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Malaysia, Vietnam to drop import duties on beer, liquor

TOKYO -- Malaysia and Vietnam are to phase out import tariffs on beer, whiskey and other alcoholic beverages under a Pacific Rim trade deal that would create greater export opportunities for Japanese drink companies.

     Malaysian tariffs of 5 ringgit ($1.18) per bottle of beer and 58 ringgit per bottle of whiskey and brandy are to drop to zero in the 16th year of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has yet to be signed or ratified by the 12 countries involved in the negotiations. Vietnam is to end its 47% duty on beer and 55% duty on whiskey in the 11th year of the pact, followed by its 55% tariff on brandy the next year.

     Faced with such high barriers, Japanese beer exports to Vietnam and Malaysia total just 3.8 million yen ($31,900) and 13.8 million yen a year, respectively.

     The other 10 prospective TPP members, which include Japan and the U.S., do not impose such tariffs.


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