Vietnam: Lucrative Beer Market
Vietnam’s largest brewer Sabeco earned a $ 3.87 million revenue, per day between January to September 2019 – a massively lucrative beer market for the alcohol industry. However, increased beer consumption is causing rising alcohol harm for the poeple and communities in Vietnam.
The Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp’s latest financial report reveals revenues of over VND28.3 trillion ($1.22 billion) in nine months, up 10% year-on-year. Reported revenue for beer alone was VND24.3 trillion ($1.04 billion) which is 86% of the total.
Sabeco’s total capital as of the third quarter was VND24.78 trillion ($1.07 billion), which has increased 10.7% from the beginning of the year.
53.59% shares of Sabeco is owned by Vietnam Beverage, a subsidiary of Thai alcohol giant ThaiBev. The Vietnamese government, represented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, owns a 36% stake in the company.
ThaiBev has said that Sabeco is its key growth driver in South-East Asia.
According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnamese people consumed 4.1 billion liters of beer in 2017, making it the biggest alcohol market in South-East Asia and the third biggest in Asia after Japan and China.
This growth in the beer market is not without its consequences. As IOGT International recently reported alcohol addiction is growing in the country as consumption increases.
Vietnam’s alcohol control policies can not keep up with the rapid globalization and opening of the country’s alcohol market fueled by policies that allow more alcohol to come into the country and that aim to increase private profits. Many rapidly developing countries in South Asia are facing similar increasing alcohol burdens.
It is necessary for Vietnam and other South-East Asian countries to put in place evidence-based, comprehensive alcohol control policies, as recommended by the WHO Best Buys, as they are opening up their markets to the global alcohol industry and exposing their people to massive harm. Such policies address alcohol affordability, availability and marketing, thereby preventing and reducing harm.
Unfortunately Big Alcohol has a strong hold in Vietnam and has been able to derail alcohol policy in the country with their aggressive lobbying.