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Gold companies eye next-door neighbors   2010-08-09 - Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon

Many gold trading companies said they are planning to expand their business and develop their brands abroad, to neighboring countries, especially Laos and Cambodia.




Nguyen Thanh Long, General Director of Saigon Jewelry Company (SJC) commented on August 7 that SJC has submitted to the Government plans to open a workshop to make bar gold in Laos and to develop the SJC brand name.


Long explained that, if the company gets permission from the HCM City People’s Committee and approval by the Government, SJC will begin making SJC brand gold in Laos by the end of the year.


“Setting workshops in Laos will be a very important step for us,” Long asserted. “SJC brand gold is still being sold in the country. However, the opening of a goldsmith workshop that produces gold bars with the local language on them will help SJC polish the company’s image in the market.”


He believes that, with a presence in Laos, Lao people will know more clearly about SJC gold, which will improve sales.


Laos and Cambodia are two countries in the region where people, like Vietnamese, have a habit of hoarding gold as assets. Therefore, this will be a big opportunity for a Vietnamese gold brand to conquer their markets.


Long went on to say that SJC will also step up production and sales of gold jewelry in Laos in 2011. After that, the business will be expanded to Cambodia.


On June 24, Sacombank-SBJ Company inaugurated Sacombank-SBJ Cambodia in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, which has chartered capital of three million dollars. According to Nguyen Ngoc Que Chi, General Director of SBJ, Cambodia is a market with great potential and high gold reserves. Recently, Cambodia has discovered a gold mine with reserves of 8.1 million tons. This is a big opportunity for SBJ to purchase gold to make bars meeting international standards.


According to Chi, the biggest advantage of Vietnamese enterprises investing in Laos and Cambodia is that the countries still cannot make bar gold themselves.


Besides gold bars. SBJ is considering bringing gold jewelry to Cambodia early next year. At first, SBJ will sell jewelry made in Vietnam, but after that, SBJ will sell products made by SBJ’s workshop in Cambodia.


“Cambodian people have a habit of wearing a lot of gold jewelry, but the products are not as sophisticated as those made in Vietnam. In order to produce jewelry in the country, we must recruit Cambodian workers, but it is very difficult to employ staff. We cannot bring in Vietnamese workers, because Cambodia only allows ten percent foreign workers,” Chi noted.


Deputy General Director of Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company (PNJ) also revealed that PNJ plans to sell products to Cambodia and Laos. However, unlike the other two companies, PNJ will sell jewelry and medium-class and lower cost products first to explore the market before taking other steps.


General Director of Agribank Jewelry Company (AJC) Nguyen Thanh Truc remarked that Laos and Cambodia are markets that many Vietnamese gold companies are eyeing, since gold trading floors have shut down and gold purchasing power is weaker on the domestic market. Truc said gold import-export policies applied by Cambodia have proven to be very “open”.


“AJC is learning about Cambodian market and preparing to penetrate it in the near future,” he confirmed.

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