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Vietnam expands connectivity to global distributors

Released at: 09:49, 29/05/2017

Vietnam expands connectivity to global distributors

Illustrative image (Source: nec.edu.vn)

Ministry of Industry and Trade to continue to work with large foreign distributors to promote exports of Vietnamese products, Ministry official tells seminar.

by Long Van

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European Market Department affirmed it will continue to work with large foreign distributors to promote exports of Vietnamese products, during a seminar on May 26 in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to a report from the Vietnam News Agency, the seminar, on implementing the “Developing the Direct Participation of Vietnamese Enterprises in Foreign Distribution Systems to 2020” program, seeks to help Vietnamese firms develop new export channels to directly send their products to consumers in foreign countries.

Mr. Dang Hoang Hai, Head of the Department, was quoted by the State-owned news agency as saying that the ministry had coordinated with European distributors like Casino (France), Metro Cash & Carry (Germany), Makro (Czech Republic), and Coop Italia and Conad (Italy), to organize “Vietnamese Products Week” in EU supermarkets to promote quality Vietnamese products and connect Vietnamese firms with distribution chains.

Around ten Vietnamese Products Week events have been held in the EU and Asia since 2011, which have helped Vietnamese firms export through foreign distribution channels, cut intermediary costs, and bring higher value, he said.

Mr. Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Chairman of the Central Group Vietnam, said that in recent years the Big C supermarket chain has actively helped send Vietnamese goods worth tens of millions of dollars to supermarkets in the EU.

After the Central Group acquired Big C, the Central Group Vietnam and Big C have continued to implement many programs to promote and send Vietnamese products to overseas markets.

Central Group Vietnam and Big C will cooperate with the ministry to organize the second Vietnamese Products Week in Thailand at the end of July, to enable more Vietnamese products like handicrafts, garments and textile, and farm produce like lychee, dragon fruit, and sweet potatoes to be exported to the country and elsewhere in ASEAN, he said.

Mr. Nishitoghe Yasuo, General Director of Aeon Vietnam, said Vietnamese suppliers were constantly improving their product quality and 1,675 were suppliers to Aeon.

Aeon has been very active in exporting Vietnamese goods through its 14,000 stores in Asia, including Japan, he said.

The most popular products are tra fish, textiles and garments, and footwear, he added.

Aeon exported $200 million worth of goods from Vietnam last year, with tra fish accounting for $9 million.

But Vietnamese firms continue to encounter difficulties in accessing foreign distribution systems, because to sell through modern trade channels they must ensure consistent quality, seminar participants said.

Mr. Albin Bertand, Food Market Manager of Auchan Retail in Vietnam, said that customers prioritized product price and quality.

Besides focusing on quality assurance, Vietnamese producers need to research trends in potential markets to identify the correct strategy for each market, he said.

Ms. Vu Kim Hanh, Chairwoman of the Vietnamese High Quality Product Business Association, said the key factors for Vietnamese products to enter modern trade channels were quality and origin traceability.

In 2015, the government approved a plan to help Vietnamese businesses directly participate in foreign distribution networks.

It hopes to ensure Vietnamese products are directly sold through major distribution systems in countries in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia with which Vietnam has signed free trade agreements.

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