Coca-Cola Co. has opened two bottling facilities in China this week.

The company announced yesterday (23 June) that the two plants, in Xinjiang and Jiangxi, have been officially opened. Coca-Cola has worked with its bottling partner COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages on the new sites.

"This RMB210m (US$30.1m) investment in Jiangxi and Xinjiang represents the Coca-Cola system's strong commitment to China and to consumers throughout China including in the less developed areas in central and western China in creating job opportunities and building a better community," said Coca-Cola's chairman and CEO, Muhtar Kent.

"Our business in China grew 19% in 2008 and China is now our third largest market. By opening new plants in Jiangxi and Xinjiang, we will be able to increase our geographic presence, enhance our competitive edge in China and support local community development by sponsoring jobs, local procurements, and education."

The investment, which forms part of Coca-Cola's recently announced US$2bn three-year investment plan in China, has created 796 jobs at the two bottling plants, and is more broadly expected to create an additional 8,000 jobs with upstream suppliers and a variety of service providers.

Following the plant openings, Coca-Cola and its bottlers now operate 38 bottling plants in Greater China.

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola suffered a setback in China when it's bid to acquire the country's Huiyuan Juice Group was turned down by the country's Ministry of Commerce.