Heineken and Carlsberg compete over beer sales in Myanmar

Photo: Andy Rain/EPA

Big beer’s latest quest for growth has Heineken NV on a collision course with Carlsberg A/S in Myanmar according to a report by Bloomberg Business on 6 July.

Both brewers are seeking to exploit the potential of the country where more than 80 percent of the adult population drinks beer produced by a company linked to the country’s former ruling military.

After Carlsberg opened a $75 million brewery in May, Heineken will inaugurate a $60 million facility later this month. The expansion in Myanmar comes at a time when Europe’s largest brewers are turning to other parts of the world for growth opportunities as sales in their home markets contract.

Beer sales in Myanmar rose 14 percent to $265 million between 2009 and 2013, and are forecast to reach $675 million by 2018, according to Euromonitor.

The world’s third-largest beer maker will open its brewery on July 12 near the capital Yangon, creating about 200 jobs. The facility has room to produce 100 million litres (22 million gallons) of beer a year.

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