The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) has approved two new breweries in the country which will increase the total number of industrial brewing companies the South Asian kingdom to ten.
Cambodia Brewery Co, which already runs a brewery in a joint-venture with Heineken Group in Cambodia, got permission last Wednesday to build a second one in the country’s capital Phnom Penh. The brewery is expected to cost USD 87 million and will create 899 jobs. In 2016, the company already concluded a major expansion program at its existing brewery to boost its capacity to 3 million hectoliters (inside.beer, 11.3.2017). The same year the first batch of Heineken beer was also brewed in Cambodia. The company sells today brands like Tiger, Heineken and Black Panther. Heineken Asia-Pacific began operations in Cambodia in 1994 as a joint-venture between Asia Pacific Brewery Limited and Progress Import-Export Company, which is owned by the Vattanac Group.
The CDC already approved in April a USD 160.6 million brewery in the outskirts west of Phnom Penh. The project by Hanuman Beverages Co Ltd is expected to create 1,545 jobs. Hanuman opened a microbrewery and brewpub in Phnom Penh in 2019 with a limited selection of craft beers.
In recent years Cambodia liberalized its markets and attracted new investments also in the beer and beverage market. In 2017, Cambodia’s Khmer Brewery, part of private Chip Mong Group, changed its name to Cambodia’s Khmer Beverages after completing a USD 120 million expansion of its 3.2 million hectoliters brewery south of Phnom Penh where the company also launched a range of non-alcoholic drinks.
Another big player in the market is Carlsberg, which took over Angkor Beer Company in 1991 and continues to brew the popular Angkor Beer. In August 2019, one year after Carlsberg took over management of Cambrew, the Danish brewer totally revamped the brand, which was first brewed in 1992. In November last year, Carlsberg gained full ownership in the company and bought the remaining 25% (inside.beer, 1.11.2019). According to Carlsberg, the goal is to become the industry leader in a highly competitive market.
“Of course, beer products are not necessities, but if both domestic and foreign markets still demand them and [production] remains competitive, Cambodia should permit the further establishment of this type of business based on real investment. In addition to beverages, there are other non-alcoholic beverages we could look to support to further cut back imports – such as orange juice, fruit juice and pure drinking water,” said Oum Sotha, spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.