Coca Cola's largest China bottling plant to open in October

08:12, September 14, 2010      

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Coca Cola, the world's largest beverage maker, will begin operations at its largest bottling plant in China, a 900-million-yuan (132-million-US dollar) investment in Luohe City of central China's Henan province, by the end of October this year.

"We are very positive and committed to our growth here in China," said Glenn Jordan, president of Coca Cola Pacific Region, during an exclusive interview with Xinhua while attending the fourth Summer Davos forum held in north China's port city of Tianjin, on Monday.

The soft-drink giant already operates 39 plants in China. It opened three new plants in Jiangxi Province, Hubei Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region last year. Also, it now has two factories under construction, including the largest one in Henan and the other in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Statistics from the company showed its investment in the new plant in Hubei Province has reached 600 million yuan, while the cost of the two-phase project in Jiangxi Province added up to 250 million yuan.

Jordan said these are all parts of Coca Cola's three-year, 2-billion-US dollar investment plan in China announced last March, and the project is now "well on track" in terms of infrastructure, marketing and product development.

Jordan believes the expansion was good for both sides. "On average, we are hiring around 10 people per day in the Coca Cola system and putting almost 1,000 coolers per day in the market."

The investment package also includes a 90-million-US dollar innovation and research center in Shanghai. One new beverage created at the center last November was Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky, which combines fruit juice, milk powder, whey protein and coconut bits to create a creamy fruit-flavored dairy drink.

"The Shanghai research center has been very productive and very rewarding," Jordan said, "We have already taken some of its innovations and technologies to other parts of Asia and to the world's markets."

As for the business environment in China, Jordan believes the country is moving in a better direction, as it has continuously improved its business operating rules and regulations.

"We have been here for more than 30 years, during which China has changed rapidly. China has to adapt and evolve its strategies, and we can look back to our track record and find our way to the current changes," he said.

"We are very confident about the future of China and the future of our business here," he said, "In the case of the beverage sector, I don't think there is really something in China hurting us or that is not conducive to good business."

Source: Xinhua


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