Coca-Cola is planning to open business operations in Myanmar, and will make “significant” investments in the country over the next five years, Financial Times reports.

Despite mixed signals coming from Obama’s penalties and the escalating sectarian violence, Coke – along with General Electric and Caterpillar – saw the new government’s liberalization efforts as a go signal. Coke will import products from neighboring countries and hopes to eventually sell, distribute, market and manufacture locally. Under the plans, Coke’s charitable arm would also invest $3m in women’s employment rights organisations in Myanmar. Coke’s chief executive, Muhtar Kent, said “Coca-Cola has always stood for optimism in times of change and progress around the world”.

The world’s largest beverage company was first seen in Asia when it entered the Philippine market in 1912. It has operated in China since 1927 but was cut off in 1949 during Mao Zedong’s communist regime. It does not have operations in North Korea and Cuba. “Coca-Cola’s long history is richly intertwined with the history of American foreign policy,” Mr. Kent told The Financial Times.