Vietnam works hard to boost exports to Chinese market hinh anh 1
Checking the quality of durians for export to China (Photo:
Vietnam earned 8.2 billion USD from exports to China in the first two months of 2023, posting a year-on-year increase of 4.2%, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has reported.

China is the main importer of many Vietnamese products. Therefore, China's market re-opening from January 8 brings great expectations to Vietnamese businesses, especially those exporting vegetables, fruits, seafood, fiber, cement, rubber, steel, textiles, and rice.

According to Vietnam Fruit Vegetables Association (VinaFruit) General Secretary Dang Phuc Nguyen, China's restoration of customs clearance is good news for Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters, and helps import-export activities between the two countries gradually become bustling again.

However, he also reminded Vietnamese businesses to make careful preparation when resuming their exports to this important market because China has applied new and strict regulations for imported goods.

To Ngoc Son, deputy head of the MoIT’s Asia-Africa Market Department, said Vietnam should concentrate on measures to further promote exports to China through official channels.

He recommended that localities and management agencies focus on mapping out sector-targeted development strategies in parallel with building brands and concentrated and large-scale production and specialised farming areas based on market signals.

Businesses also need to regularly update, get a better understanding of and comply with China’s regulations related to quality standards, testing, quarantine, packaging, and traceability; and pay attention to building and protecting their brands, and studying the demand and development trends of the market, Son said.

To fully tap opportunities, the MoIT has directed units to comprehensively evaluate China’s reopening policy, thus taking solutions to support enterprises.

Localities have been demanded to effectively regulate the customs clearance of import-export goods at the border gates between Vietnam and China, especially for agro-aquaculture products, and promote exports through official channels.

The ministry and relevant state management agencies have enhanced information sharing and set up hotlines to help remove difficulties facing businesses, and support them in taking part in exhibitions in China, said Vu Ba Phu, Director of the MoIT’s Trade Promotion Agency.  

Vietnam welcomes delegations of Chinese businesses which want to seek trade cooperation opportunities and partners in Vietnam, he affirmed.

Vietnam promotes negotiations of FTA with Mercosur

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is taking measures to promote the negotiations of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur - including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay), which is expected to be a driving force for Vietnam to tap the Latin American market.

In 2022, the South American regional economic bloc posted over 12 billion USD in two-way trade with Vietnam, 9.2% higher than that of the previous year. The Southeast Asian country shipped goods worth 3.3 billion USD to Mercosur and spent 8.7 billion USD on purchasing products from the region, annual rises of 3.4% and 11.6%, respectively.

Mercosur countries are strong in producing and exporting farm produce, animal feeds, industrial materials, and minerals; while Vietnam's main exports to the bloc are electronic and telecommunication devices, apparel, and footwear. Such a complementary structure of goods without direct competitiveness is a strength of Vietnam in approaching this market.

In addition, the four South American nations have yet to sign any trade agreements with countries whose export structure directly competes with Vietnam. As a result, the access to this market will create a big boost for Vietnamese goods.

According to the ministry’s statistics, trade between Vietnam and the Americas, which houses 35 countries, including Mercosur member nations, stood at 153.9 billion USD last year, an annual growth of 10.7%,

Of the total, Vietnam’s import and export value hit over 128 billion USD and 25.7 billion USD, up 12.2% and 3% year-on-year, respectively, hence a historic trade surplus of more than 102.5 billion USD.

Ta Hoang Linh, Director of the MoIT’s European-American Market Department, said Vietnamese goods can gain a better position in the Americas region and enjoy chances to grow stronger when businesses capitalise on existing FTAs.

In the ministry’s scheme, it is key to optimising the 15 existing FTAs and pushing for the negotiation of new deals, including the one with Mercosur.

Indian research intern: Vietnam’s clean energy transition accelerates

Vietnam is undergoing clean energy transition at an accelerating rate and is considered the leader of clean energy transition in Southeast Asia, Shubham Rai, a research intern in the Southeast Asia and Oceania Centre at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), India, wrote in an article.

The article, entitled “Clean energy transitions in Vietnam: Opportunities and Challenges” recently published on the IDSA website, said Vietnam has Southeast Asia's largest installed solar and wind power capacity, having surpassed Thailand in 2019. Vietnam has increased its solar and wind capacities in the last four years, with the share of solar power in electricity generation rising from practically nothing four years ago to 11% in 2021.

