The Liquor Ban In Yangon Continues
After receiving complaints from the local producers, the Yangon Region government decided to announce new restrictions regarding the sale of liquors from foreign manufacturers. For foreign guests staying at a hotel in Yangon, it might be harder to find foreign brand liquors because of this new policy.
According to the Yangon Region Department of Consumer Affairs, all licensed liquor retailers as well as wholesalers based in the city are required to make sure that the foreign liquor they are selling are legally imported into the country. Those who are found to be violating the law will be sent to prison. The import ban that has been going on in the country for decades and the additional restriction will make is impossible for liquor stores to sell them.
Yangon Region’s department head, U Myint Cho, confirmed that the complaints coming from the local producers regarding the selling of foreign liquors in stores in the city are the reason why the department decided to push with the crackdown.
He explained that there were reports that illegal imported liquors are sold at very cheap prices which is negatively impacting the local producers. Add the fact that there is no assurance as to the authenticity of the imported products they are selling.
U Aung Moe Kyaw, a liquor tycoon in the country and the chairman of the International Beverages Trading Company Group, is one of those people who are not in favour of lifting the import ban. The liquor group is currently the top domestic producer of whisky in the market and it is responsible for 80 per cent of the supply which equates to sales of around $100 million annually.
He added that the illegal importation of foreign liquors continue to thrive which is hurting the local producers. They know that they have to pay more tax if foreign liquor is allowed into the country. The domestic producers are asking the government to prioritize them if they want to retain the jobs for the people of Myanmar. Things are just starting to get better with tourists booking hotel in Yangon which is good for tourism and in turn for the country as a whole.