By The Nation
The plant, located in Saithani district of Vientiane province, will produce sparkling beverages for the Laotian market, including Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite, with the possibility of adding still-beverage production lines later.
Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive of the Coca-Cola Company, said inauguration of the new plant |in Laos completed the US-based Coca-Cola system’s presence in Asean.
“With the establishment of this plant, our business now proudly manufactures and distributes beverages locally in each of the 10 Asean member countries, providing tangible economic benefit to the communities we serve,” he said.
“We are confident that Southeast Asia will continue to be one of the most vibrant regions in the world for growth, having achieved sustained economic growth of around 5 per cent annually, and we are looking forward to [continuing] our investments throughout the region with our local bottling partners.”
Pornwut Sarasin, chairman of Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Co and of ThaiNamthip, said the successful inauguration of the Laotian plant marked another significant step in ThaiNamthip’s regionalisation as an experienced beverage bottling and distribution business.
“We are committed to sharing within all [Asean] countries ThaiNamthip’s long and deep expertise in the production and distribution of beverages.
“With more than a billion baht already invested in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Coca-Cola system has, in addition to the plant, also established three distribution centres and is serving over 4,300 retailers every week. We expect Coca-Cola to invest a further US$10 million [Bt355 million] in the next two years,” he said.
He added that the Laotian plant would also complement Coca-Cola’s supply chain in northeastern Thailand with the delivery of some beverages, which will enhance customer service levels in that region.
Van Hoang Dau, director of Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Co and chairman of PT Sole Co, said the goal was to serve the economic development |of Laos. “We are committed to |partnerships with stakeholders to invest and deliver on Coca-Cola’s global commitments to sustainability.”
The company has been working with the Population and Community Development Association and the National University of Laos to produce rainwater storage jars for people in two villages in Saithani district.