Vietnam develops links to global distributors hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo

HCM City (VNA) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to work with large foreign distributors to promote exports of Vietnamese products.

The ministry’s European Market Department, which on May 26 held a meeting on implementing the programme “Developing Direct Participation of Vietnamese Enterprises on Foreign Distribution System up to 2020”, seeks to help Vietnamese firms develop new export channels to directly take their products to consumers in foreign countries.

Dang Hoang Hai, head of the department, said the ministry had co-ordinated with European distributors like Casino (France), Metro Cash & Carry (Germany), Makro (Czech Republic), Coop Italia and Conad (Italy), to organise “Vietnamese products week” in EU supermarkets to promote quality Vietnamese products there and connect Vietnamese firms with distribution chains.

Around 10 “Vietnamese Products Week” events have been held in the EU and Asia since 2011, which have helped Vietnamese firms export through foreign distribution channels, cut intermediary costs and bring higher value, he said.

Tran Thanh Hai, deputy chairman of Central Group Vietnam, said in recent years the Big C supermarket chain had actively helped take Vietnamese goods worth tens of millions of dollars to supermarkets in the EU.

After Central Group acquired Big C, Central Group Vietnam and Big C have continued to implement many programmes to promote and take Vietnamese products to overseas markets.

Central Group Vietnam and Big C will co-operate with the ministry to organise the second Vietnamese Products Week in Thailand at the end of July to enable more Vietnamese products like handicrafts, garment and textile, and farm produce like lichi, dragon fruits and sweet potatoes to be exported to Thailand and other ASEAN countries, he said.

Nishitoghe Yasuo, general director of Aeon Vietnam, said Vietnamese suppliers were constantly improving their product quality and 1,675 of them were supplying his company.

Aeon has been very active in exporting Vietnamese goods through its 14,000 stores in Asia including Japan, he said.

The most popular of the products are tra fish, textile and garment, and footwear, he said.

Last year Aeon exported 200 million USD worth of goods from Vietnam, with tra fish accounting for 9 million USD of that.

But Vietnamese firms continue to encounter difficulties in accessing foreign distribution systems because, to sell through modern trade channels, they need to ensure consistent quality, delegates at the seminar said.

Albin Bertand, the food market manager of Auchan Retail in Vietnam, said customers prioritised product price and quality.

Besides focusing on quality assurance, Vietnamese producers need research trends in potential markets to identify the right strategy for each market, he said.

Vu Kim Hanh, chairwoman of the Vietnamese High Quality Product Business Association, said the key factors for Vietnamese products to enter modern trade channels were quality and origin traceability.

In 2015 the Government approved a plan to help Vietnamese businesses directly participate in foreign distribution networks.

It hopes to ensure Vietnamese products are directly sold through major distribution systems in countries in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia with which Vietnam has signed free trade agreements.-VNA