COTE D’IVOIRE – Belgium based food ingredients company Puratos, has officially inaugurated its chocolate manufacturing facility in Côte d’Ivoire.

The inauguration ceremony was presided by Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Promotion of SMEs Dr. Souleymane Diarrassouba.

The facility located at the Yopougon industrial zone produces chocolate and derivative products. It also manufactures improvers and mixes for the bakery and pastry.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and promotion of SMEs, the facility was established at a cost of 7.110 billion CFA francs (US$11.85 million) and will create about 100 direct and indirect jobs.

It has a production capacity of 600 tons of chocolate per year, expandable up to 2,400 tons per year and 750 tons of cocoa powder.

Speaking during the inauguration, Dr. Souleymane Diarrassouba emphasized on the importance of industrialization in the development policy of Côte d’Ivoire.

Rightly, he hailed Puratos’ decision to invest in the country explaining that it fit perfectly with the vision of the country’s President which placed strong emphasis on industrialization.

“The vision of the President of the Republic, H.E Alassane Ouattara, is to make industrialization, in particular the transformation of 50% of the production of our main raw materials the central pillar of the structural transformation of the Ivorian economy,” Dr. Diarrassouba said.

The minister further revealed that his governments 2025 goal is to strengthen the industrial base of Côte d’Ivoire, to revalorize the potential of the extractive industries and to upgrade the growth accelerators with the development of industrial clusters, with regard to the competitive strengths of the country.

Through this plan, the Government aims to consolidate economic growth with a strong contribution from the private sector in general and the industrial sector in particular.

As regards cocoa specifically, the Minister revealed that the Government has set itself the objective of processing at least 50%, i.e., around 1. 1 million tons of national bean production in the medium term.

After Cemoi and Tafi, Puratos is the 3th chocolatier to set up in Ivory Coast; which demonstrates the success of the industrial strategy of Côte D’Ivoire to gradually move from a land of cocoa to a land of chocolate.

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