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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vietnamese producers urged to cement position in Cambodia

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam-made products have become the second-most favoured products in the neighbouring market of Cambodia, just after Thai goods, a survey has found. However, Vietnam could be dislodged from the second position if it does not come up with suitable business strategies for the market.

The survey of Cambodian retailers and Vietnam-, Thailand- and China-made goods in the Cambodian market, conducted by BSA and Truong Doan Market Survey Company in August 2009 in Phnom Penh and Battambong, showed that Vietnam-made goods are popular in the country.

There are two main factors that are responsible for this: they are cheaper than Thai products and have acceptable quality.

The programme on introducing high-quality Vietnamese products in Cambodia, which has been in existence for eight years, has also made a considerable contribution to the popularising of Vietnamese goods in the market. A lot of Vietnamese brand names like Kinh Do or Vina Acecook have become familiar to Cambodian consumers.

However, the said survey has also pointed out problems with Vietnam-made goods. Goods are often inconsistent as far as quality.

Many Vietnam-made products are unfriendly to Cambodian consumers, since no Khmer words are on the packages or instruction books. This is particularly critical in sales of fertiliser or pharmaceutical products.

Some Cambodian retailers have complained that they cannot contact Vietnamese producers when necessary, since no addresses are provided on product packages. Meanwhile, Cambodian retailers say that they can get support from Thai producers when selling Thai products.

As for food products, Vietnamese producers still have not made deep studies of the tastes of consumers; they are simply selling the products they have. Instant noodles are an example. Vietnamese noodles are selling well on the market, but just because they are much cheaper than the same products from Thailand.

The current position may be lost

Cambodia, with 14.7 million people and income per capita at $600 per annum, as well as an open import policy (no limitation is set on the imports of the country), is a market with great potentials for Vietnam.

In 2008, two-way trade between Vietnam and Cambodia was $1.7 billion, of which Vietnam exported $1.45 billion.

However, Truong Cung Nghia, Market Survey Director of Truong Doan, has warned that Vietnam will be dislodged from the position if it does not come up with suitable business strategies.

China still does not consider Cambodia a potential market, so it has no plan to develop the market. But the situation may be different in the future.

Meanwhile, goods from Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia have begun landing in the market. The Chinese community in Cambodia has close relations with the Chinese communities in the said countries.

Additionally, Thailand continues conquering the market with methodical measures and with support from the Government. Meanwhile, Vietnamese enterprises do not get any support from their Government.


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