Vietnam retail markets look for better year ahead

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Vietnam's retail market is expected to see an exciting year in 2011 as a recovering economy will cause consumer spending to rise, Dau Tu newspaper reported Friday, citing industry insiders.

Phan The Rue, chairman of the Association of Vietnamese Retailers, expects that market competition will be tougher this year.

He said Vietnam opened its retail sector just as the global market hit the skids. As a result, many giant retailers have not come into Vietnam, yet. Besides, foreign firms need to study the local market before launching businesses here, he added.

According to the association of retailers, the country now has 26 retail outlets owned by foreign companies. They hold 15 percent of the market.

Vu Thi Hau, deputy director of Nhat Nam Company, which owns the Fivimart supermarket chain, said many applications for opening new supermarkets are still pending approval from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

It's going to be a fierce competition, she said.

Richard Leech, managing director of CBRE Vietnam, was cited by Dau Tu newspaper as saying that the local retail market welcomed seven newcomers last year, making it one of the fastest-growing in the Asia-Pacific region.

Leech said the market is set to reach revenues of $85 billion next year, from $77.8 billion in 2010 because local consumers are spending more.

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