Domestic producers should improve the quality of their products and design at reasonable prices to meet customers' demands because this is considered to be a solution to preventing smuggled and counterfeit goods and trade fraud.

The opinion was voiced by delegates at a workshop on market surveillance against smuggling, counterfeiting and commercial frauds among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam held in Hanoi on November 6.

Truong Quang Hoai Nam, director of the Market Watch Department, said the violations have become more sophisticated and complex by applying modern technologies and establishing trans-border smuggling networks relating to several people and businesses.

In the first eight months of the year, the department tackled more than 57,800 violations including over 8,300 in trading and transporting of illegal and smuggled goods; 9,000 cases of fake and low-quality goods and around 40,000 instances of trade fraud, contributing 220 billion VND (10.4 million USD) to the State budget.

Violators have taken advantage of difficulties from the economic slowdown to promote fake goods trading and provide unhygienic foods to the market, Nam said.

He added that most of the border and coastal provinces have to deal with smuggling and violations of intellectual property rights.

In the trend of international integration, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar face challenges in preventing counterfeit goods and trade fraud.

Nam added that this required market management forces in these countries, especially those having common borders, to enhance information and professional exchanges and resolve violations.

Sharing this idea, Nguyen Thang Loi, head of the Market Watch Office in northern Lang Son Province, said one reason for the boom in fake goods and commercial fraud is that local producers have not paid attention to building trademarks, geographical indication systems and registration for intellectual property rights.

In addition, producers have not well co-operated with authorised agencies in preventing fake goods, even for their own products, Loi said.

He said Vietnamese people are interested in brand name products, but at low prices, thus creating conditions for counterfeit goods to penetrate the market.

"The biggest obstacle for market surveillance is the lack of awareness on how to combat counterfeiting, substandard goods and commercial fraud, which creates a lack of practices for enforcement agencies to follow, even within the same agency," he added.

Phitleudeth Vongvath, a representative from the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce, mentioned challenges to market management in the country including limited human resources, technology, infrastructure, transparency and illegal transport across borders.

He agreed that ensuring transparency, enhancing technology, legal system and education, as well as co-operation among countries would help prevent violations.

Claudio Dordi, chief advisor of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP) told Viet Nam News that fake goods has been one of the biggest concerns of foreign investors in Vietnam.

He said Vietnam should maintain co-operation with not only Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar but other countries to prevent counterfeit goods and trade fraud.

Vietnam is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. The countries in the region have paid much attention to the intellectual property issue in Vietnam, he added.

The workshop, co-organised by the Market Surveillance Agency and the Asia-Pacific Market Department with the support of EU-MUTRAP, aims to improve the capacity of market surveillance forces, simultaneously supporting the sub-regional integration process, and strengthening co-operation between the countries in the development and management of the market towards the goal of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.-VNA