PepsiCo employs around 10,000 people in North Africa and Egypt

PepsiCo employs around 10,000 people in North Africa and Egypt

The chief executive of PepsiCo has said that local Egyptian employees are protecting its facilities in the country as political protests enter their ninth day.

Speaking to Fox Business Network yesterday (1 February), Indra Nooyi said that business in Egypt so far had not been disrupted and that there were no plans for the evacuation of employees. Continued pressure on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to quit has resulted in widespread political protests across the country.

Nooyi said that multinational companies like PepsiCo are like "little republics", knowing how to operate in multiple countries and how to work portfolios in order to protect their assets in times of an upheaval.

PepsiCo employs around 10,000 people in North Africa. Nooyi told Fox that when there is an upheaval, "we worry about it".

"As we look across the world, at some point there is some turmoil in some country," she told Fox. "So what we have to do is wait it out. In every country in which we do business our people are local. So, our Egyptian employees are all on the ground and they're protecting our facilities, our distribution centres and our offices. Our head, Saad [Abdul-Latif] is constantly in touch with all of our executives and we are worried for them because we want to make sure that the country goes through whatever transition it is going through right now in a peaceful way."

On Monday, PepsiCo issued a statement confirming that it was flying its own ex-pat employees out of the country.

Other drinks companies known to be affected by the troubles include Heineken. On Monday the company said it has suspended beer and soft drinks operations in Egypt with the temporary closure of six facilities, including two breweries, two soft drinks plants, a maltings and a winery.