The Chinese beer maker Harbin Brewery Group Ltd is expecting its annual production to increase by 50% to reach 1.8 million tonnes in 2004 or 2005, according to an interview today.

Speaking to Reuters, Harbin Brewery chief executive officer Peter Lo said the company was being boosted by the strong economic growth in its dominant market in northeastern China, which is being earmarked by the government for redevelopment.

Lo said the company was confident it would meet its 2003 output target of 1.2 million tonnes. The target for 2004 is 1.5m tonnes, with the hope of reaching 1.8m tonnes in 2004 or 2005.