The Industry and Trade Ministry has approved over 37 billion VND (over 2 million USD) to help businesses boost the consumption of goods in the domestic market as exports are facing difficulties due to the global economic crisis.

Also a part of the overall national trade promotion, the package has a special focus on activities to promote Vietnamese products in the domestic market.

Earlier, the ministry also approved 97 other projects to promote domestic products in both the Vietnamese and overseas markets with a combined capital of 128 billion VND (7.1 million USD). Those projects gave priority to products in the processing industry, agro-forestry and fisheries.

According to Vo Van Quyen, Deputy Director of the Domestic Market Department, the ministry has introduced several measures to create a better environment for expanding distribution networks, especially in rural areas.

From September 1, national trade promotion programmes in the domestic market will receive further funding to survey the markets, research consumer demands, distribution systems and entrepreneurs.

The ministry also plans to regularly make goods available in rural areas, industrial parks and urban areas, beginning in August. Then, the ministry will organise two fairs for farm produce and products from craft villages in the North and the South of the country.

In the long term, Quyen added that the ministry is working with other agencies to carry out numerous strategic programmes to deliver some key products, develop the trading infrastructure and distribution systems in rural areas within the next 5-10 years.

According to the ministry, the domestic trade value in recent years has shown a growth rate double that of the GDP growth rate. In 2008, the value was 60 billion USD, nearly equal to the country’s export turnover./.