Growth of Thai retailers making life difficult for domestic counterparts.
From 2009 to 2015 imports from Thailand to Vietnam almost doubled, from $4.5 billion in 2009 to $8.2 billion in 2015, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs. Popular items such as vegetables, automobiles, electrical appliances, and plastic products are considered a strength of Vietnam’s near neighbor.
The Ho Chi Minh City Business Association said that Vietnamese goods and also Japanese and South Korean goods now find it difficult to compete with similar products from Thailand.
Major Thai retailers have thrown down a challenge to their Vietnamese counterparts in recent times. The Ho Chi Minh City Business Association has petitioned the Prime Minister about the domination of Thai goods and retailers and their efforts to acquire an even grater market share in Vietnam.
Thai retailers in the country include Mega Market (formerly Metro), B’s Mart, Big C, and Robinson, the Association said, while the Central Group holds 49 per cent of the Nguyen Kim electronics supermarket chain.
The quality of Vietnamese goods can meet requirements but face many obstacles in entering a retail network owned by foreigners, the Association said.
Foreign supermarkets require certificates and inspection of origin and product quality and insist on discounts.
Business representatives said that the “Vietnamese Prefer Vietnamese Goods” program has helped boost the proportion of Vietnamese goods at supermarkets to 80-90 per cent but the abovementioned obstacles will see their market share decline.