The Ministry of Industry and Trade wants to move the nation away from traditional markets to a modern retail distribution system, accounting for 40 percent of the total retail trade by 2020.

Presently the modern retail distribution channels accounted for only 20 percent of the total retail trade, including food, hardware, appliances etc, Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa told a recent conference in Hanoi.

The rest was sold at traditional markets.

Statistics from the ministry showed that the country now had more than 8,500 traditional markets, 615 supermarkets and 102 commercial centres.

However, traditional markets accounted for 80 percent of the total retail market, Thoa said.

“The strategy would focus on developing the distribution system nationwide, creating favourable conditions to develop businesses in all economic sectors, especially providing supports for small and medium-sized enterprises,” Thoa said.

She said the strategy would also create an association to establish big groups for retail distribution systems.

In addition, it would develop commercial infrastructure to accelerate the domestic market and open the retail market under the road map established when it joined the WTO, she said.

The conference was named the “Development Strategy for Domestic Market in the Period of 2011-20”.

Thoa said the domestic market turnover this year was expected to reach nearly 2 trillion VND (95 million USD), increasing 29 percent over last year.

“If we exclude the price increase factor, the growth rate of the domestic market would be 7-8 percent,” she said, adding that this was a relatively high level in the context of the global economic crisis.

Truong Quang Hoai Nam, head of the ministry’s Domestic Market Department, said the strategy aimed to reach a domestic growth rate of 10 percent a year while turnover would be 20 percent of GDP./.