Retail sales of food and foodstuffs in Ho Chi Minh City  in the first seven months increased of 13.7 percent year-on-year. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Retail sales of food and foodstuffs in Ho Chi Minh City were worth 66.744 trillion VND (2.9 billion USD) in the first seven months of this year, or 17.46 percent of total retail sales.

The figure represents an increase of 13.7 percent year-on-year, according to the city’s Department of Industry and Trade.

In the last decade, average consumption of foods saw an annual increase of 12.98 percent.

The major food and beverage products consumed in the city include eggs, instant noodles, canned drinks, milk and sausages.

Major increases in output in the first seven months were seen in milk (6.9 percent) and canned beer (5.6 percent).

But notwithstanding the rising sales, food processing and beverage companies faced challenges such as increased value-added tax and smuggled and fake goods.

A spokesman for the city’s Department of Industry and Trade said in the remaining months of the year, the department will call on city authorities to hold discussions with major enterprises and business groups in the food and foodstuff sector to resolve the problems they currently face.

It will also promote an alliance between localities and industrial parks to establish raw material zones and value chains for foods and foodstuffs.

According to Nguyen Phuong Dong, Deputy Director of the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, the number of retail enterprises in the city is rising by 10.9 percent annually, significantly contributing to the development of the country’s retail sector.

The city has 239 markets, 216 supermarkets, 44 business centres and 2,065 convenience shops.

They account for 2.8 percent of the country’s markets, 22 percent of supermarkets and 23 percent of business centres.-VNS/VNA