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Manila, Philippines (AHN) – The Coca-Cola Co. renewed its presence in the Philippines by increasing investments in the country by $1 billion over five years (2010-2015).

“This investment is a proof point of our strong commitment to the Philippines, confidence in the prospects of Filipino economy and continued growth of a broader and more affluent middle class in the country,” Coca-Cola Pacific Group President Glenn Jordan said in a statement.

The business enterprise expansion will strengthen production, distribution and help development of new products, he added.

“The new plant scheduled to begin operations (in 2011) will be one of the largest plants in the region and is expected to generate significant employment opportunities in the area,” Jordan said.The added financial commitment will further boost the ongoing construction of a bottling mega-facility in the southern province of Misamis Oriental.

Coca-Cola Phils. recorded double digit growth in the first half of 2010 led by flagship brand Coca-Cola.

The company also expanded its beverages portfolio in early of 2010 with the launch of “Samurai” energy drink and ready-to-drink “Real Leaf” tea brewed from whole green tea leaves.

The Coca-Cola Co. operates 23 plants and 42 sales offices with over 7,800 employees across the country. The country’s bottling operation is among the 10 biggest Coca-Cola bottlers globally.

Coca-Cola has been present in the Philippines since the start of the 20th century and has been locally produced since 1912.

(This story first appeared in All Headline News (AHN) and online news wires Sept. 28, 2010)