US beverage giant Coca-Cola said on Friday it planned to invest two billion dollars in China over the next three years, as it opened an expanded research and development centre.
The Coca-Cola Innovation and Technology Centre, which is located in Shanghai, is part of the new spending at a cost of 90 million dollars and will house about 600 employees, the company said in a statement.
"The Coca-Cola company will continue to invest another two billion dollars in the next three years in terms of new plant and distribution infrastructure, sales and marketing, and R and D (research and development)," company president Muhtar Kent said.
"With China now being the third-largest market in the world for Coca-Cola, the new investment will help fuel future growth of the company and capitalise opportunities with greater speed," the company said.
Coca Cola said it had already spent 1.6 billion dollars in China since re-entering the market in 1979.
Coca-Cola said the investment plans were in addition to its 2.4-billion-dollar takeover offer for Hong Kong-listed juicemaker China Huiyuan Juice Group, which was first announced in September last year.
The two companies are still awaiting government approval for the deal.
Analysts have said the takeover, if successful, would be the largest by a foreign firm of a Chinese company.