Soft drink giant Coca-Cola began bottling its famous beverage in Myanmar on June 4 for the first time in over six decades, making the reformist Southeast Asian nation its 207th market worldwide. The bottling plant in Hmawbi Township, a suburb of Yangon, is the first to locally bottle Coca-Cola since the company re-entered Myanmar in 2012.
The plant represents the first stage of Coca-Cola’s five-year, $200 million commitment to Myanmar. The company, which now has a presence in 17 more countries than the UN, will produce its soft drink with local partner Pinya Manufacturing Co.
“In general, we see ourselves as a guide because of our extensive experience throughout the world. We have 700,000 people in our system making us one of the lead employers in the world, and we recognize that we have a responsibility to our 300 million customers, who consume 1.8 billion bottles of Coca-Cola products every day,” Gürtay Kipcak, Director of Coca-Cola Eurasia and Africa Group, told Inside Investor earlier this year.
The return of Coca-Cola to Myanmar is emblematic of thawing US-Myanmar relations, and comes just weeks after the two leaders held a landmark meeting in Washington, D.C.