PepsiCo Inc is in the process of signing a bottling agreement in Burma, Reuters reported on Thursday, quoting Saad Abdul-Latif, the company’s chief executive for Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
In August, PepsiCo signed an agreement with a Burmese firm to distribute its Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up and Mirinda brands in the country. At the time, it said, it was exploring the option of setting up production there.
PepsiCo, one of the world's largest drinks makers, re-enters the Burmese market after pulling out of the country 15 years ago following a “Boycott Pepsi” campaign launched by the Free Burma Coalition (FBC) in the USA.
In 1996, the FBC successfully persuaded Harvard University to refuse to sell any Pepsi products on its campuses. The boycott spread to other universities and organizations in the US and Europe until PepsiCo severed its ties with Burma’s military government the following year.
The firm's major rival, Coca-Cola, announced plans in June to return to Burma.
PepsiCo said in August that it would partner with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to launch vocational training initiatives in Burma in a bid to improve labor skills in the country.
“PepsiCo and UNESCO plan to work together to provide programs that focus on managerial skills training to support the country's development, empower its people and strengthen the workforce as PepsiCo looks to expand its business in the future,” it said in a statement.