The facility - to be named San Miguel Vietnam Company - will be set up in a 100,000-square meter property in Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province which SMC say it has leased for 40 years from a Vietnamese business, Amata. It will operate a multi-product flexi-line that will manufacture high quality beverages, including bottled water and fruit-based drinks, which the company says will be ocally sourced raw materials.
SMC says that the venture reflects its confidence in Vietnam's economic prospects and its growing consumer market. Driven by strong consumer consumption and higher levels of foreign investments, Vietnam's economy posted the fastest growth rate in the region for 2003.
San Miguel Vietnam will be SMC's fifth facility in the country. Already in operation are San Miguel Brewery Vietnam in Nha Trang, San Miguel Phu Tho Packaging in Ho Chi Minh City, San Miguel Yamamura Hai Phong Glass in Hai Phong City, and TTC Vietnam in Binh Duong. TTC Vietnam is one of the largest organised feed and hog farming operations in Vietnam. Chairman and CEO Eduardo Cojuangco said: "We were among the first international companies to see Vietnam's potential in the early 1990s. Now we seek to build a stronger relationship with our partners and consumers in Vietnam and are excited to have further opened up San Miguel to new horizons in terms of both our products and reach."
The company's latest investment in Vietnam is part of its ambitions to expand in the Asia Pacific region and reduce its reliance on the domestic market, where it is the leading food and beverage company. At the beginning of last month it announced another ground-breaking ceremony for a soft drinks facility in Java, Indonesia. The joint venture formed a new company, PT San Miguel Indonesia Food and Beverage.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Java facility came less than three months after a similar groundbreaking event in Thailand. The company confirmed the acquisition of the Thai Amarit Brewery at the beginning of the year, and following that it started construction of a non-alcoholic beverage facility in the Amata industry zone, about 100 km outside Bangkok.
On top of the recent projects in Thailand and Vietname the company says it has further expansion plans scheduled within the year in Australia, China, and Malaysia.
SMC's principal businesses are beverages, food and packaging. The Company exports its products, primarily beer, to over 40 markets in various regions throughout the world. It has operations and over 100 facilities in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Australia.