Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Vietnam’s retail market is promising, but local businesses must strengthen operations in order to compete with international investors right in the home market, experts said during a workshop in HCM City on July 1.

Nguyen Anh Duc, Deputy General Director of Saigon Co-op, said the Vietnamese retail market has for long interested international investors, especially after the country joined the World Trade Organisation.

“The participation of international investors in the retail market has promoted the growth of Vietnamese enterprises,” he said.

However, Van Duc Muoi, General Director of the food processing company Vissan, said that for a long time many local businesses believed they only needed to make high-quality products for customers to buy.

But they should also realise that distribution is one of the most important aspects for every business. “Sales will decide output and business activities,” he said.

Truong Phu Chien, general director of the candy firm Bibica, said: “If a company wants to survive and develop, it must have its own retail channel.

“Besides supermarkets and convenience stores, Vietnamese enterprises should develop more retail channels like restaurants.”

Nguyen Phu Hoa, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s import-export department, said: “the business community should think about setting up a retail system for the whole world, not only Vietnam, with technology and new sale models.

“Vietnamese retail businesses like Saigon Co-op should have applications for smartphones because today the whole world is in your hand with smartphones,” Hòa said.

Ten years ago, Vietnam had 368 supermarket outlets, and now the number is 800.

The number is expected to reach 1,200–1,500 by 2020, along with 180 trade centres and 150 shopping malls, workshop participants were told.-VNA