PepsiCo to sign Myanmar bottling deal as rivalry with Coke grows
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) is in talks to sign a bottling agreement in Myanmar, ramping up the competition with Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) as they fight for market share in a country emerging from decades of isolation.
Coke, which shipped drinks to customers in Myanmar this year for the first time in six decades, said in September that it is already working on setting up a bottling venture with a local company.
Interest in Myanmar by multinational firms has surged after President Thein Sein, who took office in March 2011 at the head of a quasi-civilian government, undertook economic and political reforms that persuaded Western countries to suspend sanctions.
"We want to establish local production," Saad Abdul-Latif, chief executive of PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa, told reporters in Shanghai on Tuesday. "We will be signing that within the next year or so."
Saad was speaking in Shanghai, where the firm opened its largest food and beverage research center outside of North America.
In August, PepsiCo said it has signed an agreement with Diamond Star Co Ltd to distribute PepsiCo beverage brands in Myanmar.
Under the terms of the agreement, Diamond Star - one of the largest packaged-goods distributors in Myanmar - has exclusive rights to import, sell and distribute Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up and Mirinda.
(Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Ryan Woo)
TOKYO - Asian stocks slid on Monday and the dollar stepped back from its recent highs as disappointing Chinese trade data and uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine kept risk appetite in check.
- U.S. small businesses borrowed more money in January than they did a year earlier, signaling continued growth in the economy despite a spate of cold weather that has been blamed for weakness in many other indicators of activity.
BEIJING/HONG KONG - China reiterated its opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to limit airline carbon dioxide emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after its major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.