Many Japanese companies are exploring investment opportunities in the Vietnamese food market, which is expected to grow at around 5 percent this year (Photo: bizlive.vn)

HCM City (VNA) - Many Japanese companies are exploring investment opportunities in the Vietnamese food market, which is expected to grow at around 5 percent this year.

Takimoto Kogji, Head of the Japan External Trade Organisation (J ETRO ) in HCM City, said the number of Japanese firms coming to Vietnam to study the market is constantly increasing.

He told news.zing.vn that while past Japanese investors focused on manufacturing industries, current investors have turned their attention to the food and service sectors.

A report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade said the food market grew at 5.1 percent per year from 2011-16.

This increase has sparked interest among foreign investors, especially the Japanese, who have opened retail chains and more than 500 restaurants in HCM City. In supermarkets, there are shelves dedicated to Japanese products.

Besides, many retail shops have opened in HCM City to distribute Japanese foods.

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership set to take effect soon, more Japanese companies are expected to come to take advantage of the privileges the agreement will confer on members.

The Vietnamese market is hugely promising with its more than 90 million consumers and an increasing clamour for clean and safe food.

A spokesperson for Tarami, a Japanese company that produces jelly, said he was very happy to see his company’s products sold by many retailers like Aeon and Family Mart.

His company targets exports of 100,000 USD to Vietnam in the first year and more in the coming years, he said.

Takashi Igarashi, G eneral D irector of Igarashi Seimen Company, which produces instant noodle, said Vietnamese consumers now prefer products which are good for their health.

His company has introduced its products to Family Mart and Aeon and has received good feedback, he said.

Kazuhiko Nemoto of a livestock association in Ibaraki Province said his company has three stores distributing beef in Vietnam and plans to sell to supermarkets next.

Kogji said J ETRO has organised many events and programmes to link up Japanese and Vietnamese companies and provided information about the market, Vietnamese tastes and how to trade in Vietnam to Japanese companies.

It also helps Japanese companies quickly set up business and sell products in Vietnam, he added.-VNA