Japanese dairy firm Yakult signed a deal last week to expand its factory in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi, Jiangsu province, making it the company's largest plant in the world.
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Signing ceremony for Japanese dairy firm Yakult's new plant is held in Wuxi National Hi-tech District on April 16. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)

Yakult will invest $300 million to build its second plant, aiming to meet fast growth in the Chinese market. The construction will start in August and is expected to finish by 2022.

Yakult’s sales revenues in the Chinese market have seen continued double-digit growth in recent years thanks to the popularity of its probiotic dairy products among Chinese consumers.

Wuxi and Yakult have developed a friendly and co-operative relationship since 2013. As the COVID-19 epidemic broke out around the world, the two sides also exchanged medical protective materials to help against the virus.

Wuxi Party Secretary Huang Qin attended the signing ceremony and was bullish on the development of Yakult. Huang said the city government would provide a quality service for the new plant in the future, and expressed hope to deepen cooperation with Yakult.

The new plant is expected to lay a good foundation for expanding production capacity in China.

Susumu Hirano, general manager of Yakult (China) Investment Co, spoke highly of the measures Wuxi has taken to prevent and control the epidemic, adding that Yakult has seen rapid development in China thanks to quality government services and the business environment in Wuxi.

Yakult is one of the largest probiotic dairy product makers in the world. Its market share ranks first in both Chinese and world markets.

The South Island dairy company Synlait Milk is back in the black as its ingredients division saw higher than normal sales, while its major customer rebalanced inventory levels.

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