HCM City trade plan renewed for five years hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source:VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - A trade cooperation programme between HCM City and 20 southern provinces over the last five years has significantly contributed to improving product quality, meet consumer demand and promote socio-economic development, a meeting heard in HCM City on March 22.

The programme, begun in 2011, focuses on providing and exchanging information and comparing notes on authorities' oversight of commerce, supporting firms in creating links in production and distribution, strengthening oversight to secure product quality, and human resource training.

The southern provinces and cities have created favourable conditions for HCM City businesses to expand production projects and build distribution systems besides cooperating with farmers for animal breeding and cultivation.

Twenty three firms participating in the city's price stabilisation programme have invested more than 14 trillion VND (627.8 million USD) in 38 production facilities, 54 agricultural farms, 53 supermarkets and shopping centres, and 55 shops in the region.

Thus they created reliable raw material sources and ensured high quality and low prices, the department said.

Le Van Khoa, Deputy Chairman of the city People's Committee, said linking up suppliers and buyers was one of the programme's important activities.

In five years, 1,349 contracts worth more than 22.13 trillion VND (992.46 million USD) were signed between city businesses and companies in the southern region.

Phan Kim Sa, Director of the Dong Thap provincial Department of Industry and Trade, said the programme helped small production units improve their technologies, enabling more and more products to enter modern distribution systems in HCM City.

The province has abundant raw materials while its firms have technological and managerial expertise, meaning the cooperation is a win-win proposition, according to Sa.

Following the resounding success of the programme, the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade on March 22 renewed it for another five years.

The department and its counterparts in the 20 cities and provinces plan to enhance activities to link suppliers and producers, cooperate for price stabilisation programmes and resolve difficulties faced by businesses.

Khoa suggested the department should collaborate with its counterparts to help businesses build supply chains and brands and promote consumption in domestic and foreign markets, especially of VietGap and GobalGap certified farm produce.

They should all join hands to fight smuggling and trade fraud, and monitor quality of products in the market, he said.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa hailed the programme and urged HCM City to expand the cooperation model to other places.

She hoped more businesses will join the programme in the coming years to increase the supply of quality goods. Distribution networks should be expanded to make it easier for customers to access the products, she said.

Businesses should focus on improving product quality and competitiveness, particularly with the country's deeper global integration, she said, adding that relevant authorities should work to raise awareness of using Vietnamese goods among consumers.-VNA