HARARE — Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday commissioned a 30 million U.S. dollars state-of-the-art plant that will produce soft drinks in the country under the world famous Pepsi brand.
The plant, whose construction began in 2016 and was completed early this year, produces around 600,000 units a day and employs 400 people. It commenced production in March.
It is owned by Varun Beverages Zimbabwe, a joint venture between Glaciem and Varun Beverages of Zambia, which in turn is a subsidiary of RJ Corp Group, an Indian headquartered company.
Besides the Pepsi drink, other brands being produced at the plant include Mirinda, Mountain Dew, 7 Up as well as bottled water.
Mnangagwa said the opening of the new plant was in line with the new administration’s vision to ramp up investment to create jobs and grow the country’s exports.
He encouraged the company to expand its production so that it exports some of its products into the region.
“My government on its part stands ready to facilitate the process and regulations that enhance and promote export-led growth,” he said.
RJ Corp chairman Ravi Jaipura said the company had competitively priced its products, a fact acknowledged by Mnangagwa, who said the move had forced competitors to lower prices.
“With the future revenue and profits generated from the sale of carbonated drinks we are already looking at avenues of re-investment like potato processing, tomato processing, juices, dairy, education, health care and hospitality, hence further supporting the Zimbabwean community,” said Jaipura.
He said the firm planned to export preforms and juices to Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique and other neighboring countries and help bring foreign exchange into Zimbabwe.