TASHKENT/Jan. 7 2020 (The Bulletin) — Proctor & Gamble, one of the world’s largest producer of consumer goods, is considering setting up a production site in Uzbekistan, the Uzbek government said.
According to Uzbekistan’s ministry of investment and foreign trade, regional executives from Proctor & Gamble flew to Tashkent for a meeting with ministers.
“Procter & Gamble is currently studying the industrial potential of Uzbekistan and considering the prospects of creating high-tech production facilities in the country,” media reports said of the meeting on Dec. 24. “In the operations in the country, the company will follow American standards of quality and environmental friendliness.”
If Proctor & Gamble did set up a production facility in Uzbekistan it would be a major coup for the Uzbek government which has been trying to woo foreign investment and to present itself as the premier business location in Central Asia.
The company, which is based in Cincinnati and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is best known for its brands such as washing up powders Ariel and Tide, shampoo brand Head & Shoulders and shaving products sold as Gillette. It has not commented on the Uzbek government statement.
Like other Western companies, Proctor & Gamble reentered the Uzbek market in 2017, the year after Islam Karimov, the reclusive autocrat who had run the country since the 1991 collapse of the USSR, died. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who had been PM under Karimov, took over as president and immediately promised to dismantle most of the hardline policies. He also made it easier for Western companies to repatriate profits.
There are currently 260 people working at Proctor & Gamble’s distribution site in Uzbekistan.
— This story was first published in issue 433 of the weekly Bulletin on Jan. 13 2020
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