Myanmar reform brings return of Coca-Cola
Posted on June 16, 2012, Saturday
WASHINGTON: Coca-Cola announced Thursday that it would return to Myanmar after a gap of more than six decades, leaving Cuba and North Korea as the only countries without the iconic American fizzy drink.
The Coca-Cola Co. becomes the latest beneficiary of reforms in the long isolated Southeast Asian nation. The company announced plans after the United States said it would ease restrictions on investment.
The Atlanta-based company said it would initially ship Coke from neighbouring countries to Myanmar but, in line with general practice, would find local partners. It said it expected to make “significant investments” in Myanmar over the next three to five years.
“The Coca-Cola Co. has always stood for optimism at times of change and progress around the world,” chairman and chief executive officer Muhtar Kent said in a statement.
Coca-Cola said it would abide by ethical standards, including respecting human rights and not paying bribes.
The Coca-Cola Foundation, a charity affiliated with the company, said it would grant US$3 million to support job initiatives that empower women in Myanmar.
Coca-Cola said it had not done business in Myanmar, earlier known as Burma, for more than 60 years. The military seized control of the country in 1962.
The junta ceded power to a nominal civilian, President Thein Sein, last year. — AFP