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Coke Plans Investment in Myanmar
Financial Times | June 15, 2012 | 12:39 AM EDT

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s Nobel Prize-winning opposition leader, will soon be able to sip a Coke in her own country.

Coca-Cola is planning to begin doing business in Myanmar, one of just three countries – along with North Korea and Cuba – where the U.S. beverage group does not operate. The world’s largest beverage company by revenues said on Thursday that once the U.S. government gives it a general license to do business there, it will begin making “significant” investments across the country during the next three to five years.

Coke also said that its charitable arm would make a $3 million investment to promote employment among women across Myanmar.

The move comes as Myanmar’s new government has been moving quickly to liberalize its economy after decades of oppressive military rule and looking to lure western companies to make investments.

“Coca-Cola has always stood for optimism at times of change and progress around the world,” Muhtar Kent, Coke’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Initially, some Coke products will be imported from neighboring countries, but the company said it would eventually sell, distribute, market and manufacture its products there locally.

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