Impact International / August 1, 1995
By Larry Luxner
Grupo Bemberg, one of Argentina's oldest and wealthiest conglomerates, has inaugurated a $50 million brewery in neighboring Paraguay. The Cervepar factory, located in Ypané, 26 kilometers south of Asunción, boasts 150 employees and annual production of 1 million hectoliters. It effectively doubles installed beer capacity in a country that boasts consumption of 37 liters per-capita, one of the highest in South America.
Bemberg already brews the country's most popular beers under the Bremen, Pilsen and Baviera labels. It also owns an Asunción glass factory as well as Paraguay's largest Coca-Cola bottling plant. The Chilean magazine AméricaEconomía says that "given the size of Paraguay's economy, the Bemberg brewery is equivalent to an investment of $1 billion in a country like Mexico.
Meanwhile, another Argentine firm, Buenos Aires Embotelladora S.A. (Baesa), has announced plans to invest $400 million in southern Brazil, where it holds the exclusive franchises for Seven-Up and Pepsi. Baesa is one of the largest Pepsi bottlers outside the United States, and the largest in South America.
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay -- along with Uruguay -- are all members of the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur), a customs union that links the four countries' economies.