Vietnamese producers eye better quality hinh anh 1Illustrative photo. (Source: VNA)

Vietnamese businesses were urged to strengthen cooperation with distribution channels in addition to enhancing product quality as ways to directly put their products on shelves of foreign supermarkets.

Currently, most Vietnamese products must go through intermediaries to reach foreign retailers due to various reasons from the lack of a brand name, poor design, to tight regulations on product quality, experts said.

Direct procurement of foreign retailers was considered a good way to help local producers earn higher profits and also be a bridge to boost exports through sales with retailers in foreign markets.

It was not easy to bring locally-produced products into the foreign supermarket chains amid global integration with anticipated increased inflow of import products given trade liberalisation, according to Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, member of the National Assembly's Economic Committee.

This was because locally-made products were generally less competitive by design, quality and prices compared to imported ones, Hoa said.

He said that there would be opportunities, however, if Vietnamese businesses enhanced their product quality to meet foreign requirements and re-organised the distribution system to cut intermediaries.

Tran Duc Toan, Director of the T&N Garment Company, which recently devised ways to directly sell products at several outlets in France and the US, said that working directly with purchasing departments was the first door, which would bring higher profits than through intermediaries while receiving helpful consultation for improvements.

Earlier in September, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved the plan to promote Vietnamese businesses to directly participate in foreign distribution networks to 2020.

The project aimed to promote exports through ensuring Vietnamese products are directly sold into major distribution systems of countries in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia which signed free trade agreements with Vietnam.

Previously, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that the ministry firstly would focus on negotiating with foreign retailers which were currently operating in Vietnam to ensure Vietnamese products could penetrate their store chains not only in Vietnam but also in foreign markets.

According to the ministry, many foreign supermarkets such as BigC, Aeon and Lotte Mart have programmes to bring Vietnamese products overseas.-VNA