Troubled firms find customers next door
HCM CITY — Cambodia, with a population of 15 million, has become an ideal investment destination for many Vietnamese companies as they struggle through recessionary times.
Many companies say that the neighboring market has particularly helped them overcome difficulties because most products there are imported.
Le Quoc Phong, director of the Binh Dien Fertiliser Company, told Viet Nam News that Cambodia has become a market of strategic importance for them. Cambodia has helped his ompany increase its export turnover in current years, he said.
"Last year, the export turnover was US$60 million, an increase of $20 million over our expectation. This year, we think we will reach $70 million. We have already met 60 per cent of the target in the first half of the year," Phong said.
He explained that Binh Dien's success in Cambodia was possible because they found the "correct way" to enter the market.
Intead of focusing on selling more of their products, they also train farmers in how to use it in the most effective way, Phong said.
They also co-operate with Cambodian experts to study local land quality so that they can come up with good products and methods for the farmer.
The Dai Dong Tien Plastic Company has adopted a different strategy.
The company sent its staff to every alley in Phnom Penh to study the market. Initially, they sold their products in the traditional market. Then, they set up stores on main roads and finally, entered the supermarkets.
The company's marketing director Tang Quang Trong was quoted by the Saigon Times as saying Cambodia is still a big market for Vietnamese companies.
While his company has to compete with Thai products, they have managed to hold their own and many of their products have been favoured by the Cambodian consumer, he said.
The success of Binh Dien and Dai Dong Tien have been replicated in different ways by about 400 Vietnamese companies doing business in Cambodia.
While adopting different business strategies, these companies have all agreed to develop a reputation for Vietnamese high-quality products in the Cambodian market.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade says in a statement on its website that trade turnover between the two countries in the first half of the year was $1.6 billion.
The two countries aim to reach a two-way trade turnover of $5 billion in the next five years. — VNS