Coca-Cola pledges to in­vest $65m

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Fidelis Mun­y­oro Se­nior Reporter

THE world’s largest bev­er­age com­pany, Co­caCola Com­pany has promised to in­vest $65 mil­lion in the coun­try over the next three years as Gov­ern­ment’s “Zim­babwe is Open for Busi­ness” mantra con­tin­ues to yield re­sults.

Many Western coun­tries are keen to in­vest here fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s ad­min­is­tra­tion’s clar­ion call to re­store re­la­tions with the Western com­mu­nity.

Yes­ter­day, Coca-Cola’s East and Cen­tral Africa man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mr Ahmed Rady met Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa and Vice Pres­i­dent Con­stantino Chi­wenga sep­a­rately and tabled the com­pany’s busi­ness plans and fu­ture in­vest­ments.

Mr Rady was ac­com­pa­nied by Delta Corporation chair­man Mr Canaan Dube, Sch­weppes chair­man Mr Stern­ford Moyo and the com­pany’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mr Charles Msipa as well as Mutare Bot­tling Com­pany chair­man Mr John Gould.

Speak­ing to jour­nal­ists af­ter the closed-door meet­ing, Mr Rady de­scribed his en­counter with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa as tremen­dous.

He said the meet­ing pre­sented them with the op­por­tu­nity to re­new their com­mit­ment to Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa about their in­vest­ments in Zim­babwe.

“We shared with them some of our busi­ness plans and fu­ture in­vest­ments we are do­ing as well as our plan to make Zim­babwe an ex­port hub, es­pe­cially for our beloved Ma­zowe, many other juices and new in­no­va­tion prod­ucts that

we will reveal soon,” said Mr Rady.

“We also dis­cussed how we can to­gether go into in­te­gra­tion of lo­cal pro­duc­tion and the sourc­ing of lo­cal raw ma­te­rial es­pe­cially or­anges for our or­ange juice and maize, and hope­fully in the fu­ture cof­fee and many other in­gre­di­ents that we use in our port­fo­lio of prod­ucts.”

Mr Rady said the ac­qui­si­tion of SABMiller by Bel­gian-Amer­i­can firm, An­heuser-Busch InBev will not af­fect Coca-Cola op­er­a­tions.

“We are work­ing with our lo­cal mar­kets Delta, Sch­weppes, Mutare Bot­tling Com­pany,” he said.

“The shares of SABMiller have been moved on to some of our lo­cal part­ners here and across Africa.”

Delta Corporation, Sch­weppes and Mutare Bot­tling Com­pany hold fran­chises to pro­duce brands be­long­ing to Coca-Cola Com­pany in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Mr Rady, how­ever, said the pres­ence of Pepsi in the coun­try will not in any way af­fect their busi­ness here say­ing the com­pany would pro­vide it with com­pe­ti­tion which is health for busi­ness.

“Zim­babwe is open mar­ket for busi­ness. Will do our best to com­pete with other bev­er­age mak­ing com­pa­nies.”

Act­ing Min­is­ter of In­dus­try, Com­merce and En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment Patrick Chi­na­masa said the com­pany ap­pealed to Gov­ern­ment to avail at least 2 000 hectares of land for agri­cul­ture for pro­duc­tion of or­anges.

He said the com­pany is also into agri­cul­ture, cof­fee, tea among other agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tions.

“In our dis­cus­sions we were em­pha­sis­ing on the sourc­ing of lo­cal ma­te­ri­als,” said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa, who is also Min­is­ter of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment.

The com­pany, said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa, was also con­sid­er­ing set­ting up lo­cal com­pa­nies to pro­duce lo­cal raw ma­te­ri­als for through­out into its op­er­a­tions.

“We have dis­cussed the is­sue about al­lo­cat­ing land to them to pro­duce or­anges. They have asked for 2 000 hectares of land and we have com­mit­ted our­selves to ac­cede to their re­quest.”

Sev­eral foreign com­pa­nies have over the past five months come Zim­babwe to explore busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered by the coun­try un­der the new dis­pen­sa­tion.

The new ad­min­is­tra­tion has al­ready at­tracted $11 bil­lion Foreign Di­rect In­vest­ment com­mit­ments af­ter it an­nounced sweep­ing in­vest­ment re­forms that are al­ready un­der­way to at­tain a mid­dle in­come econ­omy by 2030.

(Picture by John Man­zongo)

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa meets Coca-Cola East and Cen­tral Africa gen­eral man­ager Mr Ahmed Rady in Harare yes­ter­day.

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