The Vietnamese Government was considering a project to build a wholesale agricultural market worth billions of US dollars, said an official of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Korcham Vietnam).

According to Hong Sun, Secretary-General of Korcham in Vietnam, farm products were the key exports of Vietnam, but their distribution faced many difficulties, including the lack of wholesale markets to have auctions and distribute products everywhere, Bizlive newspaper online reported.

The disadvantage would create a barrier for Vietnamese enterprises to gain from the Vietnam-Republic of Korea free trade agreement and increase Vietnam's exports of farm products, he said.

Therefore, Korcham had proposed to build a wholesale market for farm products on an area of 300ha in Hanoi, six times larger than the similar market in Seoul, he noted.

Vietnam needed a modern distribution system to improve the competitive ability of its local farm products because the cost of distribution of Vietnamese farm products at present accounted for 20 percent of the cost of trading, 10 percent higher than other countries, he pointed out.

The key structure of the market would be constructed in 2-3 years, on a total investment of 300-400 million USD, he said, adding that the construction of the entire market needed 1-2 billion USD.

Hong Sun noted that the investment will come from foreign investors, including major capital from the Republic of Korea.

The market would have wholesale and retail sections and its operation would be supported by modern information technology system to ensure fair auctions, he added.

Korcham is currently looking for space for the market in Hanoi as it needs a large area.

The market would gather farm products to be exported to the Republic of Korea and, may be, to some other neighbouring markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan, he said.

During the initial period, Korcham might employ experts with experience from the Republic of Korea or other countries to support Vietnam in developing the market because the management of the market would be based on a modern software system, he added.-VNA