The Coca-Cola Cos CEO talks up Malaysia soft drinks sector

The Coca-Cola Co's CEO talks up Malaysia soft drinks sector

The CEO of The Coca-Cola Co, Muhtar Kent, has reaffirmed the soft drink firm's plan to spend US$300m in Malaysia over the next five years.

During a visit to Malaysia today (4 November), Kent said that the investment plan was "on-track", calling Malaysia a very important growth market for Coca-Cola.

"We are optimistic about the future of our business here," he said, ahead of chairing a meeting of the US-ASEAN Business Council in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia's gross domestic product is forecast to rise by 7% in 2010. According to Euromonitor, Malaysia's off-trade market for non-carbonated soft drinks grew by 5.4% in volumes from 2004 to 2009, to 228.4m litres. Carbonated drinks volumes experienced slower growth at 3.2%, to 47.1m.

Kent said that Coca-Cola's Minute Maid Pulpy Orange and Pulpy Pineapple juices have been "well received" by consumers since launching in Malaysia in May. Two months earlier, the company began building a bottling plant that will supply Malaysians primarily with Coca-Cola and Sprite.

Coca-Cola employs 800 people in Malaysia.