A number of multinational companies are thought to be looking at Myanmar as it continues to show concrete signs of economic reform. After the country spent the best part of half a century in self-imposed isolation, significant political reform has been taking place. From a food and drink perspective, it is unsurprising that PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company (Coke) are among those firms looking to capitalise on the country's growth potential. More recently, in early February 2013, the domestic company Myanmar Golden Star (MGS) entered into a joint venture with Danish beer giant Carlsberg with a view to manufacturing and distributing beer in the country.
Both drinks firms entered into distributional agreements over the course of 2012, and their sodas are now available in the country. The next course of action is likely to involve establishing local production, which would make their brands much more accessible as well as cheaper, as importing is a much more expensive way of reaching the market. It is worth noting that, until recently, Myanmar was one of only three countries, including Cuba and North Korea, in which Coke did not have a presence.
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Fundamentally, Myanmar presents some interesting op portunities. A young population , very low per capita soft drinks and commercial beer consumption and plenty of room for the economy to grow over the next few years are all factors that could drive growth in traditional carbonated soft drinks, which typically sell well across the emerging world. While we do not have data on soft drinks sales in Myanmar at this stage, per capita volume sales of commercial carbonated drinks are likely to be very low, certainly below 5 litres.