S. KOREAN SOJU GIANT HITEJINRO PICKED VIETNAM TO BUILD ITS 1st OVERSEAS PLANT
By Tony Zhu
South Korean soju giant HiteJinro is to build the company's first overseas manufacturing plant in Vietnam, as a bridgehead for HiteJinro’s globalisation effort.
According to HiteJinro Singapore, the company confirmed a sublease agreement with the Green I-Park Industrial Complex in Vietnam's Thai Binh province to establish HiteJinro’s new soju manufacturing plant.
HiteJinro Singapore was established in September and is responsible for the soju maker’s overseas business.
“HiteJinro’s production base in Vietnam is expected to function as a bridgehead for HiteJinro’s globalisation of soju,” said Hwang Jung-ho, the head of HiteJinro Singapore
Details about the size of the investment and the time of completion were not yet released.
The company said its decision to build its first overseas production base arose on the background of the continuous increase in soju's popularity globally.
“HiteJinro’s soju exports have been increasing by 15 percent annually. The growth is expected to continue its upward trend, and overseas soju sales are expected to more than triple in the next 10 years compared to 2022,” said the company.
In 2022, about 6 percent of HiteJinro’s sales, or WON145 billion (USD106 million), came from abroad, with soju sales making up more than 80 percent of the total.
HiteJinro Singapore especially cited Vietnam's geographical location, cheap local prices, logistics accessibility and availability of manpower as the prime reasons for building its first overseas production facility.
Thai Binh province, located in northern Vietnam, is adjacent to Vietnam's capital Hanoi, and is well-equipped with infrastructure such as international airports, ports and coastal roads.
The proportion of the working-age population also amounts to about 1.14 million, accounting for 57 percent of the total population of Thai Binh Province.
According to market research firm Markets Globe, the global soju market value is estimated to reach WON4.9 trillion (USD3.6bn)won by 2029. As of 2022, the market was valued at WON4.2 trillion.
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