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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   25 July 2013  

Myanmar soft drink company says Coca Cola is no threat 
Written by Htin Lin Aung
Blue Mountain Soft Drink Company expects to expand in the coming years, despite the influx of foreign brands including Coca Cola, says Chairman Dr. Sai San Tun.
Sai San Tun, who heads parent company Lwe Hein told Mizzima that the company expects to increase its market share, despite speculation from critics that the brand would suffer in the coming decade.
A new Blue Mountain factory is expected to open this year in Mandalay as part of the expansion. Sai San Tun has called it a 'pre-emptive strategy' and aims to increase market foothold before foreign brands are able to establish themselves.
“I appreciate what analysts say about the possible difficulties posed by foreign investors" says Sai San Tun. "But the fact is, branded foreign soft drinks cannot yet run their factories to full capacity, so our market shares has  not declined."
"Our rate of sale is even bigger than last year. We aim to stamp out market competition by increasing our factory output, beginning with the Mandalay centre."
According to the Chairman, the company is currently engaging in in-depth talks with foreign companies from Japan and Singapore. They have begun the development of a base plan that relies on flooding the market with their products, in an attempt to edge out competition.
“We had talks with like-minded foreign companies from Japan and Singapore on how to expand business here. But these talks are still underway," said Sai San Tun.
"We have not yet reached agreement with the foreign companies that plan to bring competing brands here, so in the meantime  we will continue to increase market share by upping production,” he added.
The Chairman estimated that the Mandalay factory would create 700 jobs, however he did not specify how many of these would be in the construction phase and how many would be permanent.
Soft drink brands such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Sangane (Orange) and 100-Plus currently enjoy a relatively large market share in Myanmar.
Other famous foreign soft drinks are being distributed by domestic businessmen as sole agents on consignment basis. It is expected that the range of drinks will increase greatly in the next five years, as companies gain approval to build factory plants in-country.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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