Coca-Cola today opened its 43rd plant in China and its first in Hebei Province, underscoring its continued confidence in – and commitment to – its third-largest market globally.

The $106 million facility is part of the Coca-Cola system’s plan to invest $4 billion in China between 2012 and 2014.

“Coca Cola’s investment in China is strategically important in achieving our 2020 Vision goals, and largely possible due to our partnerships with COFCO and our other bottling partners,” said Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, who spoke during a ceremony at the Shijiazhuang facility operated by Coca-Cola COFCO. “This new plant will help Coca-Cola create a lasting positive impact in the community and contribute to a sustainable future for the people of Hebei.”

Muhtar Kent at plant opening in Hebei, China

Muhtar Kent, Chairman & CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, signs a Chinese drum marked with a character that represents "Hebei"  which also signifies "Hope."

The 42-acre facility – which initially will produce Coca Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Minute Maid and soon add three additional lines – will provide 2,000 local jobs and 20,000 indirect job opportunities. Upon completion, it will be the largest of COFCO’s 12 Coca-Cola bottling plants in China.

“This is more than a place where we produce the world’s most refreshing beverages,” Kent added. “It symbolizes our long-term commitment to economic development in this city, this province and this country, as we approach the 35th anniversary of our 1979 return to China.”

With a population of more than 72 million, Hebei Province represents a key growth region in China for Coca-Cola. Since 2008, Hebei has generated more than 2.4 billion servings annually and has delivered double-digit cumulative average annual growth.  

Nearly one-third of the Coca-Cola system’s global growth over the last decade has come from China, which is also the world’s largest Sprite market. Volume was up 9 percent in the third quarter of 2013, led by 8 percent growth in sparkling beverages.

The Coca-Cola system employs 50,000 people in China and creates job opportunities for 500,000 more people through our supply chain. Since 1979, Coca-Cola has invested more than $5 billion in China, including $3 billion between 2009 and 2011.

China also has emerged as an innovation hub for the company. Minute Maid Pulpy was created and launched in China in 2005 and has since expanded to more than 20 countries and become one of Coke’s 16 billion-dollar brands. 

“With more innovations sure to follow, we look forward to creating even more value for every individual, family, customer, business and community we touch across this vibrant and historic nation,” Kent said. “Coca-Cola is honored—and privileged—to be part of this expanding economy, this vibrant community and China’s ongoing growth story.”