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Coke flags $3 billion Russian investment

Coke flags $3 billion Russian investment
Coca Cola has flagged an estimated $3 billion in investment into Russia, over the next 5 years, at the opening of a $120 million plant in Rostov.

The company says the move will help it to counter the growing presence of strategic rival Pepsi in the Russian market, with the Rostov-on-Don plant opened ahead of demand stemming from the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent said at the opening ceremony the plant was a symbol of Coke’s commitment to the Russian market.

"Today's plant opening once again highlights our intention to put long-term investments in place within the Russian economy."

Kent added that he saw strong growth in the Russian market.

"We believe that the Russian market, the Russian consumer, the Russian economy is going to grow, is going to be a dynamic – a very dynamic – environment," and adding "Our system is part of the fabric of Russia's economic development and we continue to invest in Russia to create jobs and stimulate growth across our supply chain,"

The move by Coca Cola comes just days after it unveiled plans for $4 billion in investment into the Chinese market, and in the wake of Pepsi’s $3.8 billion purchase of Russian drinks producer Wimm-Bill-Dann in 2010.  The Rostov plant is expected to produce 450 million litres of drinks and juices per year.