The Government should develop policies to protect made-in-Vietnam products from the threat of smuggled and low-quality goods in the domestic market, while enhancing trade promotion for them, experts said at a conference on May 8.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade held the conference to seek measures to bolster the domestic market in line with the campaign "Vietnamese prioritise made-in-Viet Nam goods."

According to Le Ngoc Dao, Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, Vietnamese goods were hampered by the prevalence of fake and low-quality products in the market, which hindered local enterprises' production levels.

Dao urged market controls to be tightened to limit the unhealthy competition, while calling for enterprise support to help them expand the sales in the domestic market.

Vu Thi Kim Hanh, President of the Business Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods said that help should be given to enterprises, especially small and medium sized firms, to ensure their products appear on supermarket shelves.

SMEs face many difficulties when negotiating with supermarkets to stock their products, while they often lost out to competition from multinational companies, she added.

According to Vu Thi Hau, Deputy Director of the Nhat Nam Joint Stock Company which owns Fivimart supermarket chain, producers of made-in-Vietnam goods should enhance the quality of their products and maintain reasonable prices to ensure competitiveness against imports.

Infrastructure as well as distribution channels must be developed to accelerate the sale of Vietnamese goods, especially in rural areas, according to the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade.

The department said most markets in the city's rural areas did not ensure sanitation standards for food hygiene and safety, while failing to meet the demands of resident shoppers.

However, Le Thi Nguyet Nga, Deputy Director of the Ministry's Department of Domestic Market, pointed out that constructing the distribution system required huge capital which could become a burden to SMEs when seeking expansion.

Under the draft project to develop the domestic market in line with the "Vietnamese prioritise made-in-Vietnam goods" programme, the Ministry would focus on increasing consumer awareness about made-in-Viet Nam products while improving the distribution system nationwide.

Accordingly, a database of distribution systems would be set up together with store chains for price-stabilised products in all 63 cities and provinces.

After three years of implementation of the programme, locally-made products accounted for 80-90 percent of goods on shelves at supermarkets such as Big C (90 per cent), Sai Gon Co-op (nearly 95 percent) and Vinatex Mart (100 percent), ministry statistics showed.-VNA