P&G to invest US$170 million in South Africa

P and G Twin TowersProcter & Gamble headquarters in Ohio, USA. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)Procter & Gamble (P&G) has revealed plans to invest about US$170mn to build a multi-category manufacturing plant in South Africa

The plant, which is expected to create more than 500 jobs, will manufacture products like detergents and hygiene goods for local and export markets. Construction of the new plant will start in 2014, while production will commence in 2016 or early 2017.

According to Procter & Gamble global business unit vice-president, Dimitri Panayotopoulos, the group will consider tapping into the developing markets in Africa by expanding to other parts of the continent.

Panayotopoulos said, “We are in Africa because of the sheer size of the continent. With the economies getting more and more stable, opportunities are becoming huge.

“We have businesses in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. We are going to go to Angola and Ethiopia as well. We want to be in every country.”

The P&G executive added, “In the last 10 years we’ve gone from about 20 per cent of our business being in emerging markets to about 40 per cent. Obviously there is a huge upside. This is where more and more consumers are getting ready for our products, so it’s really taken off in the last few years.”

Procter & Gamble’s southern and East African operations vice-president Standa Vecera, said, “Countries like Africa, China, India and Brazil are the markets of the future because that’s where the population is, that’s where the growth rates are.

“Outside South Africa, the way retail is conducted is through very small, high-frequency stores, where people shop on a daily basis — there is big opportunity in Africa.”

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