Coca-Cola International, a global nonalcoholic beverage bottling company operating in the country, has announced plans for the expansion of its production by adding new varieties to its many products on the local market as well as expanding its production capacity.
Coca-Cola’s vice president and, Alexander B. Cummings, who led a high-level delegation to Liberia last Friday, informed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that his company, having operated in Liberia for over 50 years, was pleased to announce an expansion of its production by adding pure water and canned juice components to its product lines.
Coca-Cola International is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. It is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia.
The company’s vice president, who is a Liberian national, made the disclosure about the pending expansion on Friday September 26, when he and his delegation paid a courtesy call on President Sirleaf at her Foreign Affairs office in Monrovia.
He used the occasion to reaffirm the company’s commitment to further invest in Liberia as its contribution to post-war reconstruction, terming its partnership as not just “a fair weather” partner.
“The expansion,” Mr. Cummings disclosed, “is a result of the conducive investment climate and the long standing partnership between Coca-Cola and Liberia, which will further provide additional job opportunities for the country,” an Executive Mansion press release quotes Mr. Cummings as saying.
The new products, particularly Bonaqua mineral water, Mr. Cummings indicated, is expected to come online by March 2015. He said the equipment for the company’s expansion will begin arriving in the country this month, October, 2014.
Mr. Cummings stressed that the production of the Bonaqua mineral water will eventually lead to the production of canned juices in Liberia.
On behalf of the company’s chief executive officer, Muhtar Kent, Mr. Cummings extended best wishes to President Sirleaf as she fights Ebola and expressed deepest sadness as he watches and listens to news on how Ebola is claiming the lives of thousands in the sub-region including Liberia.
Mr. Cummings quoted Mr. Kent as saying that he has committed his company to closely working with President Sirleaf and her Mano River Union counterparts to fight the Ebola outbreak.
Responding, President Sirleaf said Liberia was pleased by the announcement of the expansion as it demonstrates the company’s confidence in Liberia’s investment climate. She assured the delegation of government’s openness to seeing more investment in Liberia while also expressing optimism that direct foreign investment turns to job creation and infrastructure development.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has joined the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the country with a large donation including several assorted medical items to the National Task Force (NTF) on Ebola.
Mr. Cummings promised to continue its assistance until a total eradication is reported.
The Coca-Cola vice president said items donated included a 40-foot container of medical supplies, 50,000 cases of Bonaqua mineral water.
Other items donated by the company included 30 infrared thermometers to twenty hospitals, and
300 hand washing kits to communities surrounding its production site in Paynesville.