The nation's overall solar power capacity reached 16,500MW by 2020, much higher than its official target of 850MW. It has become the tenth biggest solar power generator in the world. While solar power has experienced the most significant growth, installed wind power capacity has also increased rapidly, reaching 600MW by the end of 2020, placing it second to Thailand among Southeast Asian nations. The country has huge potential for hydropower, which currently makes up 33% of the total energy generation.

According to the author, the Vietnamese Government implemented various plans and policies to exacerbate the process of clean energy transitions. Among the most notable policy incentives include the National Development Strategy, Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme and the National Development Power Plans.

The National Development Power Plan, the country’s primary energy outlook published once a decade, outlines how the country will generate energy. The recent plan, which came in 2021 and applicable till 2030, has prioritised the growth of renewables, particularly offshore wind energy. The plan provides a list of incentives to enhance clean energy transitions, like tax exemptions on raw materials imports, equipment, and finished clean energy products. Furthermore, it also lowered the interest rate for lending and investments in the renewable energy sector.

Other major policy incentives include the waiving or lowering of tax on leasing and land usage for solar and wind projects. Tariffs on imported goods required as inputs for installing solar power plants were also exempted. In last December, Vietnam established a 15.5 billion USD Just Energy Transition Partnership with foreign partners, including the UK, the US, the EU and Japan. The partnership aims to hasten the reduction of carbon emissions and boost the use of renewable energy. According to the Just Energy Transition Partnership Plan, Vietnam is expected to achieve peak emissions in 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, with the aim to generate 60GW of renewable energy in 2030.

However, Vietnam’s energy systems are also frequently challenged by climatic hazards like typhoons and floods. In the past decade, Vietnam transitioned from an energy exporter to an energy importer, creating concerns for its energy security. For Vietnam to continue to lead Southeast Asia in sustainable energy, it must tackle these challenges effectively, it said.

Vietnam showing better-than-average growth: Indian expert

An Indian expert has highly valued Vietnam’s post-pandemic recovery in an article recently published on

In the writing, titled “Vietnam’s macroeconomic policy and post COVID recovery”, Prof. Pankaj Jha, Director of the Centre for Security studies at India’s Jindal School of International Affairs, cited the latest IMF reports as saying that Vietnam's real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023 is estimated at 6.2%, and this clearly indicates Vietnam has been avoiding the usual recessionary trends across the Asian markets and is showing better-than-average growth.

He noted with an inflation rate of less than 4%, it clearly shows that Vietnam is likely to emerge as a promising economy in Asia.

If one looks into the core fundamentals of Vietnam following the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been clearly stated that Vietnam’s annual economic growth rate hovered between 6.3% and 6.5% for the decade preceding the current one.

One of the major aspects of this better-than-average economic growth was high foreign direct investment, increased domestic consumption, sizeable increase in the middle class, and Vietnam’s focus on promoting its manufacturing to be export-oriented.

In terms of other critical aspects, the country has been securing loans from many other international agencies over the past few years. With funding and grants from different international economic agencies, it has been able to upgrade its road, rail transport and border connectivity infrastructure along with promoting socio-economic growth across provinces, according to the article.

It added over a period of time, Vietnam has been making serious efforts in emerging as a knowledge network society. This includes improving policy applications, enhancing capacities of stakeholders, and providing information to the communities on a regular basis. Vietnam has also received more than 2 million USD grant for climate resilient inclusive infrastructure through high technology fund from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In terms of meeting UN sustainable development goals, it has successfully provided electricity to its population.

Two different aspects have gained international attention are Vietnam’s ranking of 70th out of 190 countries in terms of ease of doing business, and its major strength being a young population with nearly 70% aged 15 - 64.

The tourism sector is going to increase further given the fact that the country has signed a comprehensive agreement in boosting sustainable tourism and post-COVID recovery at the national level. During 2022 - 2025, the cumulative average tourism growth rate is expected at 13.5% on average each year, the Indian expert went on.

The transformation is also happening in terms of fiscal and monetary prudence as well as undertaking reforms within the banking system and financial governance. The anti-corruption drive that the Vietnam has undertaken in the last few years has built the investor confidence, and it is expected that Vietnam will reap the dividends of a better business environment, market connectivity, and relatively comparative advantages among other competitors in Southeast Asia.

