The Hanoitimes - Related agencies should join efforts to encourage Vietnamese people to use local-made products.
Vu Trong Kim, deputy head of the Central Steering Committee for the "Vietnamese using Vietnamese Goods" campaign, emphasized this at a recent conference of the committee in Hanoi.
Vo Van Quyen, Director General of the Domestic Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), recalled that at a seminar in 2009 many people laughed at his idea of developing made-in-Vietnam products for domestic consumers.
Since then, the production of Vietnamese goods for Vietnamese consumers has paid off well to show the significance of the campaign.
A report by the Steering Committee said the campaign has greatly contributed to increasing the total value of goods retail sales and consumer services in 2011 to over VND2004 trillion (US$95 billion), up 24.2 percent against the previous year.
It has also changed the people and businesses’ attitude towards the quality of Vietnamese products. According to MoIT’s recent survey, 90 percent of people in HCM City and 80 percent in Hanoi preferred using local-made products.
Many domestic businesses are now focused on developing their distribution network, not only in shopping malls and supermarkets, but also in traditional rural markets.
Tran Duc Lai, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication, said since the campaign was launched in 2009, more than 100 Vietnamese high-tech products available on the domestic market have been sought after. Most of similar products were imported from abroad in recent years.
Today, many foreign investors are keen to pour capital into Vietnamese high-tech projects.
However, Lai said, the campaign has not been responded to by all localities with a full sense of responsibility.
MoIT Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa said made-in-Vietnam products are much appreciated by rural consumers, but poor infrastructure remains so challenging to suppliers, not to mention the scourge of trade frauds .
To Hoai Nam, Vice Chairman of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Association, proposed that businesses respond to the campaign in a fair manner to corner the domestic market with local-made products.
He said most of Chinese goods smuggled into Vietnam across the border are of low quality and it’s impossible to put the price gauging under control.
Therefore, if smuggling continues, domestic businesses will lose interest in improving the quality of their products, he said.
Nam proposed putting an end to the monopoly of products by some major enterprises, which prevents smaller enterprises from producing similar goods.
Those companies with a 25-percent share of the domestic market should build their brand names and help small- and medium enterprises distribute their products in localities, he said.
Nguyen Manh Hung, Vice President of the Vietnam Standard and Consumers Association, said the success of the campaign depends on how to build consumer trust in local-made products.
Huynh Dam, Head of the Central Steering Committee, underlined the significance of the campaign, which is aimed at raising public awareness of the need to use made-in-Vietnam products.
The positively response by both businesses and consumers, to be sure, will help stabilize the growth of the macroeconomy, ensure social welfare, and create a consumer culture among Vietnamese people.