VN goods struggle in UAE

Update: March, 01/2016 - 10:22
Dragon fruit, a favourite in Dubai, being sold at a market. Vietnamese firms were urged to study demand in Dubai to expand exports to the market. — VNS Photo Cong Thanh
DA NANG  (VNS) — A lack of information about the market and a foreign culture are seen as hurdles that prevent Vietnamese businesses from trading in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

General Manager of Viet Nam-Dubai Tradehub (Vietgate) company Dinh Cong Tuan said this at a conference to introduce the Market Survey and Trade Promotion of Vietnamese Goods Week in Dubai Programme last week.

Tuan said customers and partners in Dubai had little information on most Vietnamese products.

"Many Vietnamese businesses came to Dubai to do market surveys and work with local partners, but they rarely build links or partnerships with local enterprises in the most attractive trading location in the world," Tuan said.

He said Vietnamese businesses had little understanding about the market, culture, trading modes and consumer habits in Dubai.

He said more than 100 Vietnamese businesses were operating in Dubai, but 80 per cent of them were spas or massage parlours.

Tuan said the Lotus brand rice and dragon fruits were seen as the only successful Vietnamese products in Dubai.

Pham Van Nghia, commercial counsellor of the Viet Nam Embassy in the UAE, said trade between Viet Nam and the UAE had grown from US$508 million in 2010 to $5.7 billion in 2015.

"We saw exports from Viet Nam to the UAE earn $5.7 billion in turnover, with $4 billion coming from Samsung products, and only $1.7 billion coming from Vietnamese farm produce, seafood, footwear and garments, as well as electronics, confectionary, fruits and vegetables and foodstuff," Nghia said at a conference in Da Nang on Thursday.

He said Vietnamese products were favoured by customers in Dubai, but the made-in-Vietnam brand promotion was rarely seen there.

Nghia said on the Vietnamese Thieu litchi Day organised last year in Dubai, hundreds of kilograms of Thieu litchi from Viet Nam sold out within 20 minutes.

He said many partners in Dubai liked Thieu litchi and wished to import a large volume of the fruit in the coming years, besides confectionary and dry fruits.

He said the Dubai market was very open and positive to Vietnamese products, with import tax ranging from zero to 5 per cent, and no imposition of anti-dumping or protection duties.

Nghia said Viet Nam exported 60 products to the UAE, of which 18 had an export turnover of $10 million.

Le Ba Quy Don from Da Nang Seafood Product Company said his company had an export turnover of $6 million each year, but the Dubai market occupies several thousands of US dollars.

"We are yet to know more about the Dubai market as well as the complicated procedures for seafood export. We face strong competition in prices from Chinese rivals in Dubai," Don said.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Thao from Thanh Thao seafood export company said she has been trying to enter the Dubai market.

"We are yet to get much information about the market, the Arab language presentation on products and on partnerships with businesses in Dubai," Thao said.

"We need support from trade representatives of Viet Nam in accessing markets and information," she said.

The Trade Promotion of Vietnamese Goods Week and a business-to-business meeting entitled ‘Connecting Viet Nam businesses to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry' will be held at Choithram market system in Dubai from April 16 to 21.

Fifty Vietnamese businesses from HCM City, Can Tho, Khanh Hoa, Da Nang and Ha Noi, have registered to take part in the Vietnamese goods promotion week in Dubai, and 30 enterprises will send samples of their products to the event. — VNS