Kirin Holdings Co., one of Japan’s largest brewers and beverage companies, is said to be looking into entering the beer market in Myanmar as the country’s rapid political reforms have it becoming a priority for outside businesses. Sources say that Kirin is expecting beer consumption to increase as Myanmar becomes democratized, and is now aiming to sell its namesake beverage, Kirin Ichiban Shibori.
With a population of roughly 62 million, about equal to that of Thailand, Myanmar‘s gross domestic product per capita is expected to grow at a rate of 6-7% per year in the near future. Vietnam, a beer market that Kirin has already entered thanks to stake purchase in the Philippines’ San Miguel Brewery, kick-started its economic reform before Myanmar, and has already seen beer consumption grow by an average of 13% per year. Kirin Holding’s plans to enter Myanmar include using the help of San Miguel to sell its beer produced in Japan.
In order to expand from Japan’s shrinking food and beverage market, Kirin has been seen taking over, or purchasing stakes in, several overseas drink companies in Australia, Brazil, and the already mentioned Philippines. Next on the list is a 70 billion yen (approx. $801 million) purchase of Singapore‘s Fraser and Neave Ltd. in 2013. As a major beverage producer in Singapore, Fraser and Neave already operates the subsidiary Myanmar Brewery, selling beer in the newly reformed Asian country. Should Kirin’s buyout succeed, its entry into Myanmar will be that much easier. While Kirin’s data shows China and the U.S. to be the world’s number one and two beer consumers, respectively, in recent years, emerging Asian nations are predicted to take over in the near future.
[via Asia News Network]