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Savvy Vietnamese producers can compete with China   2010-04-01 - VietNamNet/SGTT

Vietnamese businesses are determined to regain the rural market, which has been flooded with cheap products from China.


Upon surveying the Thai Binh provincial market, Nguyen Manh Hung, head of the marketing division at Hanoi Rubber Company (Harco), sadly concluded that people mostly consume Chinese goods.


 He still believes that there is room for Vietnamese products, if only producers can find a way to “reconquer” the market.


Since rural consumers like cheap and durable products, Harco decided to bring low-cost products to sell. A pair of well-designed Harco shoes sells for 40,000 dong. Since then Hung has heard that the products are selling very well. 


He believes the key to taking back the rural market is to diversify product design.


Unlike Harco, Kim Hang Company, specializing in aluminum products, wants to compete with China in product quality.


Nguyen Van Phuong, Director of the Hanoi branch of Kim Hang, explained that their products are available in provinces near China. Wholesalers at Ky Lua Market still grab non-stick frying pans for retail sale, even though the pan is triple the cost of Chinese pans.


Representatives from My Hao Cosmetics Company assert that their products sell better in rural areas than in cities because the goods are cheap and high quality.


Ha Cong Quy, a shop owner in Thai Binh, believes that not all Chinese goods are welcomed in rural areas, despite their low prices.


“Three or four years ago, Chinese MD electric pans and light bulbs were selling very well here,” he recalled. “However, people nowadays purchase Vietnam pans and Rang Dong lamps, which are more expensive but more durable.”


In northern areas, producers mainly distribute products through first class agents. Producers have one distributor in every province.


Dang Van Dang, the distributor for Song Long plastic products in Thai Binh, pointed to how Song Long allows its sale agents to pay under a deferred plan that encourages agents to sell its products.


Other producers agreed that they need to take good care of their sale agents. In rural areas, residents gain confidence in shop owners and they will purchase new products because of this trust.

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