As expected, the fundamentals are getting stronger, and therefore Vietnam can witness stronger economic growth and better macroeconomic stability in 2023, he added.

EU-funded project promotes sustainable clam, bamboo value chain in Vietnam

The sustainable clam and bamboo value chain development in Vietnam (SCBV) project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by Oxfam Vietnam in collaboration with Vietnamese partners, has benefited a large number of rural residents and stabilised these production areas in Vietnam, heard a conference in Vinh city of Nghe An on March 23 to review the project.

The project covers five provinces of Tra Vinh, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Thanh Hoa and Nghe An, aiming to contribute to promoting economic development and business efficiency of small-scale firms and processors towards sustainable standards, while strengthening market access and creating favourable policies for inclusive and sustainable development of the clam and bamboo value chain in Vietnam.

It also focused on reducing poverty nd inequality in rural areas of Vietnam, assisting clam and bamboo producers and processors in applying sustainable practices, and promoting public-private partnerships in fair and responsible chain governance.

A report from the project showed that in 2018, there are about 1.5 million small-scale producers and processors engaged in clam and bamboo industries. However, they face many challenges, mostly due to the impoverished situation of material areas as a result of degradation, overexploitation and lack of understanding of sustainable maintenance.

In this situation, the project coordinated with the localities to improve farming techniques in order to achieve international certificates such as MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) and ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) for clam, and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) for bamboo, enabling their products to enter large markets such as the US, the EU and Japan.

In 2019, Quan Hoa district in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa became the first locality in Vietnam to achieve the FSC certificate for bamboo production, followed by Que Phong district in neighbouring Nghe An province and Quan Son district in Thanh Hoa.

In early 2023, the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh became the third clam production area to achieve ASC certificate. These are considered big steps for Vietnamese clam and bamboo industries.

Phan Van Thang, Director of the Research Centre for Non-Timber Forest Product, said at the event that after receiving the FSC certificate, the bamboo forests are grown and maintained better, generating higher productivity and more stable quality products, resulting in higher socio-economic and environmental values.

Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said that thanks to the project, more than 34,000 people have enjoyed sustainable income from clam and bamboo, while 125 production groups were better organised, 63 businesses have seen their business situation advance, and more than 4,000 new jobs have been created.

At the same time, the project has helped increase Vietnam's clam exports to Europe by 38-40%, and bamboo exports by 42%, he said.

Workshop seeks solutions to prevent payment for illegal games

The Authority of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) on March 23 organised a workshop seeking measures to curb payment for illegal games.

According to the authority's statistics, Vietnam currently ranks 7th in the world and 2nd in Southeast Asia in terms of the number of game downloads. Vietnam also ranks 3rd among the region's 10 game application manufacturers. However, Vietnamese companies can only produce 10% of the games which are in circulation in Vietnam while the remaining 90% of the games are from abroad.

The actual number of the games that are circulated in the country is much more.

Le Quang Tu Do, Director of the Authority of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information, said that there are currently hundreds of thousands of unauthorized games being released online, mainly on the app stores of Apple App Store and Google Play Store, or Valve Stream. The total revenue of unlicensed games is estimated at nearly 5 trillion VND (212.8 million USD) per year.

Diverse forms of electronic payment have contributed to promoting digital content services and entertainment services such as games, movies, and e-commerce, he said, adding that e-payment is also one of the popular ways for users to directly pay for unauthorised games.

Besides payment made when users download games from app stores, many websites also allow download of unlicensed and unauthorised games directly, making it more complicated to control payment channels/money flows for unauthorized games, the official said.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Tran Thanh Lam said that the ministry will cooperate more closely with the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Public Security to handle inadequacies in payment for unauthorised games.

The ministry also requested organisations and enterprises providing intermediary payment services to strictly comply with relevant specialised laws and regulations when connecting and paying for game services.

The organisations and enterprises were asked to implement measures to prevent, not connect, and pay for unauthorized games through their payment systems or when receiving requests from state management agencies.

The Authority of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information will periodically send a list of licenced games and a list of unauthorised games to payment intermediaries so that they can refuse to provide services if people pay for unauthorised games, Lam said.

Quang Ninh province posts growth of over 8% in Q1

The northern province of Quang Ninh maintained stable and high socio-economic development in the first quarter of 2023, with gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of 8.04%, statistics showed.

