Savanna Tobacco and CTSIC Sign Land-Mark Cooperation Agreement
Pacific Cigarette Company (PCC), formerly Savanna Tobacco, today signed a land-mark cooperation agreement with China Tobacco Shaanxi Industrial Corporation (CTSIC) at a function held at the Zimbabwean company’s headquarters. This is the first and only cooperation agreement ever signed by a state-owned Chinese tobacco company and an African Manufacturer.
In welcoming remarks at the ceremony, STC Chairman Adam Molai said in a statement that the agreement had been 10 years in the making, and was a testament to the shared vision and entrepreneurial culture shared by the two companies. He also spoke of the opportunities in Zimbabwe and Africa that the Chinese had recognized and exhorted the guests to adopt a perspective of seeking opportunities to solve problems in the pursuit of economic and national development.
The cooperation agreement will initially cover the production of new brands for the Zimbabwean and regional markets, with a view to medium and long-term investments in technology and skills sharing, distribution cooperation, and capital investment. Also speaking at the event, Global Chief Executive Officer Yves le Boulenge noted that
“From this agreement, we expect to see strong, positive synergies and value-creation, premised not only on the business opportunities, but also for the national economic policies of our respective countries…. Our own President, His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has often spoken of the need for Zimbabwe to rejoin the brotherhood of nations, and to use innovation and value-addition to enable us to compete effectively on the world stage.”
Founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Adam Molai, Savanna Tobacco is the manufacturer of the Pacific brand of cigarettes, which includes Pacific Storm, one of the country’s and region’s leading cigarette brands. CTSIC is based in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province in China. It is a regional subsidiary of the Chinese National Tobacco Company (CNTC), which owns and regulates all tobacco-related industries in the country. CTSIC has more than 5000 employees, and produces about 85 billion cigarettes annually.
CTSIC Executive Mr Bai Gang, was also optimistic about the prospects of the agreement, commenting that:
“In adherence to the idea of win-win cooperation and common development in African-Chinese cooperation, CTSIC gets ready to initiate a close relationship with Savanna Tobacco…. We have taken an active response to the plan of China Tobacco going abroad and succeeded in cooperation with overseas tobacco businesses. Savanna Tobacco Company is a case in point, it is a good local tobacco manufacturer.”
An official from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement also spoke of the historic importance of tobacco to the Zimbabwean economy, and lauded CTSIC for partnering with STC and strengthening economic ties between China and Zimbabwe.
The Guest of Honour, Acting Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Zhao Baogang, said in his key-note speech that the launch of the Acacia Fantasy Brand, the first in a series of planned new cigarette variants into the Zimbabwean and regional markets, demonstrated the strong links between Zimbabwe and China, and predicted great success for the union in Zimbabwe and beyond.
This Agreement will see the launch of the Acacia Range of cigarettes, high-quality brands made with 100% Zimbabwean tobacco and enhanced with Chinese flavour. Acacia Fantasy, the first variant to be released, will be in the market soon.