Heineken competes for Myanmar beer market

YANGON — Dutch beer maker Heineken has entered Myanmar’s beer fight as it opened a US$60 million brewery (2.03 billion baht) near the commercial capital Yangon on Sunday.

The new plant will start by brewing Heineken for the premium segment for the market and a new local brand, Regal Seven, developed especially for the Myanmar market, company said.

“Myanmar is an exciting new opportunity for Heineken,” chief executive officer Jean-Francois Van Boxmeer said.

“We have a strong track record of growing in partnership with emerging markets, investing in the latest technologies, hiring and training local employees, and supporting the communities where we operate.”

Heineken established a local partnership with Alliance Brewery Company Ltd in 2013, taking a 57% stake in their joint venture APB Alliance Brewery Company Limited. The brewery is expected to create 200 jobs.

“Now we can move to the next phase of the project, delivering excellent beer that consumers enjoy and creating a continuous supply of attractive employment opportunities for the people of Myanmar,” Alliance chairman Aung Moe Kyaw said.

Heineken, one of the world largest beer companies, will confront Denmark’s Carlsberg on the newly opened beer market, which has been monopolised for decades by the military-run Myanmar Brewery.

Carlsberg partnered with Myanmar Golden Star Breweries and opened a $75-million brewery in Bago last month, producing two brands for the local market as well as Carslberg premium.

Both companies will compete for market share in the country of 55 million people, where an estimated 80 of adults drink beer. Sales rose 14% to 265 million dollars from 2009 to 2013, and are forecast to hit $675 million by 2018, according to Euromonitor International.

Heineken and other major brewers suspended their activities in Myanmar two decades ago when the country was hit by international sanctions during the rule of a military junta.

Source: Bangkok Post

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