Vietnam concerned about big firms taking over retail chains

VietNamNet Bridge - Thai products have been flooding the market, with Thai billionaires taking over a number of Vietnamese retail chains.



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On September 15, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh chaired a meeting with key officials from departments to discover why there had been a sharp deficit increase in trade with Thailand.

Analysts commented that the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) held an urgent meeting to ring the alarm over the trade deficit with Thailand.

According to MOIT, in the first eight months of 2017, the total import/export turnover of the two countries was $9.64 billion, of which Vietnam exported $3.07 billion worth of products to Thailand and imported $6.57 billion from the country. 

According to MOIT, in the first eight months of 2017, the total import/export turnover of the two countries was $9.64 billion, of which Vietnam exported $3.07 billion worth of products to Thailand and imported $6.57 billion from the country. 

This means a trade deficit of $3.5 billion, an increase of 15.6 percent over the same period last year.

Vietnam mostly imported household-use electric appliances and components ($646 million), fruits ($618 million), CBU (complete built unit) cars ($432 million), petroleum products ($406 million), plastic materials ($403 million) and car parts ($340 million).

The ministry pointed out that Vietnamese enterprises imported products which can be made in Vietnam, including electric and electronic appliances, fruits, computers, plastics, steel and household use products.

Of 36 product items with the highest import turnover, 22 are made domestically.

Vietnam also imports products from South Korea and China in large quantities. However, MOIT and economists have reassured the public that the imports are mostly equipment and input materials which serve domestic production.

Meanwhile, the imports of these products from Thailand account for 50 percent of total imports only.

An expert said that massive imports from Thailand are foreseeable and that state management agencies are to be blamed.

He said when AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) was about to take shape, Thai goods were awaiting at the border gate to enter Vietnam. At that time, Vietnamese agencies and businesses were still arguing about what benefits AEC would bring to Vietnam.

He warned that if Vietnam cannot prepare for global economic integration, products from other markets, not only Thailand, will also flood the market.

Since its arrival in Vietnam in 2012, Thai BJC (Berli Jucker Corporation) group has acquired the controlling stake in Thai An, the distributor and importer/exporter of consumer goods in the south and has taken over Metro, the supermarket chain with 19 shopping centers. Meanwhile, Central Group has acquired Big C supermarket chain and Nguyen Kim home appliance distribution chain.


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M. Ha

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