US soft drink maker Coca-Cola has opened its first plant in Myanmar as part of a planned $200 million investment in the formerly isolated nation.
The new facility in Hwambi Township, a suburb of Yangon, is the first to locally bottle Coca-Cola in more than 60 years and signifies the US’ re-entry into Myanmar after decades of military rule, reports The Associated Press.
The world’s largest soft-drink maker is one of the first US firms to invest in Myanmar under its Foreign Investment Law, following Washington’s decision to suspend sanctions against the country in response to sweeping political reforms instituted by President Thein Sein.
Coca-Cola has pledged to create more than 22,000 related jobs along the supply chain over the next five years, according to chief executive Muhtar Kent.
“As we grow as a local business in Myanmar, we are committed to creating economic value and building sustainable communities,” Kent said during the ceremonial inauguration of the plant, which it operates with local partner Pinya Manufacturing Co.
“For the people of Myanmar, Coca-Cola embodies the optimism of a bright future, with the promise of better days and better lives ahead. We are privileged to be a part of their journey,” he said.