|South Korean food at a fair in Việt Nam. VNA/VNS Photo|
SEOUL — Businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK) see Việt Nam as a highly potential market for growth, as they have already begun to dominate in certain sectors within the Southeast Asian nation.
The RoK’s largest trade surplus in 2022 was with Việt Nam, at US$34.25 billion. It was the first year Việt Nam ranked No 1 in this regard, according to the RoK’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, cited by the Joongang Ilbo newspaper.
The main exports to Việt Nam include semiconductors, flat-screen monitors, and petroleum products. Besides, food, fashion items, and beauty products also greatly contributed to the RoK’s shipments to the Southeast Asian country, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and relevant industries.
Fast food chain Lotteria runs 270 stores in Việt Nam, ranking first among similar chains. Its 2022 revenue topped 100 billion KRW ($80.5 million), surpassing the figure in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
With 38 stores, Tous les Jours of CJ Foodville also holds the top position among the bakery chains in Việt Nam.
In 2021, soju products of Hite Jinro also dominated the local distilled alcoholic beverage market. The third Jinro BBQ restaurant opened in Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy District in February 2022.
Last year, Orion Vina, a subsidiary of Orion in Việt Nam, earned over 400 billion KRW in annual revenue for the first time since its establishment. Compared to Việt Nam’s confectionary market worth 130 billion KRW, that figure indicates Orion is currently dominating the market.
Korean cosmetic products are also popular in Việt Nam. Local media reported that such products from the RoK hold the biggest market share, 30 per cent, compared to similar items from the EU (23 per cent) and Japan (17 per cent), which also have many high-end brands.
Data from KITA show that thanks to Hallyu (Korean Wave), the RoK’s cosmetics exports to Việt Nam reached $230 million in 2020.
Likewise, Korean fashion is also a magnet in the Vietnamese market.
Hazzys, a fashion company LF brand, operates seven stores in Việt Nam and recorded its 2022 revenue doubling that in 2021. Fashion and retail firm E-Land also witnessed last year’s sales here rising over 10 per cent.
In May and June 2022, the KITA branch in HCM City interviewed 956 Vietnamese adults about South Korean products they planned to buy. The items grabbing their attention included cosmetics (37.9 per cent), food (27.7 per cent), and electronics (15.1 per cent). Asked about potential South Korean products in the future, they selected cosmetics (50.7 per cent), electronics (38.9 per cent), food (32.2 per cent), and healthy food (23.3 per cent).
KITA said that with a population of 100 million and good economic growth, Việt Nam is a production hub replacing China and one of the fastest-moving consumption markets after the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNS