The Coca-Cola Co has said that it plans to invest US$2bn in China over the next three years, in addition to its potential $2.4bn takeover of Huiyuan Juice Group.

Coca-Cola president and CEO Muhtar Kent said late last week that the money would be spread across new plant and distribution infrastructure, sales and marketing, and research and development.

Speaking at the opening of Coca-Cola's $90m Global Innovation and Technology Center in Shanghai, Kent said that Coca-Cola's commitment and confidence in China "never wavers".

His words come as the soft drinks giant awaits a decision by China's Ministry of Commerce on its $2.4bn takeover bid for Huiyuan Juice Group, the country's largest juice firm. Authorities have set a deadline of 23 March.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson confirmed to just-drinks today (9 March) that the extra $2bn investment in China "is on top of the bid for Huiyuan".

The firm's new technology centre in Shanghai is five times larger than the group's R&D facility that it replaces in the city.

Kent said: "It will be part of the Coca-Cola global R&D community, and will work closely with other R&D centres to build and share expertise within our global system."

The new centre also has several environmental features, including solar panels, rainwater storage capacity and light sensors.