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May 17, 2019

PepsiCo to make $1 billion investment in Pakistan during five years: CEO

PepsiCo to make $1 billion investment in Pakistan during five years: CEO

Lauding the Pakistani government for focusing on the ease of doing business indicator, PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer for Asia, Middle East and North Africa (AMENA) Mike Spanos said that the company has planned to make an investment of US one billion dollars in Pakistan during next five years.

"Any business environment that really facilitates long term Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) requires consistency, transparency, and stability. We are seeing continued progress and big improvements in those areas. As the ease of doing business in Pakistan improves we want to continue to increase our investments," said Spanos while talking to Business Recorder during his recent visit to Pakistan.

"Pakistan is a priority for PepsiCo as we believe strongly in the potential of Pakistan. Pakistan has a large population majority of which is young, and we see growing socio-economic conditions for the population which we think is a great business environment and an opportunity for foreign direct investment," he added.

He said an investment of US 800 million dollars in this country during the last five years and our announcement to continue our investments approximately a billion USD over the next five years is a proof of confidence in Pakistan.

He said recent inauguration of US 63 million dollars state of the art snack plant in Multan is also a proof of it.

He stated that PepsiCo takes pride in the fact that 100 percent of the potato and corn used in the plant is locally sourced.

Talking about the taxation system in Pakistan and its impact on the beverage sector, Mike Spanos stressed the need for improving the tax system in the country.

He also stressed for consistency of regulation whether its food safety regulations or taxes.

"These need to be consistent all over Pakistan because supply chains in business models pivots across the country. Today there is fragmentation so we look and ask for more continued support to harmonize those systems. Secondly, Pakistan is still higher in taxes as compared to a number of countries and that just makes it harder for the industry to grow and reinvest back in the business. Thirdly lower taxes and incentives will help the companies to bring in more products or to bring international partners to Pakistan," he added. He was appreciative of the work the food regulator were doing in Pakistan but at the same time stressed the need for making the industry a collaborative partner. He said that the experience of companies like PepsiCo can help Pakistan from a science and capability standpoint.

He said that the beverage and food industry also wanted improved harmonization between various agencies as we are still dealing with some fragmented policies which are very challenging on the supply chain front.

Regarding investment policies, he said a stable or predictable environment besides being transparent and consistent can help attract companies for bringing in long term investments. The more stability, consistency, transparency the more you are going to have long term investments in Pakistan.

"We feel right about the country. Pakistan is a very vibrant country, having a young population with rapidly growing advancements and socio-economics. The government is focused on education. What that tells us is that you're going to see Pakistan's continued growth in household incomes, which means you're going to have more advancement in the society, which means that people are going to have more disposable incomes to spend across the board. And that's a really positive thing for the prosperity of Pakistan," he said.

Regarding exporting from Pakistan, he said that they are already exporting snacks to Malaysia and Afghanistan and would "like to continue exports and as the government works with us to help us localize and bring down the costs of the many ingredients and components of our food products, that allows us to be even more competitive in global market to export from Pakistan. One hundred per cent of our corn and potatoes are grown in Pakistan today. We are very willing and open and want to increase our exports," he added.

Business Recorder



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