KARACHI – Unilever is investing US$120 million (Rs11 billion) for expansion of its manufacturing operations in Pakistan over the next two years.
The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant is building on its EUR400m (US$491.5m) investment made in 2013, which was considered to be the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan’s “recent history”, according to a statement from Unilever. The latest cash injection acknowledges the “country’s high potential for long-term growth”.
Unilever has more than 30 brands on sale in Pakistan, spread across food, ice cream, beverages, home care and personal care, with 95% of the products made locally.
Shazia Syed, chief executive of Unilever’s Pakistan unit, which has four manufacturing plants across the country, said: “We have been part of Pakistan’s growth for nearly 70 years, during which time we have seen our business grow to over 30 brands…we take pride that over 95% of our brands are produced locally, creating employment for thousands, contributing to the exchequer and simultaneously creating a better future every day for the people of Pakistan.”
The announcement about the investment was made by a delegation of Unilever Pakistan in a meeting with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail.
The planned investment supports Pakistan’s narration of being a growing economy with over 70 million middle-class population out of a total of over 200 million.
In the previous fiscal year 2016-17, the country had received $2.73 billion in FDI.
Last week, Unilever said it was restructuring its global operations from a dual-structured company to a single legal entity incorporated in the Netherlands. Its two divisions of beauty and personal care, and home care will remain in London, while a new food and refreshments unit will be located in the Netherlands.