Philip Morris is confident that tobacco exports from the Canary Islands will equal the volume of banana exports by 2024, following a 15 million euro investment in Gran Canaria to expand its cigarette production. The new director for Spain and Portugal, Daniel Cuevas, expressed this expectation during an interview with Europa Press. He emphasized that Philip Morris has export plans targeting multiple European markets, not limited to the Canary Islands and mainland Spain. Cuevas stated that their aspiration is to achieve the level of tobacco exports on par with banana exports, supported by production forecasts from their industrial partners, Dos Santos, based in the Canary Islands.
THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY IS REINFORCED AS “STRATEGIC FOR THE CANARY ISLANDS”
“To think that tobacco can reach these levels, I think it shows that it really is a strategic sector for the Canary Islands from an industrial point of view,” he said.
Cuevas, who knows the Canaries well after living in the islands on two occasions – one of them as regional director of Philip Morris for five years – said he was “particularly proud” of this industrial boost to the islands, as well as the consolidation of the collaboration with Dos Santos.
So far, this relocation of production has created 70 new jobs and the plan is to create a further 50 jobs by May 2024, when the process of industrial expansion and modernisation is due to be completed.
DOS SANTOS COMPANY HAS DOUBLED IN SIZE AND PRODUCTION IN 9 YEARS
“It is a source of pride to see how something that was an initial project, with very good will on both sides and with the idea of growing and collaborating – but which in the end is always an uncertainty at the beginning -, after nine years you go back and it has become a very important investment. Thanks to this collaboration and Philip Morris’ investment, the Dos Santos factory has doubled in size and production”, he remarked.
In this way, next year, the Canary Islands will exceed the current size of the market, where tobacco production in the islands represents 84 percent of the production of the whole country and exports from the Canary Islands are around 4 percent of the total.