ineken in Eastern E long-term vision Heineken presence in Warsaw city centre. restern companies were - and still are - knocking on the t doors of the state-owned businesses. Heineken aims to play a clear role in the various beer markets of Eastern Europe; by means of exports and by means of participa tions or other forms of joint ventures. Since tiie removal of the political barriers the former Eastern Bloc countries have also taken a great many steps to move closer to a free-market economy. Positions Eastern Europe is potentially a very important beer market, feels Alle Ypma, Business Development Direc tor Heineken, but the date when the investments will start to bear fruit provisionally still carries a big question mark. "Our attention continues to be strong ly focused on achieving growth in this region, not only in exports, but also via joint ventures. We are doing that because the cards are now being shuffled, the positions are being occupied. Heineken's ultimate aim is to become a leading player in Eastern Europe. That is why we have to invest now, even though this involves risks. It's virtually impossible to predict accurately how those countries will develop. Beer consumption is usually high, but spending power is still low. We are convinced that spending power will increase in due course, but when and by how much is anyone's guess", says Ypma. Priority Poland, Hungary and the Czech and Slovak Republics are priority coun tries for Heineken, followed by coun tries like Romania, Bulgaria and, per- THE WORLD OF HEINEKEN

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World of Heineken | 1993 | | pagina 30