Beer and Development


Frankly speaking, I did not know that beer drinkers in Cambodia pay so much to the state’s coffer. According to the report of the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, during the inauguration of the sixth brewery in Cambodia in May 2012, drinker pay for every can/bottle of beer 10% VAT and 20% special excise tax to the state. Beer drinkers contribute a lot or $400 million in 2011 of tax revenue for the country. PM Hun Sen told the crowd during this opening ceremony: “So drink one can and the state charges 30% (tax). The money we get from this revenue can be used to pay the salaries of teachers, doctors and civil servants such as the armed forces”. Their salary level is still rather low, so we need to drink more to let the state made more money and could pay higher salary to our civil servants. Then, cheers my friends!

According to the unofficial data obtained, Cambodians consume beer around 18 liter/capita/year. In comparison to the Germans (# 2 in beer consuming) and the Checks (# 1 in the world, around 160 liters), we are still infant drinker. However, the trend is upwards due better economic development and gradually better living conditions of most Cambodians.

The new brewery is able to produce 50 million liters beer per year using up to date German brewing equipments and 100% local capital. The factory, which is located in the outskirt of Phnom Penh, employs 1,500 workers and indirectly gives jobs to more than 5,000 people. The company is working hard to promote its beer to Japan, Malaysia (already exported to), Germany, France and the US. Concerning the availability of beers in the local market, Cambodia is, to some extent, a “liberal country”, where people could enjoy any sort of beers from around the world. The government tries to take tough action against “drink and drive” to ask people to change to “drink, no drive”. It will take some time to implement it, when some of the police officials like also to drink beer while on duties.

I used to live for three years in Bavaria (Bayern), in South Germany. People in Bavaria drink a lot of beer. Beer glass is usually not smaller than 1 liter. And Bavaria is one of the wealthiest states of Federal Germany.



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