By Gina T. Yap | Market Innovation Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

09 May 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) urged participants to the information session on “Market Opportunities in Viet Nam” to be more active in promoting trade with the Socialist Republic and diversify the Philippines’s export products to that country.

Speaking at the information session organized by the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and Foreign Trade Service Corps on April 13, and attended by 61 participants representing 34 exporting companies, DTI Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group Ceferino S. Rodolfo said the challenge with Philippine exports to Vietnam is that they are focused on electronics. He urged the participants to sell other products to the neighboring country, which is also a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, just like the Philippines.

Other speakers in the info session were Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Vu Viet Nga and DTI-EMB Assistant Director Agnes Perpetua Legaspi, who provided information about the market trends and business opportunities in Vietnam. 

Vietnam is an economy of 96 million consumers with a growing middle class.  Legaspi stressed that “With the Asean economic integration, most products traded between the Philippines and Vietnam already have zero tariffs, thus providing business people with a lot of opportunities for growth.”

Vietnam is looking for opportunities with English-speaking markets, a competitive edge of the Philippines. In terms of services, one of the country’s main exports would be the production of movies and telenovelas.

Also, Nga emphasized that Vietnam’s e-commerce and the information and communications technology consumer market is increasing.

“We have a lot of companies now in Vietnam like Shopee and Lazada. People tend to buy more online—especially personal-care products and cosmetics. Vietnamese people now tend to use more cosmetics and personal-care products. They buy through online sites such as Facebook and before buying, they first check product reviews online,” she said.

She added that Vietnamese people are also into whitening and cosmetic products, which the Philippines could try to explore. Aside from that, coconut products, English education, franchising, among others, can be explored further.

Nga said there are two ways of penetrating the Vietnamese market. First is by establishing an office or business in Vietnam and second is through the help of an importer as they know the market very well. Vietnamese importers can assist Philippine exporters in setting up shop. She added that meeting potential importers is possible through attending exhibitions and trade fairs.

The information session was held in preparation for the upcoming Outbound Business Matching Mission to Vietnam next month.