Coca-Cola International has reaffirmed its commitment to further invest in Liberia as its contribution to postwar reconstruction terming its partnership as not just “a fair weather”.
Pres. Sirleaf (l) Coca-Cola Alexander B. Cummings (r)
According to an Executive Mansion release, the vice president and chief administrator for Coca Cola International, Alexander B. Cummings, at the head of a high-level delegation informed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that his company, having worked in Liberia for over 50 years, was pleased to announce an expansion of its production by adding pure water and canned juice components to its product.
“The expansion,” Mr. Cummings disclosed, “is drawn from the conducive investment climate and the long standing partnership between Coca-Cola and Liberia which will further provide additional job opportunities for the country.”
The new products, particularly Bonaqua mineral water, Mr. Cummings indicated, is expected to come online by March 2015 and that the equipment for its expansion will begin coming to the country next month (October).
Mr. Cummings stressed that the production of the Bonaqua mineral water will eventually lead to the production of canned juices in Liberia. On the Ebola fight, the Coca-Cola Company donated several assorted items to the National Task Force on Ebola and promised to continue its assistance until a total eradication is reported.
Items donated included a 40-foot container of medical supplies, 50,000 cases of Bonaqua mineral water, 30 infrared thermometers to twenty hospitals, and 300 hand washing kits to communities surrounding its production site in Paynesville, among others.
The Coca-Cola vice president, who is a Liberian, extended best wishes on behalf of its chief executive officer Muhtar Kent to President Sirleaf as she fights Ebola and expressed deepest sadness as he watches and listens to news on how Ebola is claiming the lives of thousands in the sub-region including Liberia. Mr. Cummings quoted Mr. Kent as saying that he has committed his company to closely working with President Sirleaf and her Mano River Union counterparts to fight the Ebola outbreak.
Responding, President Sirleaf said Liberia was pleased by the announcement of the expansion as it demonstrates confidence in the Liberia’s investment climate. She assured the delegation of government’s openness to seeing more investment in Liberia expressing optimism that direct foreign investment turns to job creation and infrastructure development.