Vietnam holds potential for seafood hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: Internet)

The domestic market, with a population of 90 million people, presents a great opportunity for seafood producers to increase the sales of their products due to rising demand, experts said.

Dinh Thi My Loan, chairwoman of the Vietnam Association of Retailers, said the average annual consumption of seafood by the domestic market has reached 27kg per capita, and the figure is expected to surge by 5.37 percent on average per year for the period 2011-20. Total seafood consumption by the domestic market is forecast to stand at 790,000 tonnes for this year and 940,000 tonnes for 2020.

Some 35 percent of the local population live in cities and pose high demand for seafood products due to their improving income, according to Loan.

Meanwhile, development of the local retail system, especially modern retail channels, presents major opportunities for seafood enterprises to increase their domestic market share.

The sector currently has 8,000 processors providing 400,000 tonnes of seafood products every year, worth 15 trillion VND (666.7 million USD), Loan said.

Le Thi Thanh Lam, deputy general director of the Sai Gon Food Trading Ltd Company, said with the strong development of the local supermarket system, seafood enterprises have promoted the production of frozen seafood products for distribution via the supermarket system.

At present, frozen seafood products account for 60 percent of frozen processed food products at supermarkets, Lam said.

However, Loan said, to increase market share at home, local seafood enterprises should pay attention to improving quality and food safety and to building their brand name.

Cooperation among producers/processors, distributors and retailers should be more efficient, she said.

Lam said many local small- and medium-sized seafood processing enterprises still use old equipment and technology for production and providing products of questionable quality.

Moreover, the high cost of transport and distribution has made retail prices soar for seafood products on the local market, placing limits on consumption, she said.

Therefore, supermarkets should apply strict quality controls to incoming seafood products and must provide incentives for seafood products from newly formed companies, Lam said.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, deputy general director of Saigon Coop, said to sell goods to supermarkets, food enterprises, including seafood firms, must supply goods with stable quality and a taste that is suitable for local customers.-VNA