Vietnam ranks first in Southeast Asia in terms of beer and wine consumption growth though its GDP just stands at number eight in the region, according to statistics by the Hanoi-based Health Strategy and Policy Institute.
Vietnamese spend around US$3 billion a year on beer and VND16 trillion ($744.2 million) on wine produced in plants, Vu Thi Minh Hanh, deputy head of the institute, said at a conference on the prevention of the bad effects of beer and wine on Thursday.
The spending on wine was counted on the basis of the lowest price, Hanh noted, meaning that the real number may be higher.
The amount of wine distilled at home in Vietnam is estimated to reach tens of millions of liters a year, and was excluded from the above-mentioned number.
The average consumption of beer and wine in the world has not increased in the last ten years, at around 6.2 liters (using wine as the unit) per capita per annum.
Meanwhile, each Vietnamese person drank an average of 3.8 liters of wine a year in the 2003-05 period, and 6.6 liters in 2010, according to Hanh.
It is forecast that each Vietnamese will drink an average of seven liters of wine in 2025.
Tran Thi Trang, deputy head of the legal department under the Ministry of Health, said at the meeting that alcoholic beverages are directly involved in three kinds of cancer and are indirectly associated with seven other cancers.
Trang added that Vietnam is preparing a law to prevent the ill effects of wine and beer.