SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Korea Bizwire) — Hite Jinro Co., South Korea’s leading liquor manufacturer, said Tuesday it has established a new branch in Vietnam, as it attempts to tap deeper into the large Southeast Asian market.
The launch of the new branch in Ho Chi Minh City came two years after the company set up a Vietnamese affiliate in Hanoi.
The liquor maker also opened its second street bar in the Southeast Asian country. The first Korean-style covered street bar, called “pojangmacha” in Korean, opened in the capital city of Hanoi last year.
“Southeast Asia is a market with great potential. It will be the starting point of the globalization of soju,” said Hwang Jeong-ho, chief of the company’s global business division.
Its signature drink, soju, totaled US$8.8 million in sales in Southeast Asia last year, up from $4.9 million in 2015 and $6 million in 2016, according to the company. Annual revenue in the Vietnamese market has been increasing at an average of 50 percent, according to the company.
Hite Jinro declined to provide the actual sales figures.