THE HAGUE: Dutch beer giant Heineken announced on Monday it has opened a multimillion-dollar brewery in Myanmar, seeking to cash in on one of Asia’s high-growth markets.
“Heineken has opened a $60 million (53 million euro) brewery in Myanmar, which has a total capacity of 330,000 hectolitres per year and which will directly employ more than 200 local people,” it said in a statement issued from Amsterdam.
“The new brewery’s opening further expands Heineken’s exposure to high growth markets,” it added.
Myanmar is emerging from decades of isolation as a former junta-run nation, and has one of the largest populations in southeast Asia with more than 53 million people.
Heineken, quoting Asian Development Bank figures, said the country is now undergoing rapid urbanisation and a brisk expansion of its middle class consumer base.
Myanmar clocked up GDP growth of 7.7 percent for the 2014 year ending March this year, and was targeting further increase of 8.3 percent in the coming fiscal year, Heineken said.
“These strong economics and demographics helped drive $8.01 billion in foreign direct investment in 2015,” it added.
The new brewery is located at Hmawbi township outside the capital Yangon and will brew Heineken beer for the market’s premium segment as well as a new local brand called Regal Seven, a lager beer developed specially for the Myanmar market.
Valued at around 35 billion euros, Heineken is Europe’s largest and the world’s third-largest brewer after SABMiller and global number one InBev.
Heineken produces and sells more than 200 brands of beer and cider, and employs nearly 70,000 people around the world.