KABUL May 20 PepsiCo will open its
first plant in Afghanistan in 2014, its Afghan partner said on
Monday, the same year foreign troops complete their withdrawal
from the country after 13 years of war.
"It will go on stream in 2014," Hamed Kakar, head of
marketing for Dubai-based Alokozay, which has an exclusive
bottling agreement with PepsiCo in Afghanistan, told Reuters.
As the NATO-led war winds down, investors are looking at
Afghanistan as a potential source of business, though many are
deterred by an uncertain future and instability.
War and tens of billions of dollars in constant aid have
made Afghanistan a ward of the international community, though
vast potential mineral resources and pent-up business desire
among educated youths mean the environment could be changing.
For now, all Pepsi products sold in Afghanistan are imported
from neighbouring Pakistan. Alokozay previously said the Pepsi
plant was costing $60 million to build, and would provide 3,000
direct and indirect jobs.
PepsiCo's rival Coca-Cola returned to Afghanistan
after a decade-long break in 2006, opening a bottling plant in
the capital, Kabul, which was lavishly inaugurated by President
Sources close to the deal said the Pepsi plant would be
built near the grounds of the Coca-Cola plant, in the industrial
zone of Kabul.