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Vietnam companies take cautious steps towards Thai market

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Vietnamese enterprises have been seeking a way to penetrate the Thai market to re-establish a trade balance between the two countries.

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Vietnamese exporters have been seeking the way to penetrate the Thai market


Soon after getting a license to export sweet potatoes, MM Mega Market in early 2018 exported the first consignment of 100 tons of products to the Big C supermarket chain in Thailand. 

Sweet potatoes are the second Vietnam product exported by MM Mega Market, after dragon fruit.

“Thais like Vietnam’s sweet potato very much. We are preparing for the next shipment, slated for next month,” said Phidsanu Phongwatana, managing director of MM Mega Market.

In 2016, after wrapping up the deal to take over Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam, MM Mega Market Vietnam began thinking of exporting Vietnam’s farm produce to Thailand. The first consignment of 100 tons of dragon fruit was exported to Thailand in 2016.

The company also plans to export Ca Mau crabs, pink flesh pomelo, orange, starapple, catfish fillet, shrimp and frozen products.

Phidsanu Phongwatana said with the large distribution network of 700 Big C supermarkets and hypermarkets in Thailand, the potential of exporting Vietnam’s products is great.

Many Vietnamese companies also have been exporting products to Thailand, including Vinamit, which sells dried fruits, and Bich Chi, which sells vermicelli and rice paper, but mostly through intermediaries. Thais like Vietnam’s banh phong tom (glutinous rice chapatti mixed with powdered shrimp). 

Vu Thi Kim Hanh, director of the Business Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods (BSA), said only after bringing baskets of different kinds to Thailand to prepare for an upcoming exhibition did BSA realize that these products were being carried to Thailand every day. 

In other words, Thailand has been importing Vietnam’s products, but not through official channels. The Central Group has announced plans to export Ca Mau crabs to Thailand, but some small businesses have been doing this for a long time. 

At the Vinamit stall at the Vietnam Goods Week in Thailand last year, Jiratha tried some dried fruits and praised them.

“I like the products, which are not too sweet and can preserve the natural flavor, but I cannot find them in Bangkok,” she said.

Nguyen Lam Vien from Vinamit confirmed that the company still does not have official distributors in Thailand.

An analyst said that Vietnamese enterprises do not bring their products to Thailand as they think they are uncompetitive in the Thai market. Besides, Vietnamese enterprises are weak at branding. 

Some enterprises still cannot find official distributors in Thailand though their products have been in the market for five years.



Source: VietNamNet

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