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Vietnam province warns officials for not drinking locally made Saigon beer

Saturday, September 12, 2015, 10:12 GMT+7
Vietnam province warns officials for not drinking locally made Saigon beer
A Sabeco employee works at the company's Saigon Beer production line in Ho Chi Minh City.

Refusing to consume a locally made product can even earn public servants in a north-central Vietnamese province admonishment from their superior officials.

Seven education officials in Ha Tinh have been warned by the provincial administration for not drinking products made by the local Saigon Beer-Ha Tinh brewery in a recent party.

These officials, who work at the Department of Education and Training, have also been asked to make a self-criticism report, Du Ly Tri, deputy head of the department secretariat, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday.

“They had a party at a restaurant in the [provincial capital] city of Ha Tinh and ordered many different brands of beer, but none of which was Saigon Beer,” Tri said.

“Some beer sellers have sent an SMS message to the province’s leaders after seeing Saigon Beer was not consumed.”

The province’s administration then admonished the officials and asked the education department to have a disciplinary action against them. The department eventually held a meeting to reprimand them and asked them to write the self-criticism report.

While it is unclear what wrongdoings the education officials have committed, this is not the first time Ha Tinh administration appears to abnormally favor the Saigon Beer made by the local brewery.

On September 1, Le Minh Dao, head of the province’s secretariat, shocked the public by sending an urgent dispatch only to ask head of the province’s departments, agencies and other organizations to attend a Saigon Beer festival.

The provincial administration insisted that all recipients of the document “come to the festival on time” to show their love for Vietnamese-made goods.

Dao did not respond to Tuoi Tre’s request for comment later the same day.

In August 2014, the administration of the province’s Ky Anh District also asked its citizens, regulatory agencies, and hotels and restaurants to “prioritize using the Saigon beer products” in a directive signed by its chairman Nguyen Van Bong.

Bong said the directive is meant to respond to the “Vietnamese use Vietnamese goods” drive, which encourages consumers nationwide to use domestically manufactured products.

To this end, the chairman requested that seminars, conferences, and meetings held by local agencies serve Saigon beer products made by the Saigon Beer-Ha Tinh brewery.

Saigon Beer is a brand of the Saigon Beer - Alcohol - Beverage Joint Stock Corporation, commonly known as Sabeco and which is Vietnam’s largest brewery.

The Saigon Beer-Ha Tinh brewery annually contributes around VND380 billion (US$16.96 million) to the province’s budget revenue, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

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