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Mumbai, Feb 18 (IANS) British Prime Minister David Cameron Monday lauded Unilever for demonstrating how British businesses can flourish in India as the consumer goods company announced it was setting up Asia's first aerosol deodorant manufacturing facility in Maharashtra.
Visiting Unilever's campus here, Cameron said he was glad to be in Mumbai and India for the second time during his tenure as the prime minister.
"It is great to be visiting Unilever's Indian headquarters today - more than 120 years since Sunlight soap, one of Unilever's earliest products, was first exported from Britain to India," Cameron said while addressing company officials and executives.
"Unilever is a shining example of how a business with British roots can succeed in India and beyond and I'm delighted to hear they are expanding further - investing over 40 million pounds (approx $61.8 mn) in a new manufacturing plant in Khamgaon to service the emerging Indian and South Asian markets," he added.
According to a statement issued by Unilever, investment in the new factory complements the 70 million euros ($91 million) committed to building new homecare liquids and distribution facilities in Thailand announced last week and 75 million euros ($97.5 million) to building a new home care factory and expanding existing plants in South Africa announced at the end of last month.
"This investment in India is part of our broader expansion plans to help us achieve our ambition of doubling our business, whilst halving our environmental impact," said Pier Luigi Sigismondi, chief supply chain officer of Unilever.
"The Khamgaon plant is one of the 30 new factories being built by 2015 and we will utilise the latest technology to deliver the increased quality products our consumers demand whilst meeting the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan commitments," he added.
Investment in Khamgaon will be phased over three years and production capacity will gradually be scaled up to generate direct employment for over 150 people and indirect employment for about 200 people. The plant will service demand from India and across southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.