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Vietnam’s retail market still attractive   2008-06-29 - ThanhNienNews

US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Israel Hernandez seemed frank about the purpose of his recent trip to Vietnam this month: finding more and better ways to bring American goods to this country.




In less than a year, different top officials of the States’ commerce department have also visited our Southeast Asian nation.

And they all had one purpose: promoting trade between the US and Vietnam.

At the beginning of June, A.T. Kearny, an American consulting firm surprised both Vietnam’s domestic companies and its foreign counterparts by ranking Vietnam as the most attractive retail market in an emerging economy this year.

In previous years, Vietnam’s retail market was often overlooked by investors, who focused on China and India because of their huge populations and rapidly growing economies.

In its latest report, A.T. Kearny said Vietnam’s impressive economic growth was part of the reason – along with favorable government policy towards foreign investors – that domestic consumer demand had grown so unexpectedly.

According to A.T. Kearny, Vietnam’s retail market can generate revenue of US$20 billion a year.

Though small compared to China and India, the Vietnam’s retail market is growing at a much quicker pace.

Vietnamese consumers are among the youngest in Asia, with most aged under 65.

The country’s purchasing power remains high particularly, in fast moving consumer goods, such as food, clothing, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and electrical products.

More of the population, especially young people, is developing a taste for branded products.

The country’s recent economic boom has created a group with much higher incomes, able to afford products that weren’t previously within sight.

However, A.T. Kearny also warned that skyrocketing rents, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, could make it somewhat more difficult for foreign retailers to invest in the country.

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