Heineken continuing to import despite investment contract Featured

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By : Oki & Monty Jacka

Tempotimor (Dili) – International brewing company Heineken reportedly still imports beer into Timor-Leste from abroad, despite signing an investment contract with the government in 2015. 

The dutch company is the third biggest beer producer in the world, and signed an agreement on January 8th 2015 with the government of Timor-Leste stating it would invest around 40 million dollars on the construction of a brewery near Dili. The project was planned to be up and running within two years and would create 200 direct jobs and 800 indirect.

According to the Managing Director of Heineken Timor–Leste, Vinay Mathur, only Bintang, Tiger, ABC and soft drinks such as Amigo are created in the Hera factory, while others are imported from abroad. 

“Heineken, Pepsi and Sagres are imported,” he told Tempo Timor in Timor Plaza. 

The ongoing political deadlock in Timor Leste has brought negative air to the company in terms of its production, and the circulation of illegal beer is also affecting the company, Mr Mathur said. 

Up to 20% of all alcohol in Timor-Leste is currently coming from overseas, with this number rising by 40% in the past two years, Mr Mathur said.

The Heineken director warned that the strength of these illegal drinks from overseas can be “very dangerous and very harmful” for people to drink.

“One can of this beer is like drinking four large whiskeys and it’s sweet, meaning you can drink it in five minutes.” 

“We are very worried about this situation,” he said. “Can we make beers from 10% to 20%? Of course we can, it’s very easy. But we will never make those beers because we know how harmful they can be.” 

“For now, our business is suffering because of this beer still circulating across Dili. We want the government to ban all beers that contain excessive alcohol.” 

He explained the situation had been ongoing since 2016 and 2017 and was hurting heineken. 

“During the last two years the economy is not doing well. So this little bit of reduction in the local economy is affecting our production capabilities.”

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Last modified on Monday, 19 August 2019 22:18
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