The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) said Tuesday that it will restart bottling production in Myanmar following the lifting of U.S. sanctions that kept the soft drink maker out of the country for more than 60 years.
As part of a planned five-year $200 million investment in the country, the investment will help create more than 22,000 related jobs.
Coca-Cola is one of the first U.S. companies to be granted an investment permit under a new Foreign Investment Law. The country formerly known as Burma is in the process of building a free market economy after being under military rule since 1962.
Coca-Cola ended its operations there in 1988 following a military crackdown of pro-democracy activists. However, PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE:PEP) remained in the country despite pressure from human rights organizations to divest.
The soft drink company announced it will target more than 100,000 outlets across Myanmar for six months and add production from a second bottling plant that already exists.
The company says the Coca-Cola Foundation will also work with a nongovernmental organization called Pact to implement a three-year program aimed at empowering 25,000 of Myanmar's women by teaching financial literacy, entrepreneurship and business management.