PTI: Coca-Cola will invest US $ 4 billion in China over the next three years, its CEO Muhtar Kent announced at the site of a new plant in the soft drink giant’s third largest market.
The new round of investment follows US $ 9 billion by the company between 1979 and 2014.
“China is our third largest market by volume and is critically important to the future growth of our business,” said Kent.
At a cost of US $ 56 million, the new Huabei plant, located in Xianghe county in northern Hebei province, will feature nine production lines, and produce a total of 250 million unit cases annually, Kent said.
By 2017, the new 50,000-square metre plant will have four production lines, adding 100 million unit cases to annual production in China.
Following the groundbreaking of a new plant in central China two weeks ago, the Huabei plant is the second Coca-Cola plant to be built under the new investment plan, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
“We are committed to investing and growing here. Apart from infrastructure and system development, the new round of investment will focus on enhancing consumer experiences through marketing and (projects with) our loyal retail partners,” Kent said.
In addition, Coca-Cola’s local bottling partners - COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages, Swire Beverages and Coca-Cola Bottling Investments Group China - will also invest in local infrastructure and growth drivers, including new investments in production, distribution and marketing.
Coca-Cola’s sales volume has continued to grow in China, up by 6 percent in the second quarter of 2015 over the same period last year.