Vietnam has over 170 foreign-invested retail establishments, including about 110 supermarkets and trade centres run by famous brands like Big C, Lotte Mart, Aeon and Emart (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has built a project promoting the engagement of Vietnamese enterprises in foreign distribution systems through 2020 given the modest proportion of the country’s direct exports to overseas markets.

The project has been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and is expected to create more links between Vietnamese firms and foreign retailers.

Ta Hoang Linh, head of the European-American Markets Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the project aims for sustainable development and harmonised interests for both domestic and foreign enterprises.

When enterprises directly participate in the global distribution network, they will better grasp the demand of customers and gain access to advanced quality management modes, thus enabling them to meet export standards of global leading retailers and develop their brands.

Statistics showed that Vietnam has over 170 foreign-invested retail establishments, including about 110 supermarkets and trade centres with at least 500 square metres of floor area run by famous brands like Big C, Lotte Mart, Aeon and Emart.

Foreign retailers not only prioritise made-in-Vietnam products in their network in Vietnam but also join in exporting Vietnamese goods through their distribution networks abroad.

Experts said this is an important channel to help promote the export of Vietnamese goods to foreign countries as well as increase the competitiveness and develop the Vietnamese brands in the global market.

Paul Lee, vice president in charge of supporting small-and medium-sized enterprises and promoting trade from the Central Group Vietnam, said most made-in-Vietnam products have good quality, particularly agriculture and aquatic products.  

However, when exporting to foreign markets, local businesses do not pay much attention to packaging, designing and tastes of customers in each country, he said, adding that this is the weak point of Vietnamese firms.

Cao Thi Phi Van, Vice Director of Ho Chi Minh City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre held that it is difficult for Vietnamese enterprises to enter the foreign modern distribution networks. She said besides good quality, nice packaging and competitive prices, domestic firms must study the process and standards to export their products to those networks.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said there are many ways for Vietnamese businesses to export products, but selling to a foreign distribution network is a convenient way, as once a product is accepted by a network, it will be sold at all facilities of that network worldwide, thus helping promote the brand on a large scale in the international arena.-VNA