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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   18 February 2012

Vietnam’s local products on global shelves

Global retailers operating in Viet Nam, including France's Big C and South Korea's Lotte Mart, have increased the volume of Vietnamese products being shipped to their supermarket locations worldwide.

Big C Vietnam, a subsidiary of Casino Group, reported that each year the company exported roughly 1,000 containers of Vietnamese goods worth more than US$17 million.

Vietnamese staples including coffee, rice, seafood, cashew nuts, furniture, handicrafts, household utensils, electronics and footwear, now line the shelves of Casino supermarket chains in nine countries.

Big C said that its exports of Vietnamese products last year surged 20 per cent over the previous year, adding that international consumers had increasingly favoured the products, especially seafood, coffee and garments.

A representative from Lotte Mart Vietnam also told Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon (Saigon Economic Times) that the retailer has so far brought 89 brand-name products from 31 Vietnamese companies to supermarkets in South Korea, among them processed foods such as Trung Nguyen coffee, Vinamit dried fruits, Vifon and Acecook noodles, and Vinamilk products.

Export volume of Vietnamese products to Korea surged roughly 25 per cent compared to the first shipment, the representative said, adding that the company was optimistic since sales rose to 40 per cent as expected.

He said that Vietnamese products currently represented around 15 per cent of the total imported goods sold in Korean Lotte Marts.

Lotte Mart said it was also preparing to distribute Vietnamese products to 94 supermarkets in China and 28 in Indonesia
Global retailers said they wanted to increase the availability of Vietnamese goods at supermarkets worldwide to meet the demand of consumers in those countries.

They said that it was advantageous to export Vietnamese products as the products met quality standards required by importing countries but cost less than other similar products in the markets.

However, they also noted Vietnamese producers should pay closer attention to logistics and delivery times as stated in their contracts.
To increase sales of Vietnamese products in their supermarkets worldwide, the retailers have also implemented promotional programmes to introduce Vietnamese goods to global consumers.

In November last year, Big C held a 10-day event to introduce nearly 200 Vietnamese products to French consumers at the Casino's Geant Massena supermarket in Paris. Lotte Mart also organised a trade fair to display 117 Vietnamese products in Seoul last November.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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