Coca Cola set to open plant in risky Gaza
Şebnem Turhan - RAMALLAHCoca Cola, the beverage giant, which already has three plants in Palestine’s West Bank, is now set to open a fourth one, a $20 million investment in Gaza, the heart of clashes with Israel.
Investments in Hamas-controlled Gaza look riskier than those in the West Bank, but Imad Hindi, the general manager of National Beverage Company (NBC), which bottles and distributes Coca Cola products, says the company has played a role with investments that invites others.
“Coca Cola is the first and largest global company that has invested in Palestine and these investments are opening the gates for others. The same thing will occur in Gaza,” he said, during a press trip to a plant in Ramallah earlier this week.
The general manager said production at the ongoing project is scheduled to begin in October this year.
The number of Coca Cola employees in Palestine, some 500, will increase to 800 with the new project, he said.
Beside Ramallah, Coca Cola has plants in Tulkarim and Jericho in the West Bank. The global firm entered the country in 1998, in partnership with NBC.
It now stands as the third largest employer and fifth largest investor, according to executives.
The share of Coca Cola in the Palestinian market stands at 86 percent, the largest for the company across the Middle East.