Carlsberg has vowed to tough out the Cambodian beer market, despite the struggle to "change the mindset" of the country's consumers.

The brewer, which acquired a 50% stake in Cambrew in the country in 2005, has noted the dangers facing so-called 'beer-girls', commonly used to promote beer in bars around the country.

Speaking exclusively to just-drinks today (12 June), a spokesperson for Carlsberg said: "Cambrew employs around 700 of these beer-promoters. These promoters, which are women, are regularly subjected to bad behaviour from consumers, including violence and sexual abuse."

In December, Carlsberg drew up a code of conduct with five other brewers in the country - Asia Pacific Breweries, Heineken, Cambodia Brewery, Guinness and Cambrew - designed to improve working conditions for the beer-girls.

"You have to realise that these things take time, especially in Cambodia, where so many people were murdered under the Pol Pot regime that there is now such low respect for human life," the spokesperson continued.

"We will not leave Cambodia saying that we have not reached our objectives. It will be difficult - we have to change the mindset of ourselves, the beer-girls and the consumers."

Cambrew, which holds a 45% stranglehold on the country's beer market, owns the Angkor Beer brand.