SHANGHAI, CHINA — The Coca-Cola Co. and its Chinese bottling partners will invest an additional $4 billion in China over the next three years, starting in 2012, Coca-Cola said Aug. 18. By the end of 2011, Coca-Cola and the bottling partners Swire Beverages Ltd. and COFCO Coca-Cola Beverage Co. Ltd. already will have invested more than $3 billion in China over the past three years (2009-2011). The additional $4 billion will bring total investment to $7 billion between 2009 and 2014.

“China is one of our most important growth markets in the world as we work to achieve our 2020 Vision goal of doubling system revenues and servings this decade,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co., during a visit to Shanghai. “The new investment is part of our long-term commitment to invest in innovation, partnerships and a portfolio that will enable us to grow our business in a sustainable and responsible way.

“Besides our infrastructure and capabilities, the new investment will also focus on enhancing the consumer experience, ensuring product affordability and building brand loyalty which deliver sustainable growth.”

He said sales in China topped 1 billion unit cases through the first six months of 2011. Five years ago Coca-Cola sales topped 1 billion unit cases in China for the full year for the first time ever. Consumption of Coca-Cola Products in China in 2011 represents about 7% of the company’s global volume.

In 2011, the Coca-Cola China system already has opened a new plant in Sanshui and will open another plant in Yingkou later this year. Ground will be broken for construction of a new plant in Shijiazhuang later this year. The Coca-Cola Chinese system now operates more than 40 plants in China that employ more than 48,000 people.