The service sector recovered strongly to maintain its role as the main growth engine, contributing to 30.6% of the GRDP.

In the first three months, Quang Ninh welcomed 4.85 million tourists and earned some 8.55 trillion VND (363.9 million USD) in tourism revenue, respectively rising 2.3 and 2.7-fold from a year earlier.

Meanwhile, state budget revenue reached some 14.8 trillion VND, equivalent to 27% of this year’s estimate and up 8% year on year. The budget comprises 11.27 trillion VND from domestic sources and 3.53 trillion VND from foreign trade, representing increases of 8% and 7% respectively year on year.

For the second quarter, the provincial Party Committee targets GRDP growth of about 9.51%, state budget revenue not lower than 15 billion VND, and at least 3.6 million tourists to help attract some 15 million arrivals in the entire 2023.

Vietnam, Mexico see ample room for trade cooperation: workshop

There is no shortage of room for Vietnam and Mexico to promote their commercial cooperation, especially in the fields of energy, telecommunications, high-tech agriculture and high value added industry, said experts at a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City on March 23.

Aiming at such promotion, the event was co-organised by the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC), the Mexican Embassy in Vietnam, and the Mexican Consulate General in the southern metropolis.

Currently, Mexico is Vietnam's second largest trading partner in Latin America and Vietnam is Mexico's eighth in Asia, said ITPC Vice Director Cao Thi Phi Van at the workshop. The ties have been expanded continuously over the past years, notably after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) entered into force at the beginning of 2019, she added.

As per statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in 2022, the nations’ trade turnover topped 5.42 billion USD, up 7% year-on-year, with Vietnam’s export value to Mexico estimated at over 4.53 billion USD. The trade value between HCM City and Mexico stood at 364 million USD, of which 300 million USD was the value of HCM City's exports.

Mexican Ambassador Alejandro Negrin Munoz said Vietnam is a dynamic market that is highly valued by Mexico in Asia.

However, the sides’ trade value is yet to be on par with their market sizes and potential, he noted, adding that the potential for trade cooperation remains abundant and needs to be exploited in a more effective and balanced manner.

Vo Thi Phuong Lan, vice president of the Ho Chi Minh City Logistics Association (HLA), said thanks to Mexico’s tariff reduction commitment under the CPTPP, Vietnam's export of seafood, coffee, rubber, telephones and components, and auto parts to the market recently achieved fairly high growth rates of 27-65%. Mexico, meanwhile, has also step by step promoted its exports of beef, pork, farm produce and beverages to Vietnam.

Logistics cost optimization is key for businesses to increase their economic efficiency in trade, she advised.

International innovative fabric exhibition opens in HCM City

Vietnam Texfuture Spring Summer, an international exhibition on high-end fabric exhibition that opened in Ho Chi Minh City on March 21, seeks to inspire the use of sustainable fabrics by local producers.

It has attracted more than 200 Vietnamese and foreign exhibitors who are displaying sustainable, fashion and functional fabrics, garment and textile techniques and solutions, circular economy solutions, textile raw materials, home textiles, and accessories.

The exhibition also includes seminars on trends that will shape global fashion through 2024 spring and summer, the new age of design and how to minimise fabric textures to reduce the impact on the environment, according to the organisers.

Visitors can see yarns made from natural materials such as ramie from Thien Phuoc Ramie Group JSC and pineapple leaves from ECOSOI, silk woven from lotus by Dong Thap Lotus Silk and eco-fabric from Shanghai Sinotex Eco, discover the latest colour trends and listen to experiences in technology application and digitisation from businesses.

On March 20 and 21, the organisers coordinated with industrial parks and export processing zones in HCM City, and Binh Duong and Long An provinces to organise tours to prominent textile and garment factories and enterprises there to help establish links between local and foreign firms.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Huu Nam, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City Branch, said most fashion brands in the world now require manufacturers to fully meet social responsibility requirements like being environment-friendly by using energy and other resources thriftily.

Besides, free trade agreements, especially new generation ones, have sustainable development requirements, he pointed out.

So the garment and textile sector needs to achieve breakthroughs in terms of technology and awareness to produce more environmentally friendly and durable products and recycle used products instead of merely focusing on making products at good quality and reasonable prices, he said.

With the message "Vietnamese Textile and Garment: Stronger - Smarter – Greener," the exhibition aims to contribute to developing a green and sustainable textile industry, he added.

