BigC resumes garment purchase from Vietnamese firms

BigC pledged to resume goods order from 50 Vietnamese garment firms, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai at a press conference on the supermarket chain’s abrupt halt of buying garment products from many Vietnamese firms in Hanoi yesterday afternoon.
Customers choose Vietnamese clothes at a BigC supermarket in Go Vap District, HCMC (Photo: SGGP)
Customers choose Vietnamese clothes at a BigC supermarket in Go Vap District, HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

At a meeting between the ministry and the director general of Central Group Vietnam--the owner of BigC about the issue, the group said that it would closely work with firms and resume purchase of garment products from an extra of 100 Vietnamese suppliers in the next two weeks. The meeting organized in the morning on Thursday with the attendance of key staff from Central Group and the Thai Ambassador to Vietnam.

According to Mr. Hai, the group said at the meeting that it would scrutinize the order resume to the remaining of 50 suppliers afterwards because some have failed to meet regulations and commitments in signed contracts.

On behalf of the ministry, the Deputy Minister appreciated the group’s investment in Vietnam. Central Group is the owner of Nguyen Kim electronics shopping center and Lan Chi Mart besides BigC, providing direct jobs for 17,000 people and indirect jobs for tens of thousands of others. BigC alone recruits about 9,000 Vietnamese workers.

Central Group Vietnam contributed about VND1 trillion (US$43 million) including VND500 billion ($21.52 million) from BigC to the state budget in 2018, said Mr. Hai.

Explaining the purchase pause, Central Group said that it had a new strategy for garment industry in Vietnam. They were resetting their system and that needed a certain period of time so the group temporarily halted purchasing of Vietnamese firms’ products within 15 days.

So far the group has sent a letter to suppliers and partners in Vietnam saying that the purchase pause is just temporary. All orders signed before will continue to be implemented, said the deputy minister citing the group’s statement in the morning meeting.

Currently BigC has about 4,000 retail suppliers including 200 garment and textile firms.

Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai affirmed that the ministry requires the settlement between BigC and 200 garment suppliers must base on their signed contracts and abide by other regulations of the Vietnam law.

The ministry’s point of view is that on one side, it will create the best conditions for foreign investors particularly BigC to operate in the country but on the other side, the ministry is determined to protect interests of Vietnamese firms and consumers, Deputy Minister Hai emphasized.

Also on July 4, Central Group and Vietnam Apparel and Textile Association signed a cooperation minute so that the association will be able to solve similar issues in the future. Government agencies including the ministry will just give support to create a transparent and healthy legal business environment, he added.