Accra, Nov. 16, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday inaugurated a new nine million-dollar fully automated bottling line, a warehouse and a Carbon Dioxide Plant for Coca Cola Bottling Company of Ghana in Accra.
The third bottling line has the capacity to produce 48,000 bottles of drinks an hour, the second line was inaugurated in 2000 and a PET line in 2003 for the Company that was established at the Spintex Road in 1996.
President Kufuor called on the Management of the Company and other big companies operating in the country to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
He said such a venture in addition to helping increase the Exchange's capitalisation would further add impetus to the improving congenial socio-economic environment that had increased investor confidence in the country's economy.
President Kufuor said the continued success of the Company had provided a living testimony to the growing partnership between the Government as a facilitator and the private sector as the generator of economic growth.
He expressed appreciation to the Company that had since 1995 invested more than 82 million dollars in the economy and paid over 100 million dollars as taxes to the State. Its direct staff size had increased and generated more than 30,000 jobs indirectly. "Government is, therefore, happy not only about the continued growth of the Company but also about its good investment policies, adherence to appropriate environmental practices and sound decisions on technology transfer", he said.
President Kufuor urged other manufacturing companies to emulate Coca-Cola Ghana especially on the environment where the Company had invested over 1.7 million dollars in the provision of wastewater treatment facilities for its plants in Accra and Kumasi.
"It is also reassuring to know that Coca-Cola Ghana is generally supportive of the Government's efforts in environmental protection", he said.
He commended the Company for procuring raw materials and other items locally but urged the management to explore further opportunities for sub-contracting to promote small and medium scale industries in the country.
Mr Segun Ogunsanya, General Manager of the Company, said production increased from three million crates annually in 1995 to more than 18 million crates in 2003.