Organised by the VCCI, Sustainable Textile Solutions and Tengda Exhibition, the exhibition at GEM Center in HCM City’s District 1 will go on until March 24 and is expected to attract over 2,000 visitors.

Health, vehicles main growth drivers for non-life insurers in 2023

Experts have predicted that the health and vehicle insurance sectors will continue to serve as the primary growth drivers for non-life insurance in Vietnam this year.

Data from the Vietnam Insurance Association reveals that non-life insurance and health insurance comprised the largest proportion of the insurance industry's premium revenue last year, accounting for approximately 33.2%, with revenue of 22.41 trillion VND.

This represented a 24.3% increase from the same period in 2021.

In the meantime, vehicle insurance generated a revenue of 18.1 trillion VND, comprising 26.8% of the overall market revenue and witnessing an 11.9% growth rate over the same period in 2021.

Health and vehicle insurance products are expected to continue to increase this year, especially when the awareness of people and economic organisations about the role of insurance continues to be improved.

Regarding health insurance, the country’s ageing population structure and rising middle class are driving the non-life insurance market to develop.

According to analysts of the DSC Securities Company, despite high inflation, rising prices of goods and medical expenses, and increasing costs due to the pandemic’s consequences on people’s health, the compensation rate is forecast to keep stable under competitive pressure, thereby attracting people to participate.

For vehicle insurance, the potential growth is high as the trend of travelling by car is increasing thanks to the rising demand from the middle class and the Ministry of Transport’s direction to limit motorbikes.

According to experts, though the health and vehicle segments' profit margin is quite low at 60% and 62% on average, respectively, most non-life insurers still focus on promoting the segments, which is reflected in the high retention rate, averaging over 80% due to the potential for exploitation.

Vietnam’s insurance industry is expected to keep growing this year, buoyed by the country’s 6.5% GDP growth forecast.

Under Vietnam’s insurance market development strategy for 2030, the average revenue growth rate of the insurance industry in the 2021-25 period is 15% per year and will reach 3-3.3% of GDP in 2025.

The growth rate will be 10% per year in 2026-30 and will reach 3.3-3.5% of GDP in 2030.

In 2023, the Ministry of Finance expects the average growth rate of total assets, total investment, and total revenue of insurance firms to increase by about 15% compared to 2022.

With the Government’s development orientations and the new Law on Insurance Business in force from January 1 this year, the growth of most insurance segments is expected to continually depend more on the number of new policies of insurance companies.

The new Law on Insurance Business includes many notable changes, such as insurers being allowed to design and deploy insurance products independently without the Ministry of Finance’s approval and removing the ceiling with microinsurance to ensure a balance between premiums and risks.

The new law does not allow insurers to invest in real estate unless they set up other firms, which is expected to support the development of a transparent and efficient insurance market.

However, DSC noted though the new law will have a positive impact, it will not be clear in 2023.

Meanwhile, analysts of SSI Securities Company believe under the new law, insurance companies will further promote microinsurance products.

Bao Viet Insurance Corporation, Military Insurance Corporation, and Post and Telecommunication Insurance Corporation have so far promoted implementing micro-insurance products related to illness, cancer and accident risks, and educational supports, with low costs.

Deputy PM urges SMEs to make innovations

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has called on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to modernise their production and business models and expedite restructuring efforts following the emerging trends of the green economy, digital economy, and circular economy.

Khai emphasised during his address at the Viet Nam Small and Medium Enterprises (VINASME) event on Thursday that the primary objective should be to drive innovation and boost brand competitiveness.

The conference was attended by almost 400 representatives from the association's over 64,000 members nationwide.

Highlighting the important role of enterprises in promoting economic prosperity and development, Khai said that the business community in Viet Nam developed strongly in recent years, with nearly 900,000 firms, over 25,000 cooperatives and five million business households in operation.

The business community contributed around 60 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) and provided jobs for around 30 per cent of the workforce.

SMEs account for 97 per cent of the total number of firms in Viet Nam had made important contributions to economic growth, especially in maintaining and developing production and business, creating jobs, stabilising people’s lives and promoting growth, Khai said.

However, he pointed out that there were limitations in corporate governance, the application of science and technology and the linkage between SMEs.

He pointed out that the unpredictable global economy development coupled with the shift in the global value chain and the trend toward sustainability, global minimum tax issues, and new requirements about green development and climate change adaptation pointed SMEs to new challenges.

