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Big C set to break into Hue   2009-03-28 - VietNamNet/VIR

The Big C brand will become the first foreign-invested trade centre in Hue after the Espace Business Hue Company was granted an investment licence by Thua Thien-Hue authorities recently.


The Espace Business Hue Company (EBHue) is a joint-venture between Hanoi-based EGB Trade, Service and Distribution Company, Hong Kong-based Cavi Retail Company Limited and the Cavi Company Limited.


The EBHue will invest a total of VND298.8 billion ($17.52 million) in building a trade centre in Phu Hoiward, Hue, which is authorised to import goods and products to sell in a supermarket to be opened within the framework of the trade centre, lease stores, export and franchise.


The Vietnamese EGB partner will contribute 5.55 per cent of the total investment capital, while Cavi Retail makes up 49.4 per cent and Cavi 0.5 per cent. The remaining amount will be raised from other sources. The project, which has a 40-year lifespan, will cover 3,930 square metres.


Head of the Thua Thien-Hue Planning and Investment Department’s external economic section, Phan Canh Huy, said the EBHue would use the Big C brand for the trade centre through buying a French Casino Group franchise, the owner of the Big C brand.


Under Vietnam’s World Trade Organization commitments, the country has opened up the domestic market for the establishment of 100 per cent, foreign-owned retail enterprises.


In its Circular 09/2007/TT-BTM issued on July 2007, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) regulates that foreign investors who are permitted to distribute goods and products in Vietnam can only open more retail outlets following the first outlet after receiving permission of the authorities in the local levels based on their economic need tests.


“It means that foreign investors who were previously allowed to set up their retail bases under Vietnam’s bilateral agreements with their governments will have to obey the rule from January 2009, getting local governments’ permission to open other new retail outlets,” said Hoang Thi Tuyet Hoa, deputy general director of the MoIT’s Planning Department.


The Casino Group opened the first supermarket of its in southern Dong Nai province under the name of Casino Supermarche. Until 2004, Casino Supermarch Vietnam renamed to Big C brand.


There have been so far eight hypermarkets and trade centres bringing the Big C brand in Vietnam, including in Hanoi, Haiphong, Danang, Bien Hoa and Ho Chi Minh City, which were opened under forms of joint venture, wholly foreign investment and franchising. Under the investment licence granted by the Thua Thien-Hue authorities, the trade centre will start operation in September, this year.


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