Hello from Yangon, Myanmar.
Yesterday, PepsiCo issued a press release to announce our entry back into the Myanmar market after a 15-year absence. The news has been picked up by the major wire services, and key business publications. I even saw an item about it this morning in Yangon on BBC World News.
This announcement calls out yet another milestone in the incredible journey of PepsiCo Asia Pacific. I am delighted to say that we have entered Myanmar with a complete Performance with Purpose strategy in place. We have signed a deal with a distributor, Diamond Star, to import and distribute Pepsi, 7-Up and Mirinda into Myanmar. Other brands will come in time. We also plan to explore agricultural opportunities, to see how and where we might be able to grow crops such as potatoes in Myanmar. And we are partnering with UNESCO to support vocational training programs. We will keep you updated on all these workstreams as we progress.
Indra’s visit to Myanmar started in Yangon, the headquarters of our distributor, Diamond Star. Over the course of the day, we met with the Diamond Star team to talk through ways in which we can move aggressively in the Myanmar market. We also visited the Capital Hypermarket, an impressive modern supermarket in Yangon, where they have truly painted their shelves blue with Pepsi. As we were driving around the city, we also saw a number of Pepsi billboards. What a brilliant site – our great cola brand, showcased against a backdrop of the Yangon sky.
Our day in Yangon concluded with a reception hosted by UNESCO. By co-incidence, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova was also in Yangon, and her local team was hosting an event for her. In her remarks, Director-General Bokova graciously mentioned the agreement with PepsiCo and invited Indra to say a few words. Indra spoke of PepsiCo’s desire to maximize our commercial opportunities in Myanmar, whilst giving back to the Myanmar community.