Coca-Cola opens its first plant in Burma for 60 years

Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent says the company is proud to invest in Burma

Coca-Cola has opened a bottling plant in Burma - the first time it has had a production facility there for more than 60 years.

The world's largest soft-drink maker is one of the first US firms to invest in Burma following Washington's decision to suspend sanctions against the country.

Coca-Cola has pledged to invest $200 million, and create thousands of jobs.

There are now only two countries where the company does not do business.

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Burma, a country about the size of Britain and France in population, endowed in natural resources, and situated in the fastest growing region of the world, is opening up.”

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It left Cuba after the revolution, when Fidel Castro's government began seizing private assets, and it has never operated in North Korea.

At the opening ceremony for the plant, in a Rangoon suburb, the company said it would directly create 2,500 jobs in Burma over the next five years.

"In time we expect to create more than 20,000 job opportunities, directly and indirectly, in this great nation," said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola chief executive.

From 1962 to 2011, Burma was ruled by a military junta that suppressed almost all dissent. Most US investment was banned after Washington applied economic sanctions.

But since reforms by President Thein Sein's government two years ago, many international companies have become interested in potential investment in the country.

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