Sharing businesses’ difficulties and challenges, Khai said that the Government would improve policies and raise solutions to support enterprises, especially creating the most favourable business and investment environment.

The focus should be placed on accelerating the national digital transformation and promoting the development of private enterprises, especially in the fields of manufacturing, high technology, information and technology to establish domestic and international value chains, Khai said.

He urged VNSME to continue to raise specific solutions to accompany the Government and relevant ministries, agencies and localities to support SMEs to overcome difficulties and promote recovery and growth.

The association should strengthen the role of being a bridge to advocate policies, maintain dialogues with management agencies and enhance relationships with foreign organisations in policy advocacy for SMEs, Khai said.

He urged the association to be more proactive in studying challenges and opportunities from emerging business models, especially the requirements for sustainable development and green business and provide policy updates and guidance to member businesses and industries.

SMEs should strive to overcome difficulties and challenges and develop specific solutions to expand the scale and improve competitiveness.

The association’s fourth executive committee was selected at the meeting with 84 members. Nguyen Van Than would remain President of the association for the 2023-28 term.

Steel price rises despite falling demand

The price of construction steel is on the rise despite the fact that the demand for this type of construction material remains weak, insiders have said.

The selling price of steel in Ha Noi is VND18 million (US$761) per tonne, which is approaching its peak recorded in mid-2022.

Nguyen Van Sua, a steel industry expert, said that this year the steel price may not reach its peak as in 2022, but it is on the rise because the actual demand is not high.

Production and sale of the steel industry depend heavily on the implementation of real estate, bridge and road projects. However, these projects are at standstill, he said.

Hoang Cuong, an iron and steel dealer on Tam Trinh Street, Ha Noi’s Hoang Mai District, said since the beginning of this year, steel prices have increased seven times, with a total increase of about VND1.2 million per tonne.

According to him, the price of billet and raw materials has increased, so manufacturers adjusted the selling price of finished steel.

A representative of a steel firm said that the demand for real estate is low while the cost of input materials remains high, thus, the selling price is raised to reduce losses.

According to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA), the selling price of finished steel has increased slower than the growth rate of input materials, affecting the performance of steelmakers.

Hoa Phat Group said that in the first two months of 2023, the sale of steel products in the domestic and foreign markets both decreased over the same period.

Specifically, the group sold 282,000 tonnes of construction steel in February, down 37 per cent year-on-year. It supplied the market with 186,000 tonnes of hot rolled coil (HRC) steel in the month, more than two times higher than the previous month but declined by 20 per cent year-on-year. 

OCOP products struggling to reach domestic supermarket shelves

The One Commune One Product (OCOP) scheme has encountered a challenge in promoting local products, as producers face difficulties getting their products into local supermarkets, let alone big retail systems in major cities.

According to the Department of Industry and Trade of the northern province of Vinh Phuc, statistics reveal that the province currently boasts 105 OCOP products.

Among them, 26 products meet the four-star OCOP standards, 79 products meet three-star OCOP standards and many other high-quality traditional products.

Many of these products are exported.

However, a representative of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade told Dai Doan Ket (Great Unity) newspaper that although OCOP products were of high quality and high economic value, which met the requirements of standards and regulations on goods as prescribed, they still had no place in retail supermarkets and stores.

Deputy Director of the Centre for Information and Digital Technology under the Viet Nam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency Bui Huy Hoang said that one of the reasons why local OCOP products were locked in output, especially in consumption at supermarkets, was because farmers mainly produced in small and fragmented ways, without traceability, records and documents in transactions and purchases.

In addition, he said businesses had not paid much attention to building brands, packages and labels. This made OCOP products not accessible to the modern retail system.

Vu Vinh Phu, former Chairman of the Ha Noi Supermarket Association, said that there were still factors in the system of supermarkets, especially supermarkets with foreign elements, had very high input standards.

This required manufacturers to meet the regulations and criteria set by retailers as well as based on the needs of consumers and State management agencies. Retailers must impose those regulations on manufacturers, said Phu.

Agricultural experts said that for OCOP products to open up output, distributors and manufacturers had a common responsibility to build trade and connections to bring goods to consumers.

In particular, the responsibility of distributors was very important because only they knew what consumers need to guide manufacturers, said experts. 

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes