return icon

MOIT regulation on foreign retailers contains loopholes: lawyers

VietNamNet Bridge – National Assembly deputies have expressed their concern about the dominance of foreign retailers in the domestic retail market, but the Ministry of Industry and Trade disagrees with their sentiments.

VietNamNet Bridge – National Assembly deputies have expressed their concern about the dominance of foreign retailers in the domestic retail market, but the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) disagrees with their sentiments.


Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, a National Assembly’s deputy, chair of the Saigon Co-op, one of the largest Vietnamese retailers, said on November 18 that he fears the domestic retail market will be controlled by foreign groups, and that domestic production will be seriously affected because the distribution network would not be in the hands of Vietnamese.

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang tried to reassure the public that there was no need to worry about the dominance of foreign retailers in the domestic market, saying that the watchdog agency is “using necessary tools to control the foreign retailers’ network development”.

Hoang said there are only 70 foreign-owned retail points out of the total 900 points throughout the country. Meanwhile, foreign retailers are estimated to make up only 3.4 percent of the total retail revenue of VND3,000 trillion in 2014. The proportion is even lower than the 3.8 percent recorded five years ago.

Also, foreign retailers do not have the right to distribute nine essential products.

However, Hoa said that the figures released by Hoang do not truly reflect the current retail market.

Hoa said though foreign retailers only have 70 retail points, the scale and revenue of the retail points are four to five times higher than that of domestically owned ones.

Meanwhile, retailers, thanks to their powerful financial capability, can locate their retail points in advantageous positions.

He said that foreigners’ small market share of 3.4 percent is true, taking into account the revenue from petroleum, gold and jewelry – products that only Vietnamese can distribute. Excluding these products, the foreign retailers’ market share would be much bigger.

Hoa also denied that foreign retailers are not allowed to distribute nine essential goods. “Anyone can buy rice, one of the nine items, at Big C or Metro retail points,” he said.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade often mentions the ENT (economic needs test) as a tool to bar foreign retailers from entering Vietnam.

With ENT, foreign retailers must get the nod from the watchdog agencies’ to open second and subsequent retail points. Vietnam has the right to refuse the foreign retailers’ proposal to open more retail points, if it finds it unreasonable to set up too many retail points in the same locality.

However, it is unclear what criteria the watchdog agencies refer to when considering “economic needs”.

A lawyer noted that the ENT is just a “vague” principle, with no clear criteria to determine whether foreign retailers can set up more retail points.

He noted that this is a barrier with holes, because it is questionable why Big C can set up two retail points, including one on Tran Duy Hung Street and the other at The Garden building in Hanoi, just one kilometer from each other.




Government issues details on aid for ethnic minority housing, land reclamation

GDP growth of 3.32% in Q1 nears lowest level in 13 years

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.32% in the first quarter of the year, higher only than the growth rate of 3.21% recorded in the first quarter of 2020 in the 2011 to 2023 period, according to the General Statistics Office.

Four Japanese banks to provide US$300 million for Vietnamese renewable energy

Four Japanese banks are set to co-finance a total of US$300 million to provide credit lines to power producers using renewable energy in the nation as part of efforts to help the growing country in its decarbonising process.

15 short stories by Vietnamese writer published in RoK

A collection of 15 short stories written by local author Nguyen Huy Thiep were introduced to Korean readers by Wisdom Publishing House in March.

Hanoi’s ancient pagoda in the red-silk cotton tree season

In March, red-silk cotton trees bloom, showing off their beauty at the thousand-year-old Thay Pagoda in Quoc Oai district in Hanoi.

VN Government calls for broad-based measures to help realty sector

The Vietnamese Government has recently urged ministries to take measures to help the realty sector get back on track and sustain its healthy growth.

EC drops health certificates requirement for Vietnamese noodles

The European Commission (EC) has recommended removing Vietnamese rice noodle and vermicelli brands from conditions that require health certificates and 20 per cent random testing at the port of entry.

Ministry of Industry and Trade proposes draft on cross-border trade

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is seeking public comments on a legal draft amending Decree No14 on cross-border commercial activities.

Leaders of aviation firms to be disciplined if employees committed wrongdoings

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has just released directive 1480, on enhancing smuggling and commercial fraud prevention among aviation employees.

Golden tourism route links six destinations of Vietnam, China

A golden tourism route connecting six destinations of Vietnam and China was launched in Hanoi on March 28, expected to help the two countries enhance cross-border tourism links.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister holds online talks with Chinese counterpart

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held online talks with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on March 28, during which they agreed to intensify all-level exchanges.

Vietnam International Travel Mart 2023 to spotlight cultural tourism

The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) themed “Cultural tourism” will take place on April 13-16 at the Cultural Friendship Palace in Hanoi, featuring 450 pavilions from over 50 localities nationwide, and 15 countries.

Vietnam, ILO sign decent work country programme for 2022 - 2026

The Decent Work Country Programme Vietnam 2022 - 2026 was signed between representatives of the Vietnamese Government, workers, and employers and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Hanoi on March 28.

Vietnam vows to control cross ownership in banks

The tightening of control over cross ownership aims to stop crises at banks.

Largest French cuisine festival in Vietnam comes to Hanoi in April

The largest French cuisine festival in Vietnam “Balade en France” (Walk in France) will return to Hanoi on April 14-16, following the success of the 2018 and 2020 editions, the French Embassy announced on March 28.