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ECONOMYTRADE - SERVICE

Vietnam: Attracting interest from Japanese retailers

Updated at Sunday, 19 Nov 2017, 10:56
The Hanoitimes - In recent years, Japanese consumer goods are becoming familiar to Vietnamese customers.
This is not only a business opportunity for Japanese enterprises, but also a motivation and pressure for Vietnamese enterprises to enhance competitiveness. According to the Director of the Japan External Trade Organization’s (JETRO) agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food division Kazuhiro Takahashi, Vietnam is a high potential food market for Japanese enterprises, especially fisheries. 
 
Aeon Mall in Long Bien, Hanoi.
Aeon Mall in Long Bien, Hanoi.
Representative of Kyokuyo company Katsuya Uchida, Vietnam’s market is contributing 30% of total fisheries for export. In which, salmon and tuna are favorite products and received positive responses from customers. In order to facilitate export and infiltrate the market, Japanese enterprises in consumer goods are localizing some components of the products to suite the taste and preference of Vietnamese customers. 

Moreover, in order to cut expense and reduce product’s price, Japanese enterprises are actively looking for partners supplying ingredients and input materials right in Vietnam. Recently, more than 80 Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises have participated in a trade conference in Dong Nai province, with a view to facilitate cooperation and calling for investment for development. Representatives of Japanese enterprises operating in Dong Nai said, almost all of them have to import 60 – 90% of input materials from abroad for production. As such, enterprises want to look for partners and suppliers right in Vietnam market for input supply and ensure product quality, competitive price. As such, it can reduce the rate of import from abroad and increasing the localization rate. 

Being one of the biggest Japanese super market brand in Vietnam, Aeon’s policy at Vietnam market is to have 80% Vietnamese products and the remaining 20% are imported from Japan and other countries. According to representative of Aeon in Vietnam, the increasing presences of Japanese retailers is opportunities for high quality Vietnam’s goods to appear in the distribution channels of credible Japanese retailers. 

However, in order to join these distribution channels from Japan, Vietnamese goods must prove its origins, which have been verified for quality in accordance to the law, as well as the quality standard of each super market. For experts, the preferences of Vietnamese customers to Japanese goods are opening doors for Vietnamese enterprises to improve their business models and increase competitiveness. Therefore, enterprises should have a clear strategy to produce safe product, meeting quality standard suitable with demand of local customers. 

In particularly, for Vietnamese goods to be displayed in stores and super markets of foreign companies, enterprises have to fulfil criteria with regard to food safety and diversification in each season. At present, the Ministry of Industry & Trade has accessed some foreign distribution channels in Vietnam such as Aeon, Wallmart, Lotte, Auchan, and some are planning to join Vietnam’s market such as Co.op Italia, Bonat Italia, Central Group, Ocean and Metro to facilitate the presence of Vietnamese goods in international markets. However, in addition to the support from the government, enterprises have to increase product’s quality with reasonable price for better competitiveness. 

Besides, it is necessary to have an efficient linkage between associations to form large scale suppliers, in turn creating conditions for small enterprises to access the market. Customers are having a higher requirements for product quality so instead of competing for price, enterprises have to increase their product quality for sustainable development. 
Ngoc Thuy
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