The domestic retail market contributed 15 percent of the country's GDP, said the Vietnam Retail Association.

The association said the retail market would reach 86 billion USD this year, despite the economic downturn.

It predicted the market's yearly average growth rate would be 23-25 percent till 2015.

Economists said Vietnam 's retail market had been one of five markets in the world with the highest profit capacity.

It would still be a destination for foreign retail distributors as barriers in the sector had been removed.

Phan The Rue, chairman of the association said the country's retail market has had breakthroughs over the last few years.

Vietnam now has around 600 supermarkets and commercial centres attracting people due to their stable quality goods.

About 9,000 traditional markets remain, spread across both rural and urban areas and serving about 70 percent of the country's customers.

"Several retail businesses have developed well, establishing a retail system nationwide, such as Sai Gon Co.opmart, (Hanoi Commerce Corporation) Hapromart, Phu Thai Corporation, Tran Anh and Nguyen Kim," Rue said, adding that retail systems have met demands for goods from people of all walks of life.

However, he said that Vietnam 's retail market had shortcomings as its yearly average income per capita was rather low at 1,000 USD, making the market's scale small while it is still quite vulnerable to fluctuations in worlds markets.

In addition, quality, prices, hygiene and food safety had not been ensured in parallel with increasing counterfeit goods, he said.

"The retail system has several levels, resulting in higher transport fees as well as creating opportunities for fake goods to enter supermarkets and markets," he said.

He said the domestic retail market would continue experiencing difficulties next year because of high inflation and low economic growth rates.

He added that both the scale and growth rate of the local retail market would have to be kept in check. /.