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Pepsi says plans $5 billion investment in India by 2020

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US soft drinks giant PepsiCo announced Monday it would invest more than $5 billion with its partners in India to raise production, saying it had only "scratched the surface" of the Asian giant's potential.

PepsiCo said the investment by 2020 in India, one of its largest markets globally, would strengthen its capabilities in such areas as manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture.

"India is a country with huge potential and it remains an attractive, high-priority market for PepsiCo," said PepsiCo chairman Indra Nooyi.

"We've built a highly successful business in India over the course of many years, and we believe we've only scratched the surface of the long-term growth opportunities that exist for PepsiCo," she said.

"This investment is PepsiCo's vote of confidence in India's future," she said in a statement.

The announcement is welcome news for the embattled Congress-led government, which has been struggling to attract foreign direct investment in the face of corruption scandals, a weakening rupee and slowing economic growth.

PepsiCo and its bottling partners aim to more than double production capacity in India by 2020. They currently have some 38 bottling plants and three food plants in the country.

Last year rival Coca-Cola Co said it would spend $5 billion in India over the next seven years to increase its operations.

PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are competing to woo consumers in emerging markets including India and other parts of Asia, as well as the Middle East and Africa.

India's increasingly affluent population of 1.2 billion is attracting global consumer companies despite the need to overcome bureaucracy and other hurdles.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131111/pepsi-says-plans-5-billion-investment-india-2020