A Vietnamese food pavilion at the Vietnam-RoK cultural exchange in Seoul (Photo VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Vietnamese businesses need to get involved in the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s goods value chains via distribution channels and pay more attention to positioning products and label designing to build brands in the market.

Deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asia and Africa Markets Le An Hai said a notable feature in trade relations between Vietnam and the RoK over the past 25 years is the supplementary import-export structure.

He named some made-in-Vietnam products sold in the RoK such as coffee, pho, chutney, fish sauce and dragon fruit.

[Vietnamese goods favoured in RoK]

Though the RoK is a promising market, businesses face many challenges, such as strict regulations on food safety, quality of products and registration for product labels, he noted.

Furthermore, the distribution system in the RoK is complicated with hundreds of supermarkets and tens of thousands of convenience stores, resulting in high competition, he said.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is working to support businesses to access the RoK via Lotte Mart, Seven Eleven and E-mart, he added.

Vietnam is also seeking to make full use of the free trade agreement with the RoK to penetrate the market.

Apart from obeying regulations on quality and food safety, Vietnamese firms should focus on creating eye-catching products and study customers’ demand, Hai suggested.

Yoon Sang Ho, director of the Koran association of small- and medium-sized enterprises, said a strong brand will help enterprises secure market shares at home and abroad.

He advised Vietnamese enterprises to learn the Korean customers’ habits to increase their presence in the market.

Trade between Vietnam and the RoK rose nearly 87 fold over the past two decades to reach 43.4 billion in 2016 from 0.5 billion USD in 1992. In the first nine months of 2017, the figure continued to increase to hit 45.09 billion USD. The RoK is the third biggest trade partner of Vietnam, after the US and China.-VNA