British American Tobacco is planning to spend about $50 million over five years building a tobacco manufacturing plant in Myanmar, where it was forced to leave 10 years ago.
The company said yesterday it had completed a joint venture agreement in Myanmar with I.M.U. Enterprise Ltd. (IMU) to manufacture, distribute and market BAT’s brands for the domestic market.
IMU is said to be part of the leading local conglomerate, Sein Wut Hmon Group, which has an extensive fast-moving consumer goods distribution network throughout the country.
The Myanmar Investment Commission approved the joint venture foreign investment in January.
“Under the terms of the agreement, British American Tobacco will have majority share in the joint venture company, British American Tobacco Myanmar Ltd.,” BAT said in a note posted on its website. “The company plans to invest approximately US$50 million over five years to establish a world-class manufacturing facility that will produce London, an iconic brand of international prestige and quality.”
“Historically, British American Tobacco had a market-leading position in Myanmar, which we are aiming to rebuild with our partner,” Rehan Baig, the managing director of British American Tobacco Myanmar Ltd., was quoted as saying. “The country has strong opportunities for growth, and, with the re-entry, we are very keen to offer consumers an attractive range of international-quality products and brands through responsible marketing. The joint venture gives us a very sustainable and long-term position in this growing economy.
“This signifies much more than a shared responsibility for the production of our international brands. It is a long-term commitment to develop local talent in technical know-how and management capabilities whilst also creating more employment opportunities. We will employ approximately 400 people to begin with, and we also intend [to] collaborate with local farmers to improve their yield and quality of local tobacco.”
Meanwhile, BAT’s CEO, Nicandro Durante, said his company was truly excited with the post-sanctions development in Myanmar and was keen to play a part in the country’s economic and social advancement. “Our ability to build strong positions in emerging markets such as Myanmar is one of our key strengths as … one of the largest international tobacco companies in the world,” he added.
Category: Breaking News