Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
PACIFIC Cigarette Company (PCC), formerly Savannah Tobacco Company, has partnered a top Chinese government-owned company in a move that will see local cigarettes penetrate the global market.
Talks between PCC and China Tobacco Shaanxi Industrial Corporation (CTSIC) are said to have been going on for the past year and the deal was necessitated by close ties and trade agreements between the two nations.
Indications are that the final deal would be signed this Friday in Harare, the PPC confirmed in a statement.
“After concluding talks with a Chinese company, China Tobacco Shaanxi Industrial Corporation (CTSIC), we are glad to announce the signing ceremony at a local hotel set for Friday 7 December 2018,” read part of the statement.
CTSIC is located in Xian, Shaanxi Province and is a regional subsidiary of the Chinese National Tobacco Company (CNTC), which owns and regulates all tobacco-related industries in China.
The Chinese company has more than 5 000 employees and produces about 85 billion cigarettes annually.
Founded in 2002, PCC has dominated the Zimbabwe cigarette industry and has since broken into the regional market with operations in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Zambia and a distribution footprint across the region.
The company is the manufacturer of the Pacific brand of cigarettes, which include Pacific Storm, one of the country’s and region’s leading cigarettes brands.
PCC is credited for pioneering contract tobacco farming in the country where about 85 000 new small scale farmers benefited from the scheme.
If successful, this agreement will be the first joint venture in Africa between a Chinese-government owned tobacco and an African cigarette manufacturer.