BANGKOK: ThaiNamthip Limited, Coca-Cola’s bottling partner in Thailand, is forming a joint venture entity with PT Construction Co., Ltd. a Laos-based company, for the bottling and distribution of Coca-Cola sparkling and still beverages in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. The new venture will immediately expand the availability of Coca-Cola’s products in the Lao market, to include Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Minute Maid and Namthip drinking water.
The joint venture, named Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Ltd., will have an initial investment capital of US$ 40 million over five years. ThaiNamthip will hold 70% of the shareholdings and PT Construction Co., Ltd. will hold the remaining 30%. As part of the agreement, Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Ltd. began distribution today in Laos with Coca-Cola products supplied by ThaiNamthip’s plants in Thailand. Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Ltd. will construct a bottling plant to be located in Vientiane province and this is expected to be operational in 2014. The new plant will employ around 70 people as well as generate additional indirect employment for around 500 people.
H.E. Mr. Somsavat Lengsavad, Deputy Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, who witnessed the signing of the joint venture agreement in Vientiane.
“This is an important milestone in the commercial relations between our two countries and I am pleased to take part in tonight's event. Fostering closer commercial ties between our two countries through this joint venture is a great way to further strengthen our close relationship and to boost the well-being and prosperity of our two peoples.” he said.
Mr. Pornwut Sarasin, Vice Chairman of ThaiNamthip Ltd. and Chairman of Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Limited, said, “Our organisation in Thailand is very mature with a track record of more than 50 years of successful operations. We have been ready to expand our business
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outside of Thailand for some time. With the increasing momentum of regionalization brought about by the impending implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community, beginning a business in Laos is a great way to share and expand ThaiNamthip’s knowhow regionally.”
“Thais have a very close and brotherly bond with Laotians and share many cultural similarities. This makes working together on this venture to deliver happiness and refreshment to the Lao people doubly exciting. With the formation of Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Co., we are enabling an efficient distribution of Coca-Cola beverages in Lao and with the construction of a plant in Vientiane, we will see the first production of our beverages in the country in 2014,” he added.
Mr. Van Hoang Dau, Chairman and CEO of PT Construction Co., Ltd. and Director of Lao Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd., said, “We are very pleased to enter into this joint venture with ThaiNamthip and proud to work with an international, iconic brand like Coca-Cola. The timing dovetails with the entry of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic into the World Trade Organisation and the beginning of the integration of the country into the global economy. The recent 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit of Heads of State and Government (ASEM) held in Laos is a testimony of Laos’ readiness to become a full-fledged player in the global marketplace. I am confident that this partnership will be very successful and will grow rapidly.”