Retailers selling directly to consumers face different challenges than other industries and need an increased level of support from governmental authorities in making the transition to open market competition, speakers at the seminar said.
Since opening its markets, Vietnam retailers have cooperated with foreign retailers, benefiting from their experiences and have experienced an overall growth rate of nearly 6%.
However, in the future after Vietnam signs some important trade agreements, such as trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Free Trade Agreement with EU, Vietnamese retailers will face increased competition in the marketplace.
They need to adequately prepare themselves to meet the upcoming challenges and the onslaught of competition that is most certain to emerge, speakers at the conference said.
Hanoi Supermarkets Association President Vu Vinh Phu, said production businesses’ low capital, poor professional skills and weak infrastructure have hampered effective competitiveness.
Farmers often find it difficult to sell products to supermarkets because they aren’t adequately equipped with the proper underlying documents such as receipts, invoices that are a baseline requirement of competition in the emerging markets.
The assistance of the government is absolutely essential for producers and retailers to jointly invest and restructure production, Phu said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Market Department Deputy Head Tran Nguyen Nam, said the ministry will continue to organise more exchanges, seminars and talks to create a closer link between producers with distributors to develop the domestic retail market stably capable of competing with foreign rivals.
Vietnam has the capacity to compete with foreign brand names when Vietnam fully opens the market in 2015, but much preparedness remains to be done.
Domestic retailers need to undertake a host of measures including raising market shares and capital, diversifying trading methods and models, merging shops and restructuring retail networks to ensure competitiveness.