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Cooperation culture needed for efficiency and profits   2010-01-18 - VietNamNet/TT

What can be done to improve the strength of Vietnamese goods? One answer is that Vietnamese manufacturers should cooperate with each other instead of competing alone.


Vietnamese manufacturers have been told to cooperate with each other instead of competing alone.

After 100 years of operation, Lien Thanh fish sauce brand only discovered the efficiency of cooperation five months ago. 


The company joined with a distributor so that Lien Thanh could concentrate solely on making the best fish sauce it can. The company does not have to divide its focus to also sell the product, because this is handled by Sao Viet Company.


Ngo Thi Hoang Mai, Deputy Director of Lien Thanh Fish Sauce Company, is satisfied with their cooperation. Lien Thanh once spent a lot of money building its own distribution network, but the profit did not deserve the cost.


Nowadays, the company only has to do what it knows best – making fish sauce.


“Now is the right time for Vietnamese enterprises to think of production specialision,” Mai asserted.  “They should focus their strength on the things they know best instead of trying to do everything.”


Bui Duy Duc, General Director of Vissan, calculated that his company’s sales have increased by 30 percent after a short time of working with Foocosa.


“The cooperation of Vissan and Foocosa, also a big name in food production, has helped the two brands take full advantage of their strength,” Duc maintained.


Meanwhile, Tran Van Hung, Casuco Can Tho Branch Director, said that the sugar company has called for cooperation, but has yet to find a “common voice” with other enterprises.


Hung complained that the biggest problem for Vietnamese businesses now is the lack of a “cooperation culture.”


According to Pham Phu Ngoc Trai, Indochina Director of Pepsico, sugar production is one of the fields with the most serious cooperation problems.


Trai estimates that the total productivity of sugar producers is at 1.6 million tons per annum, enough to provide half of the demand, because they lack materials. Why are materials lacking? Bad cooperation practices between sugar cane growers and sugar producers. The atmosphere has not improved in last decades.


As a result, Vietnam has to import sugar.


Dr Nguyen Ngoc De, an authority on Mekong Delta Development Studies, explained that while experts have emphasized the necessity for cooperation between the State, farmers, enterprises and researchers, no suitable cooperation methods have been found.


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