HCM CITY (VNS) — Though Cambodia is a potential market for Vietnamese companies, it poses several restrictions for entry, heard a business matching Viet Nam – Cambodia info session organised in HCM City on Saturday.
The session focused on how to approach the market, which Vietnamese exporters in the past viewed as an easy market to penetrate.
"Do not have such high expectations about the market," Tran Ngoc Khanh, office manager of the Bee Logistics Corporation in Phnom Penh City, told seminar attendees.
Khanh, who has more than three years of experience in doing business in Cambodia, said that many Vietnamese companies had chosen Cambodia as a market to clear stock.
He said their attitude about Cambodia needed to change and urged them to abandon the idea that it was a place for surplus goods.
In an interview with Viet Nam News, Khanh said that fixed costs such as transport and logistics were quite high in Cambodia, and that Vietnamese goods were now under strong competition with high-quality but affordable Thai products that are well-designed.
The Cambodian distribution system was also challenging, he said, explaining that it was small and not as professional as Viet Nam's system.
To enter the market, seminar participants said that domestic companies should set up representative offices in Cambodia and register their trademarks as soon as possible.
They also urged exporters to devise long-term plans, improve designs, and find ways to cut prices.
In the first 10 months of 2013, bilateral trade turnover between Viet Nam and Cambodia reached more than US$2.5 billion, increasing by nearly 9 per cent year-on-year.
With a population of 15 million, Cambodia is the 12th biggest export market of Viet Nam.
Viet Nam's main exports to Cambodia are steel, consumption goods, agricultural machinery, rubber and technological products. — VNS