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HiteJinro to produce soju in Vietnam

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简介South Korean liquor giant HiteJinro said Monday it is building the company's first overseas man ...

South Korean liquor giant HiteJinro said Monday it is building the company's first overseas manufacturing plant in Vietnam, riding high on the growing popularity of the nation's distilled spirit abroad.

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 at the site. HiteJinro Singapore is HiteJinro’s affiliate newly established in September in charge of supervising the soju maker’s overseas business.

Specifics such as 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 came against the backdrop 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 an official from HiteJinro.

In 2022, about 6 percent of HiteJinro’s sales, or 145 billion won ($106 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 potential manpower as the prime reasons for building its first overseas production facility in the country.

“In particular, Thai Binh province, located in northern Vietnam, is adjacent to Vietnam's capital Hanoi, and has well-equipped 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,” said an official from HiteJinro.

According to market research firm Markets Globe, the global soju market volume is estimated to reach 4.9 trillion won by 2029. As of 2022, the market is valued at 4.2 trillion won.

“HiteJinro’s production base in Vietnam is expected to function as a bridgehead for HiteJinro’s globalization of soju,” said Hwang Jung-ho, the head of HiteJinro Singapore.

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