ATLANTA (AP) -- Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday it is investing $5.8 billion in Brazil in the next five years, a steep increase from its current investment.

The world's largest soft drink maker announced the investment -- which lasts from 2010 to 2014 -- on Thursday from Brazil, where it is opening its first eco-friendly plant in Latin America.

The investment, which is being made with local operation Coca-Cola Brasil, is a 75 percent boost over the $3.3 billion the company put into the country from 2005 to this year.

CEO Muhtar Kent said in a statement that Brazil is one of the company's top markets in the world. The company, known for drinks like Coke and Sprite, has been boosting its investments around the globe as its domestic market weakens. Consumers have pulled back on their soft drink spending amid the recession and are also switching to healthier juices and teas.

The company has also pledged to invest $2 billion in China -- another growth market -- over the next three years.

Brazil is considered a key market right now because it is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Shares of Coca-Cola fell 2 cents to $56.11 in midday trading Thursday.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

Recommended for you