Nestle opens chocolate plant in Egypt, builds factory in Dubai

CAIRO, June 23 Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:44am EDT

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CAIRO, June 23 (Reuters) - Swiss food giant Nestle opened its first confectionary plant in Egypt on Monday and is currently building a new factory in Dubai, its Executive Vice President and regional director Nandu Nandkishore said.

Nestle's move comes as other food and beverage retailers such as Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo and Saudi Arabia's Almarai are announcing investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Egypt.

The new plant in 6th of October City on the outskirts of Cairo is a 65 million-Egyptian-pound ($9 million) extension to Nestle's existing dry goods factory for products such as Maggi and Nescafe.

It will make Nestle's chocolate-based Crunch snack for the domestic market, but the company expects to export produce to North African markets such as Libya in the future, Zone Director for Asia, Oceania, Africa and Middle East Nandkishore said.

Nestle currently exports between 10 and 15 percent of the dry goods it produces in Egypt to countries in the region.

Another factory for Maggi bouillon cubes is currently under construction in Dubai, Nandkishore told Reuters at the Cairo plant, declining to give further details.

Nestle has invested around 1 billion pounds in Egypt since a popular revolt in 2011 swept autocrat president Hosni Mubarak from power. Despite political upheaval since the uprising, Nestle has been expanding its ice cream and dry goods factories.

"This will be the beginning of many more investments," Nandkishore said. "We are committed to being here (in Egypt)." ($1 = 7.1501 Egyptian Pounds) (Reporting By Shadia Nasralla, editing by Louise Heavens)

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