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Japan Tobacco Invests $31 Million in Romanian Plant Expansion

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Japan Tobacco Inc., Asia’s largest cigarette maker by market value, said today it invested 25 million euros ($31 million) to expand its Romanian plant as part of a development program started in 2011.

Japan Tobacco invested more than 100 million euros in Romania since it entered the market in 1993 and its Bucharest-based plant exports 65 percent of its cigarette production, Mutsuo Iwai, the company’s executive vice-president, said in the statement.

“Thanks to the authorities’ efforts, legislative changes and cooperation between the state and the tobacco industry, contraband decreased from over 36 percent of the total market in January 2010 to around 13 percent in May 2012,” Neil Coupland, the Romanian unit’s general manager, said in the statement. “As a consequence, legal sales are growing, allowing us to further invest in our factory and new jobs.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at

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