The Coca-Cola Co. announced it opened two new bottling facilities in China this week, in conjunction with its bottling partner, COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd. The new facilities are in less developed central and western China, and will provide those regions with locally produced product.
The company says the new plant in the Xinjiang province provides a strategically important location for growth in Northwestern China. The new facility in Nanchang, in the Jiangxi province, will serve 44 million consumers in central China.
Coca-Cola Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent was on hand for the Nanchang opening, and said "This RMB 210 million [$30.1 million] investment in Jiangxi and Xinjiang represents the Coca-Cola system's strong commitment to China and to consumers throughout China, including in the less developed areas in central and western China, in creating job opportunities and building a better community. Our business in China grew 19 percent in 2008 and China is now our third-largest market. By opening new plants in Jiangxi and Xinjiang, we will be able to increase our geographic presence, enhance our competitive edge in China and support local community development by sponsoring jobs, local procurements and education."
The Coca-Cola Co. now has 38 bottling plants in China, and the company opened a new $90 million research and development center in Shanghai in March.