The move will give the company greater access to Asian markets, where Western style beer-drinking habits have become common place over the last few years, making Vietnam a hugely profitable market for foreign investors. The Danish brewer will build a brand-new brewery in Southern Vietnam, along with partner Hanoi Beer & Beverage Corporation (Habeco), who will each hold 29 per cent of the shares. "The joint venture will have a strong brand portfolio consisting of the Carlsberg brand, one of the leading premium beer brands in Vietnam, as well as Habeco's famous Hanoi Beer, the leading beer brand in Northern Vietnam", Carlsberg said. According to the company, the move is financially advantageous to Carlsberg as beer drinking in Vietnam has increased over recent years, and the current consumption level amounts to 17 litres per capita. "The future annual growth is estimated at about eight per cent, like the Vietnamese gross domestic product (GDP)," the company said. The name of the new venture will be the Hanoi Vung Tau Joint Stock Company, located in the Vung Tau province which is just outside Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Carlsberg initially entered the Vietnamese market in 1993, when it formed a joint venture with the Viet Ha brewery owned by the Hanoi Peoples Committee. Over the next few years the company acquired operating stakes in a number of other brewers to make Carlsberg one of the largest beverage manufacturers in Vietnam. Carlsberg currently owns a ten per cent share in Habeco, which it acquired in March this year. At the time, the company told BeverageDaily.com that this move would send Carlsberg's beer sales in Vietnam rocketing, rising from 15.2m hectolitres in 2006 to 28.1m hectolitres by 2015, and making the market the third largest for the brewer in Asia.