Firms need help to make Vietnamese goods popular: businesses

Vietnamese businesses have the capacity to make goods that can attract local buyers if the Government has policies to assist them, said local firms at a seminar, “Giving priority to Vietnamese goods – Opportunities and challenges,” held by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council and HCMC TV November 1.

Shoppers look at domestically-produced foods at Co.opMart Cong Quynh in HCMC’s District 1 (Photo: SGGP)

Participants said the Politburo’s program to encourage Vietnamese people to buy Vietnamese-made goods is a good opportunity for local producers to develop their business and penetrate the domestic market.
With the Government’s assistance, many Vietnamese firms have focused their efforts on improving the quality of their goods and distributing them nationwide.
However, businesses said to implement the program, there needs to be further investment in technology to improve the quality of Vietnamese goods so that they can compete with foreign goods.
A business owner added that the Government has yet to fully assist local firms, in terms of technology.
Vu Kim Hanh, director of the Business Studies and Assistance Center, said, “If the Government doesn’t monitor the local market well, enterprises will be at a disadvantage and even defeated right in their own country.”
Businesses are not encouraged to improve the quality of their products and their competitive capacity when the market is full of imitations and illegally imported goods, she added.
Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, Saigon Co.op general director, said many of the Government’s measures and polices to assist local firms in terms of administrative procedures and market management have not been adopted by relevant agencies.
Ms. Hanh said assistance policies, which do not violate international rules, need to be implemented soon.
Vietnamese producers also complained that the domestic distribution system, especially in rural areas, is still poor so that it has limited buyers to approach local goods.
Duong Thi Ngoc Dung, general director of Nha Be Garment, said to have the company’s products put on shelves at big trading centers like Parkson or Diamond Plaza, her company has to transfer products overseas to register brand names and then bring them home to sell in these centers.
In this way, it has taken her company much money and time, she said, adding it is the reason why it is hard to sell Vietnamese products at home.
Ms Dung said space is also a headache for local companies. It costs US$5,000 to 10,000 per month to rent a shop, and landlords have raised the prices continuously.
Mr. Hoa said expansion of the sales network requires lots of money, especially when local firms are competing fiercely with foreign businesses for shop space. 

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By Van Anh – Translated by Hoang Yen

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