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March 8, 2009

Australia retail firm to seek opportunities in Vietnam

The General Director of the Woolworths Australia Supermarket Group, Mark John, is scheduled to visit Vietnam between March 11-20 to study the market and negotiate with 33 local businesses over the purchase of Vietnamese-branded products.  

Vietnam Netbridge, an online news provider, quoted Nguyen Huu Chi, Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor in  Sydney as saying that the negotiations will allow Woolworths to purchase Vietnamese products directly from the producers and distribute them at its chain of supermarkets across Australia.

The products that Woolworths is keen on importing from Vietnam   include rice, dried and canned fruits, coffee, packaged tea, canned fish, vegetables, mushrooms, peanuts and seafood.  

During his working visit to Vietnam, Mark John will visit three southern agro-seafood processing factories, including the Saigon Aquatic Products Trading Joint Stock Company, the Saigon Foodstuffs & Agricultural Products JSC and the Tien Giang Food Company.  

He will also work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and representatives from some large supermarkets and food processing companies in Hanoi.  

According to Chi, since November 2008, the Vietnamese commercial agency in Australia had working sessions with Woolworths representatives to discuss the contents of the negotiations with Vietnamese enterprises.  

Established in 1924, Woolworths Australia is the largest supermarket group in Australia with more than 700 supermarkets across the country, attracting around 13 million customers per week. Its sales reached A$42 billion ($32 billion) in 2008, representing an average annual growth of 10 percent.

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