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Businesses thirsty for information

 VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese businesses have been planning their business strategies based on their feelings or the data from unclear sources. They do not know where they should go to find reliable information.

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese businesses have been planning their business strategies based on their feelings or the data from unclear sources. They do not know where they should go to find reliable information.


“Where will you go to find the information about the market demand, production scale or businesses’ market shares to draw up your business strategies?”

All the businesses reporters contacted could not answer the question. They simply said that they would try to “look for information from different sources.”

There are two groups of information. The first one is the general information about macroeconomic policies. Businessmen can ask for the information from state management agencies, including the General Statistics Office, Taxation Department, Customs Department, State Bank, Ministry of Finance or Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The agencies belonging to ministries and local newspapers are also the reliable information sources.

However, in most cases, businessmen cannot get information through the “official ways” A lot of materials, reports are not made public on websites or official information channels.

If so, businessmen would have to exploit their private relations to obtain information. “You’ll only be able to get the information from the hard-to-please agencies like customs or taxation bodies, if you have relations with the heads of the agencies,” the director of a business said.

“You can also get the information from the agencies’ officers, but you will have to pay for this,” he continued.

“Even the agencies responsible of providing information to the subjects in the society also sell information through unofficial channels,” he added.

The second group includes the specific information relating to some special issues, or the selected information in themes. In this case, businesses have to carry out surveys themselves to find the information they need, or hire professional market survey firms to do this.

The above said director said it would cost from tens of millions of dong to VND100 million to hire private survey firms, such as Agrimonitor, Stoxplus, Vietnam Report or the Credit Information Center.

Multinational groups, foreign law and securities firms also provide specific reports. But they always require very high fees of up to hundreds of millions of dong, which proves to be unaffordable by the majority of Vietnamese businesses.

Especially, AC Nelson, BMI (Business Monitor International), EIU (Economic Intelligent Unit), Reuters, Bloomberg, or Mayer Brown may charge tens of thousands of dollars on every report.

Foreign newswire agencies like Bloomberg and Reuters provide information packages to clients, who can log in through their accounts. On average, an account is charged several thousands of dollars a month.

The chief representative of an US law firm in Vietnam noted that the information is not ready to satisfy clients’ requirement, but it needs to be collected from different sources for analyzing.

He also thinks that the costs to get information in Vietnam are higher than in other markets, while the quality of information is worse.

As the information is too expensive in Vietnam, small and start-up businesses do not have the financial capability big enough to buy information from the good information stores.

Analysts believe that the development of private run data companies would help improve the situation. However, Vietnam Rating, one of such companies, “died” some years ago at the young age because of the weak input data, which led to unreliable output reports.



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