November 3/Beijing/PRNewswire-FirstCall -- PepsiCo announced plans to invest U.S. $1 billion in China over the next four years. The investment is part of the company's ongoing strategy to expand in emerging markets and broaden its portfolio of locally relevant products.

"I am delighted to announce that over the next four years we plan to invest $1 billion in our beverage and food businesses here in China," said PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer Indra Nooyi, who is in China this week. "This is our largest investment in China in the nearly 30 years we have been doing business here, and it is consistent with our broader global strategy of investing in high-growth developing markets."

PepsiCo's investment in China will fund a variety of major capital programs to expand manufacturing capacity, particularly in interior and western areas. The investment also will be used to expand local research and development facilities and build the company's sales force to broaden product distribution. It also will fund brand-building initiatives as well as development of new products tailored to Chinese consumers.

In addition, PepsiCo said it will expand its efforts in China to promote environmental sustainability, particularly relating to local agriculture and resource conservation, and to support community-focused programs. These efforts are consistent with the company's "Performance with Purpose" commitment to achieve business and financial success while leaving a positive imprint on society.

"We are enormously confident in the continued prosperity of China," Nooyi said. "We look forward to building an even brighter future here."

The combined investments are expected to create thousands of new jobs in China, where PepsiCo and its bottling partners already directly employ more than 22,000 people. It is estimated that the company and its bottlers indirectly provide employment for some 150,000 others in China.

The investment announcement was made during a four-day visit by Nooyi, who has been holding meetings with government officials and local business executives and visiting PepsiCo's local operations.

China is one of PepsiCo's fastest-growing international markets. Many of the company's most prominent brands are produced and sold in China, including Pepsi, Frito-Lay snacks, Tropicana juices, Quaker foods and Gatorade sports drinks.

From the November 10, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash