Illustrative image (Source: Vingroup)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The future of the Vietnamese retail sector was extensively discussed at a seminar held in Hanoi on May 18, in the context of serial acquisitions by foreign retailers.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said Vietnam is hailed as one of the world’s most attractive emerging retail markets thanks to its strong economic growth and a number of incentives for foreign investors.

Vietnam has been listed among the top five retail markets in Asia and is ranked 28 th in the global retail development index, he stated, adding that the country recorded 386 supermarkets in 2008 and the figure has since soared to nearly 800.

As scheduled, Vietnam will boast 1,200-1,500 supermarkets, 180 shopping malls and 157 outlets by 2020, as more consumers are switching to shopping at supermarkets instead of wet markets.

At the event, a majority of opinions expressed concern over the domination of foreign retailers in the market, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of Big C and Metro by giant Thai rivals, who have recently posed strict requirements for Vietnamese goods and distributors to enter its shelves.

Le Huy Khoi, an expert from the Vietnam Institute for Trade, suggested tapping niche markets such as developing a chain of specialised supermarkets – a model successfully applied by several firms.

Deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department Nguyen Duy Hung, said small and medium-sized enterprises should refer to a map of distribution in 63 cities and provinces nationwide while developing several priority manufacturing fields and support industry, making it easier to improve their manufacturing capacity.-VNA