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Kimberly-Clark to Open First Russian Factory

Kimberly-Clark will open its first Russian personal care products plant this week, a facility that will become its biggest in Eastern Europe and allow it to boost exposure to the high-growth market.

The company, known for Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers, said Friday that its investments in the plant's first phase, which will produce diapers, has totaled $170 million.

Emerging markets are key for consumer product makers because they have largely saturated developed markets like the United States, and local manufacturing allows them to offer more affordable products.

Kimberly-Clark, whose main rival in the diapers category is Procter & Gamble, said the plant would manufacture products for Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and would supply other East European markets in the future.

The company began to build the plant in 2008 to support its growing consumer business in Russia and Eastern Europe. A local ministry said overall investments in the plant would amount to $490 million. The factory, which now employs 200 people, is located in the town of Stupino, southwest of Moscow.

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