Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam’s rice brand is not strong enough to be well known in the global market although the country is one of the world’s largest rice exporters, heard a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on April 28.

According to Prof. Vo Tong Xuan, Rector of Nam Can Tho University, almost all Vietnamese rice is sold with no brand name or clear origins, which has pushed its price down.

Echoing Xuan’s views, Tran Anh Tuan, an expert in branding from the consultancy firm, The Pathfinder, said Vietnam has no export nor communication strategies to assist its rice in penetrating such markets as India or Thailand.

Vietnamese rice has made less presence in European and US markets than in Asia, where the country has focused only on export volume in stead of rice quality, he said.

Tuan suggested the State orient rice associations and businesses towards brand-based sustainable export. The enterprises, themselves, should further study consumers’ demands, he said.

Other delegates at the event underlined the need to build a brand for Vietnamese rice in order to raise its values and prestige and meet requirements of the international market.

In the first three months of this year, the country exported 1.59 million tonnes of rice.

The Vietnam Food Association aims to export 1.6 million tonnes of rice in the second quarter of this year, 200,000 tonnes lower than initially planned.

Even so, rice exports in the first half of this year are expected to hit over 3 million tonnes, up 12 percent against the same period last year.

For the whole year, the export volume is expected to remain at last year’s 6.5 million tonnes.

In 2015, Vietnam earned 2.68 billion USD from rice exports, a decrease of 3.94 percent in value. Asian countries were the main buyers, accounting for 74.5 percent of exports, followed by Africa (13.77 percent) and the US (6.72 percent).-VNA