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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                          2  September 2011

Chinese goods dominate Vietnam market

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Vietnamese producers have lost control of their domestic market to Chinese competitors, a conference was told here yesterday.

This had resulted in the weak presence of locally-made goods in big distribution chains carrying 80 percent of supplies nationwide.

Only 10 percent of fine arts and souvenir goods and 30 percent of consumer goods available in Dong Xuan Market and other major wholesalers throughout the country are locally made.

The remainder of the goods was from China, said Do Xuan Thuy, general director of Dong Xuan Joint Stock Co, the market's investor.

Vietnamese goods had also failed to effectively dominate in many other traditional markets, said Thuy.

He blamed the poor performance on the weak competitiveness of Vietnamese goods and local firms' interests in fostering exports rather than developing local distribution channels.

Meanwhile, most of the cheap Chinese goods that dominate Vietnamese markets are imported in small volumes through border gates with lower import tax.

Flexible payment systems and good delivery services also keep the door open for Chinese goods. Thuy said small businesses in the marketplace voluntarily display Chinese products in favourable positions for which the suppliers did not spend a penny in fees.

Retailers of household goods at the conference said they wanted to sell locally-made goods because the trading of imported goods without proper certificates of origin was risky.

But Nguyen Khac Dung, a household-goods storeholder at Dong Xuan Market, said it was difficult for individual businesses to sign contracts with popular Vietnamese enterprises.

"As individual businesses, we do not have legal power to sign contracts with Vietnamese businesses," Dung said.

Nguyen Thi Huong, a children's wear seller, gave another reason for the low competitiveness of Vietnamese goods. She said they were more expensive than those from other countries.

As most consumers are now paying more attention to prices because of inflation, Huong suggested local producers offer consumers more acceptable prices.

Domestic manufacturers should review their production and marketing capacities to better sharpen their competition, said Viet Nam Retailers' Association chairman Phan The Rue.

He said companies should also foster the use of local raw materials because if they continued to depend on imports as at present, they would fail to compete with foreign products.

He also called for effective prevention from State authorities to curb smuggling of foreign goods into the country.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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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