Coca-Cola Plant Opened in Kabul
Kabul, Afghanistan: President Hamid Karzai Sunday formally opened
a $25-million Coca-Cola bottling plant, one of the most significant
investments in Afghanistan since the ousting of the Taliban five years
Karzai said it was an endorsement of the government's efforts to push
ahead with reconstruction of the war-damaged country.
The plant had its first products, which will compete with imports
from Pakistan and Iran, on the streets of the capital in January.
Its initial formal opening was postponed in May after riots in which
hordes of men rampaged through the city, setting fire to buildings
and vehicles after a deadly traffic accident involving a United States
The investment by a Dubai-based Afghan family is one of the biggest
in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Mobile telecommunications network Roshan
has spent about $180-million setting up here.
The Afghan government is trying to attract foreign investment to spur
an economy ruined by three decades of war.
But the country faces considerable odds, including a resurgent Taliban,
widespread corruption and a shattered infrastructure, with even the
capital only getting a sporadic supply of electricity.
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