x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Luxury bottle maker pouring €75m into new factory in RAK

Ras Al Khaimah is soon set to experience some French flare after a specialist glass bottle maker from France agreed to build a 75 million euro facility in the emirate.

A French glass-bottle maker is to build a €75 million (Dh341.3m) manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK).

Saverglass, which manufactures and decorates luxury glass bottles, announced the investment yesterday, following discussions with the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (Rakia).

The 100,000 square metre production and design facility, which will help the company to reduce production and export costs, will eventually employ 180 people.

"We got to know Rakia through industry peers and great word of mouth that encouraged us to pursue the idea further," said Ludovic de Gromard, the deputy project manager for Saverglass.

"Since then, Rakia has lived up to its reputation with its superb flexibility and client-oriented focus as they continue to pay special attention to our needs and issues, making the path to decision-makers pointedly short."

Saverglass will first build a plant to make coloured bottles in RAK, its first facility outside France. It cited low construction and labour costs as factors for the move.

The company specialises in the design, manufacture and decoration of luxury glass bottles for perfumes, cosmetics, wines and food products.

It exports products worldwide, particularly to wine-producing regions such as South Africa, Australia, southern Europe, Argentina, Chile and California.

It also exports one quarter of its products in US dollars, so the factory production costs will provide a natural hedge for that side of the business.

"The success of similar enterprises in the past by like-minded establishments forecasts only success for Saverglass," said Karam Al Sadeq, the deputy chief executive of Rakia.

"And we are happy to have them become part of our growing portfolio of foreign investors."

Rakia is a government entity set up to attract investments to free zones and non-free zone industrial parks in the emirate.

The 11,000 companies registered with Rakia work in a no-tax environment, can repatriate 100 per cent of profits, pay no tax on the import of raw materials and machinery and have no restrictions on hiring.

The majority of foreign direct investments in RAK's industrial sectors have come from India and Europe, followed by South East Asia and the United States.

Founded in 1897 in northern France, Saverglass employs 2,500 people across three manufacturing plants and 14 subsidiaries. Last year, it generated €335 million (Dh1.52 billion) in revenues.

rjones@thenational.ae