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Saudi Arabia announces project in Iraq with millions of dollars and jobs

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New beverage factory heralds new era for Iraq, Saudi Arabia and UAE

In a show of confidence in Iraq’s future, a Saudi beverage maker is planning a large facility south of Baghdad

Published: 17:02 November 30, 2017 Gulf News

DUBAI: A recently announced factory south of Baghdad, part owned by Coca-Cola, symbolises a new era in economic relations between Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. A push by the two countries to improve ties with Iraq helped to secure a Dh250 million bottled beverage factory, part-owned by Coca-Cola, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

“The UAE and Saudi Arabia rally to open the relationship with Iraq and its market has been extremely positive for us … Let’s not dodge around the question,” said Meshal Al Kadeeb, vice president of strategy and business development, at Aujan Coca-Cola.



Scheduled to come online in 2018, the factory will be located southwest of the capital Baghdad, between Al Hillah, Najaf and Karbala, in what is known as the country’s industrial belt.

According to Al Kadeeb, the improved trilateral relations have “made our job, and our project, easier. That rally between Saudi Arabia and the UAE … has definitely helped us.”

“Business works on common sense,” he added.

Back in 2011, Coca-Cola purchased a $980 million stake in Saudi Arabian drinks company Aujan Industries, best known for its popular Vimto and Rani drinks. A coordination council was established this year between Saudi Arabia and Iraq to strengthen ties between the two countries.

The pair is expected to boost cooperation in various sectors including oil, economy, trade, intelligence and counter-terrorism, said Ahmad Jamal, a spokesman for the Iraqi foreign ministry speaking exclusively to Gulf News in April.

Iraq is also hoping Saudi Arabia will foot the bill of Mosul’s reconstruction after the Iraqi army liberated the city from Daesh control.

In an interview with Gulf News, Al Kadeeb said his company expected the factory to create at least 150 jobs for Iraqis, whilst positioning them closer in the supply chain to an important and growing consumer market.

“It’s all about maximising the return on your supply chain. With the Iraq situation, a closer to market manufacturing solution will be a better fit at this time,” he said.

“We’re already the biggest there, and distance, especially with fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) is a function,” Al Kadeeb added.

On the issue of security, the vice president was unconcerned.

Iraq’s energy facilities, particularly in the north, have been attacked multiple times by Daesh fighters, causing many companies to beef up their security measures.

“We’re a little bit boring! Our industry is consumer goods, it’s not like oil and gas,” Al Kadeeb said.

“Our security is the same as any other food or beverage company in Iraq at the moment,” he said in response to a question about the level of security Aujan Coca-Cola would have in place at the facility.

On the overall safety of operating in Iraq, Al Kadeeb said: “We believe that the country is at the right place now. Every country has a risk, but we’re at a stage now where we’re comfortable to proceed with our manufacturing investment in Iraq, from a stability point of view.”

The beverage company has said it hopes the factory will help it to penetrate neighbouring countries, including Jordan, Turkey and Kuwait.

Picking the right location for a factory will help Aujan Coca-Cola to maximise its returns, said Al Kadeeb, noting: “It will give us that door to knock on for neighbouring countries. The closer to the market you are, the more your costs would be optimised.”

The senior executive added that entering the Iraqi marketing would help Aujan Coca-Cola to increase its overall capacity in the country, where it has seen sales rise, buoyed by a youthful population.

“Our Middle East and North Africa (Mena) target market is still young, below thirty and sometimes more. Given the per capita consumption compared to developed markets, the potential for us is very real,” Al Kadeeb said.

Attracting foreign investment

Through such economic initiatives, Saudi Arabia is attempting to push back against what it sees as undue Iranian influence in Iraq.

The toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003 by US-led coalition forces created a power vacuum that allowed Iran to gain a foothold in Iraq.

Following a return to relative stability after years of conflict that saw much of the country devastated, Iraq’s government is trying to attract foreign money back into the country and create jobs to ease social discontent.

