Tsingtao is to build its first brewery outside of China, after agreeing with partners to set up a US$56m plant in Thailand, according to local reports.

The Chinese brewer has entered a venture with local partners, including Cosnam Shipping, to build the THB2bn (US$56.4m) brewery in Thailand, according to a report this week in the Bangkok Post, citing Cosnam MD Theparak Luengsuwan.

Tsingtao will own 40% of the brewery, it said, adding that the move is part of Tsingtao's strategy to expand across the region.

A spokesperson for Tsingtao could not be reached for comment today (31 March). A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch InBev, a Tsingtao shareholder, declined to comment on the matter. A-B InBev retains a 7% stake in Tsingtao, after agreeing in January to sell a 20% stake in the Chinese brewer to Asahi for US$667m.

Tsingtao reported late last year that net profit for the three quarters to the end of September rose by 24% to RMB699.8m (US$102m). Beer volumes rose by 7% to 44.81m hectolitres.