Overseas Vietnamese can boost Vietnam’s export sales

HA NOI (VNS) – There are currently some 2.7 million Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) living in 90 countries and territories across the world. They present an extremely valuable market for products made in Viet Nam, with estimated annual spending on these items totalling about US$100 million. Meanwhile, the value of products bought in Viet Nam during their visits to the country adds up to tens of millions of US dollars.

According to Do Thang Hai, director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's (MOIT) Trade Promotion Department, these figures are still very small compared to the nation's export potential. He said that the purchasing power of the overseas Vietnamese is very great, and more should be done to increase trade to countries with large Vietnamese populations.

Tran Dang Lam, a student in London, England, said that the Vietnamese products sold there were mainly food, and the consumers were mainly Asians. He said information about Vietnamese products was hard to find there.

Nguyen Thanh Cong, an overseas Vietnamese living in the Federation of Russia for seven years said that when living far away from the homeland, it is common for Vietnamese people to miss food.

"Information about Vietnamese products, particularly in markets, super markets and convenience stores is very scarce," Cong said.

According to Pham Quoc Toan, director of the Marketing Unit of the Incentra Investment Company Ltd in Moscow, the main channel importing Vietnamese food to the Russian market works through international trade events, such as the annual World Food Fair and international tea and coffee trade fairs.

Vu The Hoang, deputy director of the Representative Office of the N-M company in Ukraine said the demand for Vietnamese products is big there due to a large Vietnamese population of over 10,000. He said the popular products are quite diverse, and range from clothes to leather shoes, artwork, food and agricultural products. He called for the Ministry of Industry and Trade to focus more attention on promoting Vietnamese exports to Ukraine.

Hai reinforced the demand that Vietnamese people living abroad have demand for more Vietnamese products, particularly food. He admitted that there are comparative disadvantages for Vietnamese products in foreign markets compared to other trade marks. In addition, he argued that Viet Nam has not promoted trade well for the overseas Vietnamese market.

Other important factors were that, he said,the products have not received due attention including the building and protecting of trade marks by Vietnamese enterprises. Quite a few products have been well received by clients, yet faked versions have later appeared in the market. As a result, this has led to clients boycotting the original products.

Hai said that to overcome these issues, his department would focus on promoting trade, advertising the merits of Vietnamese products and strengthening production capacity of domestic enterprises.

"In co-operation with Viet Nam Trade Offices and Trade Promotion Offices abroad, MOIT will organize more trade fairs and exhibitions overseas while sending delegations to investigate opportunities in the hope of expanding the markets in countries that have many Vietnamese people living and working there, including the US, European Union, East Europe and others," Hai said.

He added that MOIT has planned to invite overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs to visit their homeland to seek opportunities for co-operation with trade partners and manufacturers to bring Vietnamese products to the world. — VNS

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