Booze shortfall worries Myanmar retail sector

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Locals in Myanmar might have to resort to domestic liquor products
Locals in Myanmar might have to resort to domestic liquor products

The Myanmar government has intensified its crackdown on what it deems illegally imported alcohol, sparking further unrest among retailers, including the country’s biggest supermarket chain City Mart, the Irrawaddy reported.

A Commerce Ministry mobile task force last week raided a warehouse of Premium Distribution, a company owned by City Mart Holdings, to inspect the legal import documents of thousands of bottles of foreign liquor, wine and beer held in stock.

In October, 30,000 bottles of wine and 2,400 cans of beer were confiscated in a Yangon warehouse of Quarto Products, The Myanmar Times reported. The ministry reportedly opened a court case against Quarto, a large beverages distributor, and its managing director could now face three years imprisonment for involvement in illegal alcohol imports.

On December 13, City Mart Holdings announced that it was suspending sales of imported alcohol brands at its 15 City Mart super markets, 26 City Express mini markets and five Ocean super centers in Yangon and Mandalay. The company said longstanding government restrictions on the import of alcohol had forced it to supply its foreign booze from limited sources, some of which might have been imported illegally.

Since the mid-1990s, the Myanmar government has implemented a ban on the import of alcohol, tobacco and other luxury goods, only allowing certain hotels and duty-free shops to carry out such imports. The ban was part of the former military government’s policies under which military- or crony-owned companies controlled large parts of the economy.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Locals in Myanmar might have to resort to domestic liquor products

The Myanmar government has intensified its crackdown on what it deems illegally imported alcohol, sparking further unrest among retailers, including the country’s biggest supermarket chain City Mart, the Irrawaddy reported.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Locals in Myanmar might have to resort to domestic liquor products
Locals in Myanmar might have to resort to domestic liquor products

The Myanmar government has intensified its crackdown on what it deems illegally imported alcohol, sparking further unrest among retailers, including the country’s biggest supermarket chain City Mart, the Irrawaddy reported.

A Commerce Ministry mobile task force last week raided a warehouse of Premium Distribution, a company owned by City Mart Holdings, to inspect the legal import documents of thousands of bottles of foreign liquor, wine and beer held in stock.

In October, 30,000 bottles of wine and 2,400 cans of beer were confiscated in a Yangon warehouse of Quarto Products, The Myanmar Times reported. The ministry reportedly opened a court case against Quarto, a large beverages distributor, and its managing director could now face three years imprisonment for involvement in illegal alcohol imports.

On December 13, City Mart Holdings announced that it was suspending sales of imported alcohol brands at its 15 City Mart super markets, 26 City Express mini markets and five Ocean super centers in Yangon and Mandalay. The company said longstanding government restrictions on the import of alcohol had forced it to supply its foreign booze from limited sources, some of which might have been imported illegally.

Since the mid-1990s, the Myanmar government has implemented a ban on the import of alcohol, tobacco and other luxury goods, only allowing certain hotels and duty-free shops to carry out such imports. The ban was part of the former military government’s policies under which military- or crony-owned companies controlled large parts of the economy.

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