79 companies have signed up for HCM City’s year-long price stabilisation programmes that began last April (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s retail sales and services grew by 12.2 percent year-on-year in the first half to nearly 600 trillion VND (25.8 billion USD), according to its Department of Industry and Trade.

It said the retail market outlook for the rest of the year was positive with supply remaining abundant and prices steady.

It forecast full-year growth of 13 – 14 percent, which is the target.

The city is home to 239 markets, 205 supermarkets, 46 shopping malls, and 2,360 convenience stores.

Vietnamese supermarkets and convenience stores dominate the market, accounting for 73.6 percent and 67 percent of the total number.

The strong retail growth is fostering production and distribution of all kinds of products.

To keep prices steady in the second half of the year and during the Lunar New Year holidays in early 2020, the city had launched four year-long price stabilisation programmes covering essential foods and foodstuffs, school supplies, dairy products, and medicines starting last April.  

For instance, under the programme for essential foods and foodstuffs, 10 groups of products, including rice, sugar, cooking oil, poultry and cattle meat, poultry eggs, processed foods, fruits and vegetables, seafood, and spices, are sold at fixed prices.

They meet 25-35 percent of demand, rising to 30-40 percent during the Lunar New Year.

The school supplies programme includes four groups of items that are in high demand -- notebooks, uniforms, schoolbags and backpacks, and shoes.

It will meet 35-50 percent of demand.

The two remaining programmes stabilise the prices of cover formula and milk for pregnant women, milk powder and milk fortified with micronutrients and medicines, active ingredients, and items such as bandages and syringes, with the latter meeting 50 percent of the demand for essential drugs.

All the products are sold at 5-15 percent lower than market prices.

Twelve banks and credit organisations have signed up for the programmes and they will lend 19.65 trillion VND (861.8 million USD) to participating companies at interest rates of 5.5-7 percent for short-term loans and 9-10 percent for medium- and long-term loans.

The city has also focused on building trademarks and enhancing the prestige of the programmes and businesses and products participating in them.–VNS/VNA