Local products target overseas supermarkets

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has set an ambitious plan to help locally – made products penetrate overseas supermarkets.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has set an ambitious plan to help locally – made products penetrate overseas supermarkets.

This move was conducted as part of the ministry's export strategy for 2012.

Dang Hoang Hai, an official from the ministry, said helping locally-made products in global retail and supermarket chains will be integral for the country's export plan. This strategy is designed to gradually generate opportunity for domestic export activity, especially for major exports like farm produce, fish, food, garment and textiles, and handicraft products.

Although, export has always been important to the economy, experts noted that the country's exports are not sustainable and fail to reach their potential. Domestic products are mostly exported through middlemen.

The increasing presence of Vietnamese products in overseas supermarkets not only limit the cost for intermediate stages but also raise product value and stabilise exports to avoid risks. Strict requirements for exporters serve to enhance product quality and help them integrate into a global distribution network, said Hai.

In addition, Nguyen Canh Cuong, Vietnam 's trade counsellor in France said that although the European market is a large one, across it are many similarities and common standards for product quality. Therefore, if Vietnamese products enter hyper supermarkets like Metro or Casino, it will be a "passport" allowing them into other global supermarket chains.

According to experts, Vietnam is emerging as a prestigious exporter in place of Chinese exports thanks to products like coffee, tea, pepper, fruits, fisheries and handicraft products. Some said if taken at full advantage, these products will become more valuable to importers globally.

However, the major problem posed to exporters who want to penetrate global supermarket chains is the maintenance of stability in both quantity and quality.

Hai said global supermarket chains often make large orders which Vietnamese businesses do not satisfy. Domestic exporters will always export a first round of good quality and sufficient quantity, but they can not maintain it in their next batches.

Many companies made every effort to sign orders with foreign partners but their contracts were cancelled after they failed to meet the importers' quality and quantity requirements./.

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