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Coca-Cola inaugurates 43rd plant in China

Updated: 2013-10-25 07:27
By Wang Zhuoqiong ( China Daily)

Coca-Cola inaugurates 43rd plant in China

A woman passes by a Coca-Cola advertisement on Jan 26, 2013 in Shanghai.[Shao Chang / Asianewsphoto]

The Coca-Cola Co inaugurated its 43rd plant in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, as part of a three-year $4 billion investment plan.

Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent on Thursday helped launch the $106 million plant.

Coca-Cola inaugurates 43rd plant in China

Muhtar Kent,Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO 

"Coca-Cola's investment in China is strategically important in achieving our 2020 Vision goals and is largely possible due to our partnerships with (food-processing giant) COFCO and our other bottling partners," Kent said.

"This new plant will help Coca-Cola create a lasting positive impact in the community and contribute to a sustainable future for the people of Hebei."

As its third-largest market after the United States and Mexico, and accounting for 8 percent of its volume, China is a major contributor to the soft-drink producer's goal of doubling its revenue by 2020.

Since returning to the Chinese mainland in 1979, Coca-Cola has invested more than $5 billion locally, $3 billion of which was between 2009 and 2011.

The plant in Shijiazhuang will bottle both carbonated and noncarbonated beverages, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Minute Maid. Three additional lines will be installed over the next few years.

The new Hebei plant will implement Coca-Cola's conservation and source-water protection plans and manage water use by reusing treated wastewater, according to the company.

"Upon completion, it will become the largest of our 12 Coca-Cola bottling plants in China," said Zhang Jixiang, president and chief operation officer of COFCO Coca-Cola.

With plants in all five provinces of North China, this latest addition expands Coca-Cola's ability to deliver a variety of products to meet consumers' needs in China's fast-growing beverage market.

In its most recent quarter, Coca-Cola's volume sales in China grew 9 percent, led by 8 percent growth in the carbonated beverage sector.

This year, David G. Brooks, chairman of Coca-Cola Greater China and Korea, said Coca-Cola will continue to focus on providing value through differentiated packaging and innovation, and on driving transaction growth ahead of volume growth to build closer contact with its consumers.

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