Vietnamese consume more Japanese goods as incomes rise    
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Vietnamese consume more Japanese goods as incomes rise
May 15 2018

Vietnamese products, which have been struggling to compete with Chinese, Thai and South Korean goods, now have to compete with Japanese goods as well.

Soon after Vietnam decided to open ts market to Japanese tea, Takimoto Koji, chief representative of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) HCM City, and Tsukamoto Haruo, chair of JA Josoh Hiraki, were seen at Aeon supermarket inviting Vietnamese consumers to try tea products. 

Local newspapers noted the professional marketing strategies of the Japanese companies.

Earlier this year, Japanese enterprises organized a Japanese goods trade fair where they introduced Japanese products to Vietnamese consumers. 

Takimoto Koji said the sales at the trade fair were very satisfactory. The enterprises received advice from Japanese convenience stores operating in Vietnam about products to bring to Vietnam and customers to target.

Last year, Idemitsu Q8 company’s director and workers were seen bowing to each other at a filling station. This became a hot topic of discussion among office workers and car drivers.
He said that products sold at the trade fair are also available at Japanese retail chains.

The way Japanese bring products to Vietnam shows their understanding about consumption tendencies and the spending level of Vietnamese, analysts say.

Dinh The Hien, an economist, said Japanese goods have high quality and are safe. With a good reputation plus a large distribution network, Japanese manufacturers and suppliers can succeed in the Vietnamese market.

The Japanese have also been highly professional in advertising their products in Vietnam. Before displaying products, for example, Japanese firms first built large retail networks. 

A recent survey found that in 2017 the purchase of Thai, Japanese and Korean goods was below 3 percent of the total, but the figure has increased to 8-10 percent. It was up to 17 percent for sweets and drinks.

A survey on how Japanese food is favored in Vietnam conducted by JETRO showed that in 2015 Vietnamese imported 36 billion yen worth of products, with a growth rate of 10 percent per annum.

An analyst said that Japanese goods are increasingly popular in Vietnam partially because of strong support from the Japanese government and organizations.

JETRO said that it had given support in advertising costs and import procedures to Japanese enterprises to help them bring goods to Vietnam. The effort is part of the program to increase farm produce exports, initiated by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.