Dr Fakhro cuts the cake to mark the milestone.
Mondelez celebrates 5 years of Bahrain operation
Manama, March 5, 2013
The government's backing for international investment by multinational companies was hailed yesterday as Mondelez International celebrated five successful years of operation at Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP).
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro attended a ceremony marking the event.
Mondelez, formerly known as Kraft, was the first company to start operations at BIIP back in 2008, , reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Dr Fakhro congratulated Mondelez International Middle East area director Vishal Tikku, plant director Terry Denton and staff on achieving this milestone.
Tikku and Denton briefed the minister on the company's latest developments and expansion plans during a tour of the facility.
"The government's support has helped Mondelez experience consistent growth in Bahrain and the wider Middle East region, in turn making a valuable contribution to the economy of Bahrain," they said.
Mondelez has a very special place in the BIIP history, Dr Fakhro said.
"Today there are 45 companies operational in BIIP, employing more than 2,000 people and a further 15 new factories are currently under construction," he said.
The total investment in these 60 projects is BD372 million ($974 million).
"In addition another 27 companies have been approved to locate here and they are now finalising their leases. Between them these companies plan to invest BD100 million," the minister said.
More than 80 per cent of this investment is coming from foreign companies and it includes global leaders like BASF, Siemens and RMA from Germany, JBF from India, MTQ from Singapore and Arabian Sugar Company from Saudi Arabia.
"I know that these companies' decisions to locate in the BIIP were positively influenced by your presence here," Dr Fakhro said.
"When you announced plans for your new operation here at the park in 2006, you were already a major player in the global food industry.
"With your latest acquisition of the Cadbury company, you are now an even larger player. In the future, we look forward to talking with you about further expansion into new product areas," Dr Fakhro stated.
"We will do everything possible to provide you with a strong and stable operating environment here in Bahrain, where you can, with even greater confidence, grow your market share of these new products in the Middle East and North Africa regions," said the minister.
Mondelez International's Bahrain plant is home to a 250-strong, skilled workforce, with the creation of more jobs a possibility in the near future.
The plant contributes nearly $50 million annually to Bahrain's economy through wages, raw- and packaging-material supplies, and shipping and distribution operations. With more than 27 per cent Bahraini labour force, the company is now planning to increase it to 35 per cent during the next two years.
"As the world's biggest snacks company, with strong origins in the Middle East dating back nearly 100 years, we are delighted to be in Bahrain, and contributing to its economy," Tikku said.
"We would like to thank our employees, customers, consumers and the ministry for their trust and support, who have helped to make the last five years mutually beneficial," he added.-TradeArabia News Service