Scottish & Newcastle has been given full clearance to proceed with the construction of its first brewery in Vietnam, according to local reports.

The Saigon Times Daily said today (27 February) that the Long An People's Committee has issued an "investment certificate" allowing the formation of Kronenbourg Vietnam Ltd., a 50:50 joint venture between S&N and the state-owned wine and tobacco company Vinataba. The brewery, construction of which has begun this year, is located in the Long An province of the country, and will begin operating in 20 months time, the paper claimed.

S&N confirmed to just-drinks late last year that the joint venture has set aside US$75m for construction of the brewery. The UK company will be stumping up $19m of the investment.

Last year, SABMiller set up a joint venture with Vietnam's leading dairy group, Vinamilk. Meanwhile, Asia Pacific Breweries, Heineken's partner in Asia, controls five breweries in the country. Carlsberg holds around 10% of the beer market through its investments in two local brewers. In March, the Danish brewer bought a 10% stake in Habeco, Vietnam's second-largest brewer.

Local brewer Saigon Brewery remains the market leader in Vietnam, where beer consumption is growing at about 8% a year.