The Vietnam multi-level marketing (MLM) association made its debut on March 31 in Hanoi with an expectation of creating a professional system of MLM companies.

Truong Thi Nhi, President of the association, said the organisation will focus on improving the capacity of MLM companies in Vietnam and improving connections among local firms operating in the arena.

The association, she added, will work with state management agencies in the process of building mechanisms and regulatory policies concerning MLM activities in order to create a healthier and more equal environment for competition.

In addition, it will carry out support and cooperation programmes with regional and international MLM associations.

Addressing the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Le Danh Vinh said since the adoption of the Law on Competition in 2004, MLM has been recognised as a legal form of business in Vietnam .

The MLM market, joined by 45 local and foreign firms, has developed significantly in Vietnam over the last five years.

According to statistics updated by the end of 2009, there are 32 operating MLM companies with 700,000 distributors in the market, offering around 1,000 product lines, mainly nutritional supplements, cosmetics and household utensils.

With 2.1 trillion VND in sales (109,2 million USD) in 2009, or a 150 percent rise against the figure in 2008, these firms contributed nearly 660 billion VND in taxes to the state budget and donated five billion VND to humanitarian causes./.