PepsiCo Returns to Myanmar After 15 Years to Distribute Soda

PepsiCo Inc., the world’s largest snack food maker, will return to Myanmar after 15 years to distribute beverages under loosened restrictions on investment in the Southeast Asian country.

Diamond Star Co. has exclusive rights to import, sell and distribute Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up and Mirinda, Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo said today in a statement. PepsiCo also said it plans to explore building manaufacturing plants in Myanmar.

PepsiCo pulled out of Myanmar in 1997 after activists urged the company to sever ties with the military dictatorship because of human-rights violations. Coca-Cola Co., the world’s largest soft-drinks maker, will return to the country after 60 years as soon as the U.S. government licenses the investment, the Atlanta-based company has said.

PepsiCo will develop agricultural projects and vocational training in Myanmar, according to the statement. Jeff Dahncke, a PepsiCo spokesman, declined to say whether they will distrubute snacks in the country.

Myanmar is enhancing economic, military and political ties with Western nations after years of isolation that left its 64 million people among Asia’s poorest. The country’s transition to democracy in recent months after about five decades of military rule prompted the U.S. to ease sanctions in May.

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