Swiss food giant Nestlé has confirmed that it is preparing to invest around US$50 million in Myanmar’s food and beverage industry over the next six years, in the latest sign of the Myanmar consumer market’s attractiveness to international firms.
A statement from the President’s Office said that the investment will be focused on “coffee, milk and dairy products, drinking water and beverages”. The deal is pending approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission, which met with Nestlé representatives in Yangon early last month. A spokesperson for Nestlé confirmed the statement but declined to comment further on the nature of the company’s investment.
The statement came following President U Thein Sein’s September tour of a Nestlé factory near Bern, Switzerland. Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, formed a Myanmar-based subsidiary in September 2013 to explore opportunities in the country. The Vevey-headquartered company already exports a number of its products to Myanmar.
Consumer goods manufacturers have been eager to enter Myanmar’s market of 51.4 million people since reforms were initiated three years ago and a new foreign investment law enacted in 2012. Nestlé competitor Unilever opened a production facility in May 2013. In June 2013, soft-drink manufacturer Coca-Cola opened a bottling factory outside Yangon. Rival PepsiCo followed suit in March, opening its own bottling facility. All major projects to date have been joint ventures with a Myanmar partner.