Noting that the summers are getting hotter and hotter, and that this trend will apparently continue until the next ice age, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is trying its best to prepare. On 21 May 2009, the MOIT issued Decision 2435, which sets out the master plan for the development of the beer, alcohol and beverages industry to the year 2015, with a view to the year 2025.  

This master plan sets out specific goals, which are as follows:  

  • by 2010, production of beer should reach 2.5bn litres, that of industrial alcohol should reach 80m litres and that of beverages should reach 2bn litres;  
  • by 2015, the respective volumes should increase to 4bn litres (beer), 188m litres (industrial alcohol) and 4bn litres (beverages); and  
  • by 2025, the respective volumes should reach 6bn litres (beer), 440m litres (industrial alcohol) and 11bn litres (beverages).  

In the beer industry, the focus is to be on building new factories with annual capacity of 100m litres or more and on enhancing international co-operation by establishing joint ventures or other co-operation agreements for the purpose of manufacturing high-grade beer to meet domestic and export demand.  

Decision 2435 anticipates that the combined need for capital investment in beer, alcohol and beverages would amount to:

  • approximately $700m in 2008-10;
  • approximately $1.28bn in 2011-15; and  
  • approximately $2.2bn in 2016-25.  

The master plan requires that investment projects in beer production:

  • with a capacity above 50m litres must obtain consent from the MOIT; and
  • with a capacity of over 200m litres must obtain an opinion from the prime minister. Let’s hope he enjoys good beer.