|French consumers sample Vietnamese fruits at Casino Saint-Didier supermarket in Paris. — VNS Photo
PARIS (VNS) — The Meet Viet Nam 2014 forum was held in Paris on Tuesday, offering a chance for French and Vietnamese businesses to strengthen cooperation.
The event, organised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the French Trade Office (UBIFRANCE), was part of a series of events to celebrate the Viet Nam Year in France.
Addressing the forum, MoIT Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa spoke highly of the initiative. She said it provided enterprises a means to meet and discuss joint opportunities and ways to access markets and financial resources in a bid to expand investment and strengthen exports.
She also highlighted the advantages of investing in Viet Nam, which she said was an emerging dynamic market in the region. Last year, Viet Nam recorded an economic growth rate of 5.42 per cent.
She added that the establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, with 600 million citizens, would reduce import taxes on most products to 0-5 per cent, making Viet Nam even more attractive to investors.
There are currently 91 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam.
The deputy minister said Viet Nam called for investment in renewable sources and new energy technologies, saying electricity consumption in recent years was two times higher than growth speed of gross domestic product (GDP).
She also called for investment in food and agricultural product processing as 70 per cent of Vietnamese labourers worked in agriculture. The two other dominant fields were garment and footwear, and traffic infrastructure.
UBIFRANCE director Muriel Penicaud said that with its technological prowess, France had the capacity to help Vietnamese businesses reinvigorate their technology.
She said France was willing to cooperate with Viet Nam on energy, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and agricultural product processing.
Talking about investment difficulties at the forum, enterprises said they did not have much information about Vietnamese markets and potential partners due to differences in culture and consumption habits. However, enterprises agreed to work with both Vietnamese and French trade and investment promotion agencies to further market research.
Additionally, a prog-ramme to introduce Vietnamese goods to French customers will be held at Casino Saint-Didier supermarket in Paris from September 22 to 29. This provides a chance for Vietnamese businesses to boost exports to France and other EU nations.
The ongoing event, jointly held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Big C supermarket chain and the leading French retailer Casino Group (Big C's parent company), features a wide range of Vietnamese fruits, vegetables, frozen shrimp and fish, rice, instant noodles, coffee, dried fruits, beverages and handicraft products.
Under the theme Let's Discover the Quality of Vietnamese Products, attractive discounts and samples of Vietnamese products are being offered at the supermarket.
Vietnamese Ambassador to France, Duong Chi Dung, praised Big C's efforts to promote Vietnamese products in French supermarkets. He said the event was a good opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to learn about European consumers' tastes so as to improve the quality of their goods and boost their appeal in Europe. It's the second time the programme has been held. — VNS