This will be the fifth bottling plant in which COFCO Coca-Cola has a controlling stake and continues the developments already seen in Tianjin, Hainan, Hunan and Jilin. It is also the first bottling plant established by Coca-Cola in China's western regions.
The company said that this represents the first move for Coca-Cola towards production based in the Northwest region, and also means that it has taken a concrete step towards implementing its new expansion strategies in the western regions.
The COFCO Coca-Cola Beverage, jointly established by COFCO and the US-based Coca-Cola Company is the first Coca-Cola bottling group that represents a China investment that gives the Chinese party a controlling stake. The facility will add to the activities in production and marketing of Coca Cola series products in 13 western provinces and autonomous regions.
As the first Coca-Cola bottling plant in the western region, the Gansu-based COFCO Coca-Cola company will now become the flagship enterprise for COFCO Coca-Cola in the Northwest, the company says.
COFCO Coca-Cola's President LuanXiuJu, said that COFCO Coca-Cola will not only fill the current hole in the production of middle and top-class beverages in Gansu, but will also greatly ease the supply and demand problems for the Coca-Cola series beverages in the region. It is anticipated that with the start of operations for the company at the end of 2004, it will see its share in the beverages market for the western regions rapidly increase.
The president of Coca-Cola (China) Beverage, BaoYiQiu, said, "The establishment of the Gansu-based COFCO Coca-Cola Beverage company is a strategical milestone for the development of Coca-Cola's China network in the Northwest and adding that as a result of the collective efforts of Coca-Cola and its partners such as COFCO, China is now the fastest developing market of all Coca-Cola's global activities and has the prospect of becoming Coca-Cola's 3rd largest market worldwide by the end of 2008."
COFCO's President LiuFuChun along with leaders representing Gansu province and Lanzhou city attended the foundation stone laying ceremony.