US Embassy delegation visits PepsiCo. factory

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Time: July 24, 2018

A high-level delegation from the US Embassy visited PepsiCo’s state-of-the-art snack factory in Riyadh, highlighting the economic value of US companies operating in Saudi Arabia.
The delegation, led by Counselor for Economic Affairs Douglas Apostol, met with the PepsiCo. leadership team to see the production processes for popular PepsiCo-made snacks, including the Lay’s and Tasali brands. The delegation saw the end-to-end manufacturing process, from receiving raw potatoes grown locally in Saudi Arabia, to slicing and cooking them, packing the products, and preparing the snacks for distribution to retailers.
Apostol said: “My colleagues and I thank PepsiCo, its management team, and all its employees for their warm welcome to PepsiCo’s snack food plant. PepsiCo’s investment is an excellent example of the growing economic and commercial relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia. Bilateral trade and investment supports thousands of jobs in both our countries. We fully support US companies that invest in Saudi Arabia and we look forward to working together to further strengthen our economic partnership.”
Apostol recognized the efforts made by Saudi Arabian authorities to support American companies that operate in the Kingdom, and stated the embassy’s desire to promote economic diversification — in which the food and beverage sector plays a key role. Apostol was also able to visit the female-only lines at the plant.
Currently the plant has around 80 female Saudi employees operating some of the manufacturing and packaging lines. He ​​praised the advanced level at which snacks are manufactured in the factory, and complimented PepsiCo. for following the highest standards to ensure consumers enjoy quality products, and for empowering Saudi women through employment opportunities at its plants.
Wael Ismail, public policy and government affairs senior director, PepsiCo. MENA region, said: “We are committed to our investments in Saudi Arabia and consider ourselves a key strategic partner in achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. We play an important role in the non-oil economy and plan to continue to drive the growth of this sector. Moreover, we are strongly committed to providing rewarding opportunities for young Saudi women and men.”
PepsiCo. has been operating in Saudi Arabia for more than 60 years. The company has a solid footprint in the social and economic environment in the Kingdom, and has contributed SR9 billion ($2.4 billion) to the country’s GDP. PepsiCo. has three main state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.
These plants support local production and export Saudi-made products to 11 other markets in the Middle East.

This article was first published in Arab News

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