Despite the economic slowdown, four out of seven sectors in Vietnam's technical consumer goods market generated double-digit sales growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

According to GIK, a market research company, Vietnamese consumers spent 30.5 trillion VND (1.45 billion USD) on technical consumer goods in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 21.6 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2012.

The company's technical market index for the year showed that the rise in sales for the whole of 2013 brought revenue for technical consumer goods to 113 trillion VND (5.38 billion USD), up 22.1 percent year-on-year.

Growth in the quarter was backed by increased growth in most sectors, including telecommunications with a revenue of 11.2 trillion VND, up 47 percent; major domestic appliances with a revenue of 5 trillion VND, up 22.5 percent; consumer electronics with 5.1 trillion VND revenue, up 21.2 percent; and small domestic appliances (SDA) with 779 billion VND revenue, up 18 percent.

Meanwhile, photo and office equipment and consumables sectors recorded poor revenues of 451 billion VND and 396 billion VND, down 16.9 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Earlier this year, the Vietnam Retailers Association said that electronics had great potential, since no single company accounted for more than 10 per cent of domestic market share.

Experts believe that the greatest challenge that electronics retailers will face this year is stiff competition from domestic companies and integration into the global economy.

By the beginning of next year, under its commitment to the World Trade Organisation, Vietnam will open its market to foreign retailers.

Domestic firms will have to gear up to compete with foreign companies, which have significant capital and years of experience.

Electronics retailers have been advised to create a road map to develop their internal resources, stabilise long-term finances, and strengthen supply chain models.

In addition, they should focus on improving customer service and have an experienced staff to ensure sustainable development and effective competition.-VNA