05/22/2010, 00.00
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Confident in the Chinese market, Pepsi to invest more than US$ 2.5 billion

Company executives made the announcement yesterday. The decision by one of the world’s leading soft drink companies comes as its performance in Western markets lags. With this investment, the largest in 30 years, PepsiCo overtakes Coca Cola, which invested only US$ 2 billion last year.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews/ Agencies) – PepsiCo is planning to invest US$ 2.5 billion in China. The decision comes on the heels of a US$ 1 billion investment the company made in China in 2008. Company executives made the announcement yesterday, justifying the move because of its lacklustre performance in Western markets. The investment, the most important of the last 30 years, puts Pepsi ahead of its main rival, Coca Cola, which invested “only” US$ 2 billion last year.

"This investment reflects very clearly our great confidence in China and our long-term commitment to this very important, growing market," chief executive Indra Nooyi said.

Over the next three years, the company, one of the world’s leading soft drink makers, will open 19 new plants in the eastern provinces of Fujian, Gansu, Henan and Yunnan; 14 will produce beverage products, and five will turn out food products like chips (french fries).

This move is likely to generate 20,000 jobs and enable Pepsi to invest in local companies, expand local agriculture and allow local firms to develop new product lines.

At present, Pepsi has 27 food and beverage factories and five farms with 25,000 people on its payroll. By comparison, Coca Cola currently operates about 40 plants and employs 33,000 workers.

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