For the first time in more than 60 years, The Coca-Cola Company has made a delivery of Coca-Cola to local customers in Yangon, Myanmar. This milestone marks the next step in the Company’s long-term commitment to generating lasting positive impact by bringing its global brands to Myanmar, also known as Burma, as the country opens up to the world.
“The Coca-Cola Company has been a part of the community fabric in countries around the world for decades,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company. “In every nation and city where we do business, our employees strive to create economic value and build sustainable communities. We are privileged to once again have the opportunity to play a role in building a better future with the people of Myanmar.”
Kent was in Yangon over the weekend as a member of the U.S.-ASEAN Eminent Persons Group, which provides independent recommendations to leaders on how to significantly enhance U.S.–ASEAN ties. He also oversaw the first deliveries of Coca-Cola product.
The Coca-Cola Company is working towards establishing a bottling entity in Myanmar that will combine the Company’s global expertise with the capabilities of the local soft drinks company Pinya Manufacturing Co Ltd. (“Pinya”). The prospective collaboration aims to bring the best of Coca-Cola’s global system business practices to Myanmar and leverage existing local business talent and market insights. The intent is to commence local production as soon as possible, building on an initial distribution agreement established with Pinya to make product available throughout the country immediately. Coca-Cola has a general practice of operating as a local business in every market it serves, including selling, distributing, manufacturing and hiring locally.
Outdoor advertising based on the global theme of “Open Happiness” is being introduced across Yangon. Based on the Coca-Cola brand’s core values of bringing people together and sharing happiness, the advertising invites people from Myanmar to open up a Coca-Cola and work together for a better future.
In June, the Company announced a US$3 million grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Company’s charitable giving arm, to Pact, a non-governmental organization, to support women’s economic empowerment and job creation initiatives throughout the country. During his visit in Yangon, Kent also met with representatives of Pact to review plans and preparations for implementation of the program called WORTH.
Pact’s efforts in Myanmar are consistent with Coca-Cola’s existing global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women across its global value chain by 2020 through an initiative known as 5 BY 20. WORTH will initially fund women interested in supporting a variety of businesses and Coca-Cola expects the program to eventually identify women entrepreneurs interested in becoming independent shopkeepers and distributors of Coca-Cola products.
Coca-Cola's activities in Myanmar, following the lifting of US sanctions, are governed by its well-established global standards for corporate ethics including strict adherence to its global human and workplace rights policy, supplier guiding principles, code of business conduct, and anti-bribery policies, each of which is available on the Company's website.