The new facilities are testimonies to Coca-Cola’s long-term commitment to China as part of a recently announced $2bn three-year investment plan aimed at bolstering further growth in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing beverage markets.
Consumers in China’s westernmost province, Xinjiang, will be able to consume locally produced Coca-Cola products with the establishment of the new COFCO bottling plant located along the historic Silk Road. The bottling facility will provide a strategically important platform for continuous growth of Coca-Cola in northwestern China where Xinjiang, with more than 20 million consumers, is the largest province.
The Coca-Cola Company and COFCO officially opened another new bottling plant in China. Located in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, this plant will provide refreshing Coca-Cola products to the 44 million consumers in this central province of China.
The new investment has directly created 796 new jobs at the two bottling plants, and is more broadly expected to create an additional 8,000 jobs with upstream suppliers and a wide variety of service providers.
Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, and Frank Ning, chairman of COFCO, opened the plant in Nanchang together with Hong Lihe, vice governor of Jiangxi province and the plant in Urumqi, together with Wang Lequan, member of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee and party secretary of the CPC Xinjiang Committee.
They were joined by Glenn Jordan, group president of the Pacific group, Doug Jackson, president of Coca-Cola China and Luan Xiuju, president of COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Co Ltd.
“This ¥210m investment in Jiangxi and Xinjiang represents the Coca-Cola system’s strong commitment to China and to consumers throughout China, including in the less developed areas in central and western China in creating job opportunities and building a better community,” said Kent. “Our business in China grew 19% in 2008 and China is now our third largest market. By opening new plants in Jiangxi and Xinjiang, we’ll be able to increase our geographic presence, enhance our competitive edge in China and support local community development by sponsoring jobs, local procurements and education.
“In 2008, Coca-Cola helped bring the Olympic spirit to the consumers in Jiangxi and Xinjiang through its sponsorship of the Olympic Torch Relay, where thousands of people got a chance to experience the Olympic spirit when the Olympic Torch passed through the capital cities Nanchang and Urumqi. Following the Olympic Games, we’re proud to be the Beverage Global Partner of Expo 2010 Shanghai China and keen supporter of the 2010 Expo. It is a privilege for us to work with the Chinese government on what is going to be the biggest expo event ever held, and the largest public event in history.”
“COFCO has historically had positive relations with the Jiangxi and Xinjiang governments and people,” said COFCO chairman, Frank Ning. “The currently favourable investment climate in Jiangxi and Xinjiang has encouraged us to work with Coca-Cola in building and opening new facilities here, which we expect to lead to more collaborative opportunities between COFCO and these local communities and governments moving forward.”
Following the plant openings in Xinjiang and Jiangxi, The Coca-Cola Company and its bottlers now operate 38 bottling plants in Greater China, employing more than 30,000 people directly and indirectly creating around 300,000 jobs. Coca-Cola opened a $90m new research and development center in Shanghai in March 2009.
Source: The Coca-Cola Company
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