Nestle pours $1.8 billion into business in Saudi Arabia

(FILES) This photograph taken on September 15, 2022, shows a view of the entrance of the factory of the Buitoni group, with the logos of Nestle and Buitoni, in Caudry, northern France. – The food industry group Nestle will make an announcement on the future of the site on September 15, 2022. (Photo by Denis Charlet / AFP)

ZURICHSwitzerland (AFP) – Swiss food giant Nestle said Thursday it will pour seven billion riyals ($1.8 billion) into Saudi Arabia over 10 years in a bid to strengthen its presence in the kingdom.

The announcement is likely to be a major boost to Riyadh as the kingdom pushes to attract greater foreign investment.

Nestle will build a new factory, due to open in 2025 that will produce infant nutrition products and ready-to-drink coffee for the Saudi, Middle East and North African markets, the company said.

It already has seven mineral water factories in Saudi Arabia.

The investment will create 3,500 direct and indirect jobs, Nestle said.

The Swiss company, famous for its flagship Nescafe and Nespresso brands, also produces soups and noodles under the Maggi brand, KitKat chocolates and Purina pet food.

It currently employs 5,000 people in Saudi Arabia.