The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) announced on December 2 that no more permissions will be granted to beer and cigarette manufacturers to operate in Myanmar. Carlsberg and Heineken were the last, according to the MIC.
“In the local market, beer and cigarettes are in demand. If we don’t supply the consumers’ demand, these items will be illegally imported. We do not want that to happen, so we made decisions to balance supply and demand. Soon, Carlsberg and Heineken beers will be produced locally. Their factories are being built. The manufacturers will also review the market when they launch to assess the illegal import rate in the local market. We do not know if the MIC policy will be amended or not. This is why we are pausing on issuing licenses for beer and cigarette manufacturing,” said MIC secretary Aung Naing Oo.
He added that permission for cigarette manufacturing is being halted because the Health Ministry has stopped issuing permissions. Some cigarette factories operate with the permission of the MIC, while others operate under the jurisdiction of the Health Ministry.
Data shows that beer, liquor and cigarettes are currently being imported illegally.
In recent years, the alcohol consumption rate and the number of female drinkers have risen. Market analysts claim that these rates will continue to rise.