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Yet another Vietnam province found encouraging residents to support local brewers

Friday, August 29, 2014, 16:07 GMT+7

Brewers operating in the central province of Nghe An might have been seen with the jealous eyes of other business owners as their poor sales were potentially given a boost by the local government, which asked the whole province to lend a hand to encourage beer consumption.

While the Ky Anh district of Ha Tinh, another central province, made national headlines on Wednesday after its chairman signed a dispatch requesting local individuals and organizations to use locally made beer products, the Nghe An administration had done exactly the same a month earlier.

On July 28, Nguyen Xuan Duong, chairman of the Nghe An People’s Committee, signed Dispatch No. 5290 on “joining hands to support businesses to sell beer products made in the province,” according to a copy obtained by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The document said brewers in Nghe An had contributed greatly to the provincial coffers via taxes over the last few years.

While sales of every million liters of the locally made beer products will add VND5 billion (US$235,000) to the provincial budget, the real beer consumption in the province “does not live up to the production capacity of the local brewers,” the document reads.

“Beer businesses thus had to transport their products to other localities, which increases product prices while reducing the province’s tax collection.”

The dispatch was wired to departments, district-level people’s committees, organizations, and businesses in Nghe An, asking the recipients to follow seven requirements to help beer businesses.

“At the seminars or conferences funded by the provincial budget and where alcoholic beverages are allowed to be served as per law, products by local brewers such as Hanoi, Saigon, and ViDa must be prioritized,” the document reads.

Trung Thanh Cong, deputy head of the secretariat of the Nghe An People’s Committee, told Tuoi Tre on Thursday that the fiat was only intended to “show the local government’s sharing spirit to the investors.”

Beer companies headquartered in Nghe An accounted for one-seventh of the provincial tax collection, according to the official.

“The dispatch was sent after we learned from a report by the Department of Industry and Trade that Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC and Hanoi Beer JSC have incurred dropping sales in the province,” Cong said.

“We just wanted to share the difficulties with the beer businesses, and the brewers did not call on us to release the document.”

On December 3, 2013, Nghe An officially banned local public servants to drink alcoholic beverages during working days, and asked them to limit alcohol consumption during their days-off.

Ha Tinh Province enforced a similar ban in 2008, but Nguyen Van Bong, chairman of Ky Anh District, has recently ordered individuals, businesses, and other organizations in the locality to “prioritize using the Saigon beer products and Son Kim mineral water produced in Ha Tinh.”

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