Hershey Company, the largest chocolate maker in North America, will invest US$250 million (RM816 million) to build a state-of-the-art confectionery manufacturing plant in Malaysia, the company’s single largest investment in Asia to-date.
The company made the announcement on its latest investment in a joint media conference with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) today.
The new plant will be strategically located at the Senai Free Trade Zone in Johor, which will provide easy access for the company to tap over 25 markets in Asia, according to Hershey in a press statement on the project.
Malaysia also offers the company a well-educated human resource, stable political environment, a strong supply chain infrastructure and an internationally recognized Halal food manufacturing certification, that will provide an advantage for its products sold in the region.
The Malaysian facility will be installed with proprietary equipment and systems which have been developed to Hershey’s specifications including high-speed wrapping machines.
The plant would feature the latest manufacturing technology, Hershey Senior Vice-President, Terence O’Day said.
The 700,000 sq ft plant which is expected to be completed in 2015, will create some 400 jobs. When operational, the plant will be one of the largest in Hershey’s global manufacturing network and will be able to produce the widest range of its finished products outside the US and Mexico.
Some 90% of its products from the Malaysian plant will be for the export market.
The chocolate maker currently operates nine plants in the US and other manufacturing facilities in Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil and China.
In welcoming Hershey’s investment in Malaysia, MIDA Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Noharuddin Nordin said the company’s decision to invest in Malaysia is a testament that the country continues to be an attractive location for multinationals making substantial commitments in the region.
Hershey’s investment would also bring positive economic benefits to Malaysia in terms of job creation as well as businesses for local suppliers including local cocoa producers, Datuk Noharuddin added.
Adapted from Hershey’s press release and The Star 4 Oct 2013