The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is providing finance for a new soft drinks bottling plant in Tajikistan with an investment that will help reduce imports, increase domestic production and raise standards in the country’s agribusiness sector.
A €44.7 million loan to Coca-Cola Beverages Tajikistan (CCBT) will help establish the company’s presence in the Tajik beverage sector.
CCBT is owned by Coca-Cola İçecek A.Ş., a Turkish company which already has cooperated successfully with the EBRD as it entered the markets and expanded its operations in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. It is majority-owned by the Anadolu Efes group.
The Bank’s loan will be used by Coca-Cola Beverages Tajikistan to refinance loans provided by Coca-Cola İçecek A.Ş. to set up a green-field soft drinks bottling plant in the suburbs of Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan. The state-of-the-art production plant will produce up to 100 million litres of beverages per year, according to EBRD.
“The new plant in Dushanbe will have strategic significance, as it will be the first ever production facility of an international company in the entire agribusiness sector in Tajikistan. This foreign direct investment is especially welcome at the time when the country’s economy is under strain from the regional slowdown,” said Natalia Khanjenkova, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey and Central Asia.
According to EBRD analysis, the Tajik beverage market has exhibited stable growth rates recently but remains largely underdeveloped compared to similar economies in Central Asia, indicating a high growth potential.
The new plant will benefit the local economy by creating jobs for Tajik citizens and opportunities for other businesses. Coca-Cola İçecek A.Ş will provide in-house and external training to the new locally hired employees. CCBT will also rely on local SMEs for distribution of produce and local suppliers for procurement of raw materials.
To date, the EBRD has invested about €430 million (about US$ 490 million) in various sectors of the country’s economy.