Total sales for Vietnamese businesses are expected to rise in the second half of this year, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has announced.

A report released by the VCCI on June 18 in Hanoi revealed that the first half of 2014 had seen a sharp improvement in business conditions compared with the second half of 2013, despite the impact of various challenges.

According to the report, average selling prices in the six-month period had slumped over the second half of 2013, indicating that enterprises have implemented measures to drop prices and increase discounts in order to boost sales.

It also noted that the most positive trend during the period was an increase in labour productivity. Firms have perceived that sustainable growth does not rely solely on capital but also on high labour productivity.

In addition, the index on the legal environment and macro-economy was higher due to improvements in the quality of regulations and administrative procedures.

The report suggested that improved access to market information, technology and infrastructure, such as electricity, water and waste disposal, as well as increases in officers' capacity to effect change have contributed to the promising prospects evident in the second half of 2014.

However, businesses have raised concerns over the domestic market, production and costs.

The VCCI's report showed that in the first five months of the year, more than 21 percent of businesses had reached their annual turnover target, 28 percent of the total had reached 90 percent of the set target, and 16 percent had met 70 percent of the annual target.

In terms of profits, 14 percent of all businesses surveyed had achieved the whole year's target. However, 4 percent of these enterprises had halted operations for an average period of a month and a half as they had not been able to establish a market for their products. This indicates that gaining a foothold in the market has posed the most significant challenge to Vietnamese businesses.-VNA