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The connection of Myanmar’s military enterprise behind the attacks by local Defense Forces in Myonwa

Yangon (Chindwin):  Mongwa People Defense Force (MPDF) has attacked the Myanmar Brewery Limited (MBL) factory located in Mongwa, Sagaing region. The attack was aimed at destroying the enterprises belong to the associates of military elites, citing the information released by MPDF. 

The attacks against the infrastructures allegedly believed to be connecting with the military elites and their associates has recently heightened following the announcement of the defensive war by the shadow National Unity Government. 

The MBL is a manufacturer and distributor of beer and stout and was established in 1995 as one of the then State-owned enterprises. Later, this manufacturer turned into the hands of retired military-owned venture called Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited MEHL), which is one of two major conglomerates run by the Burmese military through the Ministry of Defence, especially by retired powerful top brass, and the other being the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) which interests include beverages, banking, construction, mining, agriculture, tobacco and food.

Myanmar Brewery and Mandalay Brewery are run under the Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL). The Japanese brewery giant, Kirin Holdings, has over 51% stake in the two leading beer manufacturers. The major joint-venture projects have already invested total capital of US$ 60 million. 

Myanmar brewery warehouse was allegedly exploded and destroyed on 16 Sept, located in Monywa, Sagaing Region, northwestern part of Myanmar. The company is the largest beer company funded by a military company in Myanmar. A warning alert was given prior to the explosion by the People Defense Forces (PDFs), and no injuries were reported after the blast. 

A day earlier, an explosion occurred at the office of the military mobile carrier giant “Mytel” in the same area. It has been reported that Mytel’s communication tower in Monywa was destroyed. 

So far, more than 80 communication towers, mainly belong to MyTel have been destroyed in the country as of 20 Sept.

After the coup, Kirin announced that it was considering terminating its current joint-venture partnership with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL). The decision by the Japanese beer giant Kirin on its termination of a partnership was apparently because the Myanmar Brewery and Mandalay Brewery, the two conglomerates was owned and run by the country’s military. 

The decisions appeared to be a step forward to support the democratization process in Myanmar. Kirin is one of the world’s largest brewery companies with its own brand of Kirin, Tooheys, and a major stake in San Miguel and various crafts beers around the globe. 

In early August, Kirin Holdings announced to write off about $193 (JPY 21.4 billion), a drastic reduction in the recoverable number of losses on its partnership with Myanmar beer. 

Nevertheless, not long after the coup, beer lovers in Myanmar kept away from the Myanmar brands and restaurants, shophouses, and minimarts ceased to serve their products as part of a protest against the military takeover.  

The products of Myanmar brewery are varied with the Myanmar draft beer and Premium Myanmar beer with its top sale, Kirin Ichiban, Andaman gold, Andaman Gold Special, Andaman gold strong and black shields stout. 

The sale of Myanmar brewery products fell steeply due to the protest and was hampered by the hike of the pandemic in the country. As it turns out, revenues compared to the previous year on YOY dropped almost 40% to 200 billion Kyat (USD 100.3 million) within eight months as estimated by FMCG (distributors based on their distribution data.

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