• A shopper picks up a box of PG Tips tea bag made by Unilever.

A shopper picks up a box of PG Tips tea bag made by Unilever. (Photo : Reuters)

The launch for a new Unilever facility in Sichuan, China, was held on Friday.

The official opening of Phase I of the undertaking was presided over by H.E. Henk Kamp, Minister of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands; Li Jing, Secretary of the CPC Meishan Municipal Committee; and Marijn van Tiggelen, President of Unilever North Asia.

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Phase I of Unilever's Sichuan operations will be responsible for the production of OMO laundry detergent, with an annual capacity of almost 200,000 tons.

The global corporation invested approximately 300 million RMB into the construction of the plant, which will be used to manufacture products that will be sold in China's western regions. Eventually, the Sichuan base will produce Unilever's full product line in China.

By expanding in Sichuan, Unilever is strategically placed for the next period of the 21st century. Due to the progress of President Xi Jinping's Silk Road Economic Belt, the opening of the Chengdu-Europe Express Railway, and the assignment of national status to the Tianfu New Area, Sichuan will become increasingly significant in international economic and trade matters.

Furthermore, transportation costs will be significantly reduced, as the facility is in close proximity to China's western markets.

"China is still the best or at least one of the best countries in the world for us to invest in. We hold a optimistic view about this new plant to satisfy the demand in southwest China," said van Tiggelen.

According to another representative from Unilever's north Asian division, an investigation into the feasibility of a second phase is underway, and the corporation hopes to employ 1,000 local workers over the next decade.