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Saudi Arabia announces project in Iraq with millions of dollars and jobs

Saudi Arabia announces project in Iraq with millions of dollars and jobs


 Twilight News   

 16 minutes ago


Aujan Coca-Cola Refreshments Company is preparing to launch a filling plant in Iraq, which is expected to be next year, at a total cost of 66.6 million dollars.

The plant, which includes juice and soft drinks production lines, is expected to provide more than 150 jobs. The plant will also play an important role in supporting Aujan Coca-Cola's ongoing expansion plans in Iraq, enabling the company to meet growing domestic demand and serve neighboring markets. According to a company announcement seen by Shafak News.

The announcement of the new investment followed the participation of the company's officials at the recent Baghdad International Exhibition, where the company participated in the exhibition in the group of companies co-led by the Saudi Export Development Authority. Is a perfect opportunity for Coca-Cola to confirm its commitment to expanding its operations across the region. "

"The company has reached a stage of development that allows it to invest," said Meshaal Al-Baris, vice president of strategic planning and business development at Aujan Coca-Cola. "The rapprochement in Saudi-UAE relations has contributed significantly to decision-making, The Saudi Export Development Authority has had a significant impact on this step, through the incentive provided by the Commission to invest in the Iraqi market.

The company is seeking to provide its products in the Iraqi market. The company has achieved excellent results through export operations in the past, in light of the success of its brands in the success of the Gulf markets, which contributed significantly to the strong entry into the market Iraq, and added: «The company entered the Iraqi market since 2003 through export, and today will be provided products through the plant to be built in Iraq, as the Iraqi market is one of the most promising markets in the Middle East».

The factory in Iraq is the fourth of the company Aujan Coca-Cola, after factories in the city of Dammam, "East Saudi Arabia", and the second plant in the city of Dubai UAE, while the third plant in Lebanon, explaining that the Iraqi factory will manufacture the three brands, the juice «Rani» , The beer «Albirbkan», and juice Center «Vimto».

The Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development at Aujan Coca-Cola stressed that the motivation of the Saudi Export Development Authority has had the greatest impact on the decision to invest in Iraq, thanking the facilities provided by the Commission through its dealings with the company to enter the Iraqi market, in this A time when trade relations between Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to increase.



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4 hours ago, 10 YEARS LATER said:

You betcha ! Rum is absolutely no damn good without a little Coke in it !!!!


Did somebody say, RUM?! :drunk: 


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IDK , maybe companies feel iraq is more secure for business now in the past it would have been built in erbil / kurdistan region where any crazy couldn't roll into town and destroy it .... thinking positive  :twothumbs:

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5 hours ago, SnowGlobe7 said:

SIr may I buy you and yours a drink one day!!!

yours or do you mean me???

ok you twisted my arm

you may buy me a drink

  • Haha 3

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Iraq, December 6, 2017 

Iraq and Saudi Arabia have signed 18 memorandums of understanding in the energy field during the kingdom’s participation in an energy exhibition in Iraq.

The signing of the 18 memorandums of understanding came after Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh inaugurated the seventh edition of the Basra oil and gas exhibition, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

It quoted the minister saying that 22 Saudi companies took part in the exhibition which comes to reinforce the “strategic partnership” between the two countries.

He said enhanced relations and energy cooperation between both countries will help bring stability to the international oil market, with both being prominent OPEC members.

Relations between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and the Shia-dominated Iraqi government have been tensional over the past few years due to Saudi Arabia’s opposition to the involvement of Iraqi Shia paramilitary forces in the fight against Islamic State. Saudi Arabia has always been irritated by the influence of Shia Iran, its arch regional enemy, over Iraqi politics.

But the past months have seen an obvious rapprochement between both countries, with top-level officials exchanging visits and expressing eagerness to boost political, security and economic cooperation.

In October, more than 60 Saudi companies attended the Baghdad International Exhibition.

In July, both countries established a joint coordination council to boost ties on all levels.


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