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Overseas centres promote Vietnamese goods   2012-02-02 - VNS

Viet Nam will set up offices in several promising markets including the Middle East this year to promote its goods and also attract investment.

Do Thang Hai, head of the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade planned to open five trade promotion offices in China and one or two more in the US to add to an existing one in New York.

In March a large office would open in Ukraine, Hai said.

In June VietHaus AG – meaning "Vietnamese house" in German – in Berlin will open a centre to promote Vietnamese goods.

Set up by SASCO and Global Telecommunications Service Company in 2008 at a cost of US$10 million, VietHaus consists of restaurants, hotels and halls for banquets and other events.

Nguyen Quoc Doanh, SASCO director, said VietHaus would be a good entrepot for Viet Nam to Germany and the EU.

In the Middle East, plans are under way to open a centre in Dubai in November to promote and distribute Vietnamese products.

Than Thanh Vu, president of Sao Khue Investment and Trade Promotion Co, said it would be a joint project between Sao Khue and the Viet Nam Food Association and Kien Giang and An Giang provinces.

The idea was mooted following successful participation by the country in the 2011 Rice Dubai exhibition.

Thirty Vietnamese rice exporters had taken part to explore the market but ended up signing contracts worth more than $20 million.

Vu said the Middle East was a promising market, especially for agricultural products, since there was a population of 30 million while 60 per cent of the food needs were imported.

But Vietnamese packaging and design did not suit people in the region, he admitted.

The Dubai centre would showcase agro-forestry and fisheries produce, furniture, and textile and garment.

"If a business opens its own representative office, it has to spend a minimum $20,000 per year, but this will reduce by a third or fourth if it utilises the centre," Vu said.

"Furthermore, the centre will create a network to link consumers just as Thailand's and China's centres have effectively done."

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