Vietnamese businesses now try to penetrate foreign market with the support of the Viet Kieu in the host countries, who are described as the “natural link” which bridges Vietnamese products and overseas markets.
The “natural link”
A report by the Overseas Vietnamese Committee, an arm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, showed that some 4.5 million Vietnamese are living, working and studying in 103 countries and territories all over the world. They have been well integrating into the communities with high financial and intelligence capability.
Statistics showed that about 500,000 Viet Kieu returns to the homeland every year and many of them come to seek business opportunities. About 3500 Viet Kieu invested companies have been set up in Vietnam so far with the total registered capital of 8.4 billion dollars.
Viet Kieu can also act as the businessmen popularizing Vietnamese products in overseas markets.
Luong Van Vinh, General Director of My Hao Cosmetics Company, said when traveling abroad, he always tries to find out what consumer goods overseas Vietnamese use. And Vinh has realized that while the people from other countries always use the products made by their homelands, Viet Kieu rarely use Vietnamese products. It is simply because they do not have many opportunities to access and learn more about Vietnamese products.
Therefore, Vinh believes that Vietnamese enterprises should think of bringing their products to the overseas Vietnamese communities through Viet Kieu.
Huynh Xuan Long, a Viet Kieu in the UK, Director of the Kim Son Farm and Seafood Produce, and the Long Dan supermarket chain, has affirmed that Viet Kieu really like using Vietnamese products and advertise the products in the local markets.
In order to make Vietnamese goods salable, it is necessary to make the Vietnamese brands well-known to consumers. Though Vietnamese goods have high quality, Vietnamese enterprises do not spend big money on branding. Therefore, they always find it difficult to access consumers.
Meanwhile, Long said, in the UK some production workshops label their products as “made in Vietnam” products for better consumption.
Kim Son and Long Dan have been distributing 4000 farm produce and household goods items in the European market in recent years, while the number is expected to increase to 10,000 in some more years. Especially, not only Vietnamese, but Chinese, Thai, Italian and Turkish also favor Vietnamese products.
“Buy Vietnamese” campaign to be launched overseas
Do Trac Bang, Chair of the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Association, said Vietnamese products have to compete fiercely with Chinese and Thai goods in overseas markets. Besides, since few Vietnamese goods have been imported, Viet Kieu do not have many chances to use Vietnamese goods.
A lot of overseas Vietnamese have suggested launching the “Buy Vietnamese” overseas, the same as the campaign launched in Vietnam. Once a program is run, Viet Kieu would join forces to popularize Vietnamese products.
Bang also said that a lot of Viet Kieu businessmen are now the suppliers to foreign supermarkets and retail chains in foreign countries. Therefore, they could be the good channel through which Vietnamese manufacturers can bring their goods to supermarket chains.
Europe and the US are the regions, where their cosmetics industry develops strongly; therefore, they would not seek the products of these kinds from Asia. However, they would favor silk, food and fruits from Asia.