Ndakaziva Majaka 14 June 2018
HARARE – Zimbabwe needs to fix its foreign exchange shortage if it is to
attract more investment, RJ Corporation chairperson Ravi Jaipuria said.
RJ Corporation owns Varun Beverages which in turn holds the PepsiCo
licence in Zimbabwe.
He told journalists that while his group was not in a hurry to repatriate,
investors needed the certainty of fund repatriation in an investment
“The forex availability issue remains an issue. Investors can’t set up
without certainty they will be able to repatriate.
“Of course, we are very confident in the country and will continue
investing, but the forex issue needs to be addressed,” he said.
This comes as Varun Beverages corporate affairs manager Fungai Murahwa
recently said the group’s plant ended up costing $40 million instead of a
planned $30 million on the back of forex shortages.
The country has been battling a foreign exchange shortage which has
escalated into a debilitating cash shortage for locals and companies now
sourcing for cash on the parallel market at huge premiums
The Indian soft drinks manufacturer, Varun Beverages, is eyeing regional
soft drink exports following commissioning of its $30 million Pepsi
bottling plant in the capital.
Jaipuria yesterday said the plant, equipped with a 600-bottle-per-minute
production line and ultra-modern 400-cans-per-minute filling line, was
anticipated to spur the group into the regional market.
“We will soon start exports to Zambia, Botswana and other neighbouring
“Ultimately, we will also start on an agricultural upliftment programme
which will see us exporting potato fries into the region,” Jaipuria said.
Speaking at the same function, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his
government was going to look into offering more incentives to investors.
“I noticed minister Chinamasa is here… I asked him what he is doing
here. I was telling him he should give more incentives to investors like
tax breaks,” Mnangagwa said.
In spite of yesterday’s commissioning, the plant will be built in phases,
totalling four on completion. This will see an increase of Pepsi-branded
soft drinks and other brands.
PepsiCo started operations early this year after completing the fist phase
early this year with three phases to follow. Phase two is expected to be
completed by September this year.
On completion, the PepsiCo plant is projected to create at least 400 jobs
and another 2 600 downstream.