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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    12 September  2012

Coke on sale in Burmese shops

12- Sep-2012

A symbol of the West hit the shelves of Rangoon this week, making its appearance for the first time in 60 years, said company officials.
Coke is working with a local company to have Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light and Sprite distributed throughout the country.

Rival PepsiCo Inc. also said last month that it had arranged to sell some of its drinks in Burma, setting the stage for competition in who can capture the largest market share in a country of around 60 million people.

“In every nation and city where we do business, our employees strive to create economic value and build sustainable communities. We are privileged to once again have the opportunity to play a role in building a better future with the people of Myanmar,” Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, who was in Rangoon to oversee the delivery, said in a statement.

Coke, the world's largest soft drink maker, said it is working toward establishing a bottling facility in the country with its local partner, Pinya Manufacturing Co., which intends to start local production as soon as possible, it said.

In June, Coca-Cola announced a $3 million grant from its charitable foundation to a nongovernmental organization to support women's economic empowerment and job creation throughout Burma.

According to a Sept. 6 statement on the website of Burma’s President Thein Sein, Coca-Cola is projected to invest $100 million in Burma over the next three years, creating jobs for nearly 2,000 local people.

A Coke spokesman said it was still too early to say exactly how much the company would spend. He said the plan is to invest “significant capital” over the coming years in Burma.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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