Despite a decrease of 0.6 percent in June, the retail sales value of
goods and services in the first half of the year surged 6.5 percent
against the same period last year to 1,137 trillion VND (54.2 billion
USD), according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
However, the rise is lower than the 7-10 percent recorded in the same period in recent years.
Among the total, trade made up 880.7 trillion VND (41.93 billion USD),
followed by the hotel-restaurant sector, which is worth 132.8 trillion
VND(6.32 billion USD).
GSO expert Vu Manh Ha attributed
the decline to slow economic growth, high interest rates and stagnancy
in production, which have affected spending power.
forecast that the sale of goods and services will improve in the second
half of the year thanks to the Government's stimulus programmes. To
boost production and consumption, the Government recently cut interest
rates and approved a 29 trillion VND (1.4 billion USD) tax break package
to support businesses.
Though Vietnam is no longer among
the 30 most attractive retail markets in the world as listed by A T
Kearney, experts said the domestic market still has great potential in
the eyes of retailers.
Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, owner of the
CitiMart chain, said the report by A T Kearney will in no way affect
foreign investors' plans to penetrate the Vietnamese market.
Hoa said some foreign distributors have attempted to penetrate the
Vietnamese market through CitiMart, as have occurred with a number of
retailers in Singapore .
The Vietnamese market is one
of the most dynamic among newly emerging economies in Southeast Asia
and has a number of attractive advantages, Hoa said. The country has
seen average economic growth of 7.3 percent over the last 20 years,
which has led to improved living standards. That has resulted in
increased purchasing power, she said.
general director of Big C Vietnam, told Saigon Economic Times that
modern retail channels hold just 20 percent of the total distribution
market. That means there are great opportunities ahead for investors, he
This is why Big C, Parkson, Metro Cash&Carry,
Lotte Mart, and Family hava been trying to expand their chains, while
new distributors such as Aeon and E-Mart, are looking to move into
Vietnam, Billaud said.-VNA