Potential export directions for Vietnamese agricultural products

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) supermarket systems have been bringing many Vietnamese agricultural products into their retail systems worldwide - one of the potential export directions for agricultural products, said economic experts.

Vietnamese products are introduced in Thailand

At an event to promote lychees at Tops Food Hall supermarket at a price of more than VND170,000 (US$7) a kg in Thailand

At an event to promote lychees at Tops Food Hall supermarket at a price of more than VND170,000 (US$7) a kg in Thailand

This mid-August, the Ministry of Industry and Trade coordinates with the Central Retail Group in Vietnam operating the Big C, Tops Market and GO! brands to organize Vietnamese Goods Week at Bangkok-based Central World with the participation of nearly 100 businesses.

At the special week, Vietnamese businesses introduce regional specialties and OCOP products from the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnamese businesses also connected trade with retail distribution systems in Thailand to seek trade and investment cooperation opportunities.

Previously, in July, the Central Retail group imported Vietnamese lychees to Thailand. It organized an event to promote lychees at Tops Food Hall supermarket at a price of more than VND 170,000 (US$7) a kg. This is the second time Central Retail has brought lychee to Thailand.

In June, AEON Vietnam supermarket introduced Vietnamese products to all supermarkets and retail stores under the AEON system in Japan. A representative of AEON Vietnam supermarket said that Vietnam's key products are still fresh agricultural and seafood products such as lychees, longans, bananas, dragon fruits, fresh coconuts, shrimp, octopus, and catfish. Japanese consumers welcomed Vietnam's fruits and seafood products.

Deputy General Director of AEON Corporation Japan Mitsuko Tsuchiya said this is the first time the Japanese AEON system has introduced Vietnamese agricultural products. She revealed that from 2017 to 2022, the total export value of Vietnam's products through AEON's retail system to Japan and other countries has reached more than US$2 billion, mainly made-in-Vietnam fashion and household products, and health and beauty care products.

According to Marketing Director of MM Mega Market Dinh Quang Khoi, the supermarket introduced Vietnamese products, especially fresh agricultural products, into the group's supermarket chain many years ago. Businesses are learning more about the EU, US, Japan, and Korea markets to export Vietnamese agricultural products to distribution channels here. In 2023, MM expects exports to increase by more than 20 percent to 30 percent year-on-year.

Businesses take advantage of opportunities

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu supposed that staff of the embassy and AEON Group should regularly exchange their studies about the market to bring Vietnamese agricultural products into the Japanese market. Based on their studies of markets in the two countries, suitable products will be chosen to introduce to supermarkets. In the coming time, AEON and the Ministry of Industry and Trade and provinces will organize events to introduce high-quality Vietnamese products to Japanese consumers.

Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European - American Market Department Ta Hoang Linh commented that distribution systems of foreign retailers have become an effective and sustainable export channel for Vietnamese goods. More and more businesses and associations and localities are interested in this form of export. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has coordinated with most localities to promote local businesses to export to international distribution channels.

Foreign distribution channels which are considered effective export channels to promote Vietnamese brands and products are increasingly appreciated. In recent years, Vietnam has become a major global production center to supply many products with diversity, and variety with competitive prices to the world market. Accordingly, many retail distribution corporations with strategies to diversify and ensure sustainable supply have chosen Vietnam as one of the key points to develop the supply chain for their systems.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade assesses that these are very good ‘gateways’ for Vietnamese goods to be distributed around the world. However, distributors also need quality goods and competitive prices to serve customers, so Vietnamese businesses must always make efforts to have goods that meet this requirement.

Deputy Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Nguyen Phuong informed that supermarkets with FDI capital are often large enterprises with distribution channels in many countries and they was a lot more experienced in quality management for export. In recent years, FDI supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City have become very good export channels. These supermarkets hire staff working in many countries and do not depend on intermediary businesses in the importing country, so they can reduce costs and lower product prices to compete with agricultural products from other countries. Therefore, this is an effective export direction that Vietnamese businesses should grasp.

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