Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Coke on sale in Burmese shops

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 13:38 Mizzima News

A symbol of the West hit the shelves of Rangoon this week, making its appearance for the first time in 60 years, said company officials.

A woman takes a can of Coca-Cola from a shelf at a supermarket in Rangoon on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. The company announced the first official delivery of the popular soft drink in the country in more than 60 years on Sept. 10. Photo: AFP

Coke is working with a local company to have Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light and Sprite distributed throughout the country.

Rival PepsiCo Inc. also said last month that it had arranged to sell some of its drinks in Burma, setting the stage for competition in who can capture the largest market share in a country of around 60 million people.

“In every nation and city where we do business, our employees strive to create economic value and build sustainable communities. We are privileged to once again have the opportunity to play a role in building a better future with the people of Myanmar,” Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, who was in Rangoon to oversee the delivery, said in a statement.

Coke, the world's largest soft drink maker, said it is working toward establishing a bottling facility in the country with its local partner, Pinya Manufacturing Co., which intends to start local production as soon as possible, it said.

In June, Coca-Cola announced a $3 million grant from its charitable foundation to a nongovernmental organization to support women's economic empowerment and job creation throughout Burma.

According to a Sept. 6 statement on the website of Burma’s President Thein Sein, Coca-Cola is projected to invest $100 million in Burma over the next three years, creating jobs for nearly 2,000 local people.

A Coke spokesman said it was still too early to say exactly how much the company would spend. He said the plan is to invest “significant capital” over the coming years in Burma.

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