Việt Nam's retail market proves attractive for foreign investors

March 27, 2023 - 09:16

The Vietnamese retail market is worth US$142 billion and is expected to increase nearly 2.5 times to $350 billion by 2025.

People shopping at a supermarket in Hà Nội. VNS Photo Mai Hương

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is becoming an attractive retail market for companies all over the world with many regional and global FDI investors recently announcing plans to increase capital and expand distribution networks here.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnamese retail market is worth US$142 billion and is expected to increase nearly 2.5 times to $350 billion by 2025.

In January, total retail sales of consumer goods and services decreased by 6 per cent on-month to more than VNĐ481.8 trillion (US$20.4 billion) due to weaker demand as many commodities were purchased ahead of the Lunar New Year. People spent more on festival activities post Tết, said the General Statistics Office.

However, it still rose 13 per cent year-on-year.

For the first two months of the year, the country’s total retail sales of consumer goods and services advanced 13 per cent over the same period of 2022 to over VNĐ994.1 trillion.

With stable and positive growth, the Vietnamese retail market has always been appreciated by foreign enterprises.

Thailand’s Central Retail Corporation (CRC) has recently announced a capital increase of $1.45 billion in Việt Nam. This is the largest investment ever announced by CRC with the goal of doubling the number of stores to 600 in 57 of 63 provinces. In 2023, the company spent more than VNĐ4.1 trillion in the market, focusing on developing essential foods businesses, stabilising prices, and restructuring electronic stores.

Việt Nam is the market, besides Thailand, that brings the largest revenue for the group, about 21-22 per cent of total revenue. Last year, the number was 25 per cent, said Olivier Langlet, CEO of Central Retail Vietnam.

One of the biggest Japanese retail companies, Aeon Co., Ltd is also accelerating the opening of shopping malls in the country to nearly three times to about 16 by 2025, focusing on the food segment.

Last month, Aeon Mall in Huế City was constructed on an area of 8.62 hectares, with a total investment capital of about $169 million. This is the biggest complex of trade centres and services in the region.

FDI is one of the important elements to help Việt Nam transform itself into one of the most open economies in the region and grow quickly, according to a representative of HSBC Việt Nam. Currently, regional and global FDI investors or multinational corporations contribute to more than 80 per cent of total export turnover from Việt Nam and about 25 per cent of domestic investment value.

Research from HSBC shows that, by 2030, the Vietnamese domestic consumer market will outstrip Thailand, the UK and Germany.

“In 2023, we will see some multinational corporations in Asia showing their interest in Việt Nam, engaging in retail, semiconductors, electronics, mobile components, plastic, renewable energy, and logistics industries. They are looking for ways to expand or make new investments in Việt Nam,” said the representative. — VNS