an existing plant in south-central Thailand. It will also cover renovation and upgrade costs at its aquafeed plant and technology research center southwest of Bangkok.

Rising demand for cooked and prepared protein in Thailand’s largest export markets, like Japan and Hong Kong, is fueling Cargill’s growth, a company spokeswoman said. Poultry is Cargill’s primary business in Thailand, from which it exports chicken products to 28 nations. Cargill employs more than 17,000 people in country.

The company’s poultry business has grown rapidly in recent years throughout Asia and Latin America. Cargill has recently invested more than $1 billion in joint ventures in Indonesia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom, and through acquisitions in Colombia. The Minnetonka-based agribusiness has built new processing plants in Nicaragua, the Philippines, Thailand, China and the United Kingdom.

“We appreciate the Thai government’s support of direct foreign investment which has allowed companies like Cargill to grow with the Thai economy and community over the last 50 years,” said Cargill Chief Executive Dave MacLennan on a visit marking the company’s anniversary there.

“By investing in technology innovation, we can make our supply chains as efficient and sustainable as possible.”