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Modern rural market facilities prove expensive for vendors

Update: January, 27/2014 - 09:24
A temporary market in Thach That District, Ha Tay Province. Local residents are still buying items from temporary markets instead of going to shopping malls or markets. — VNS Photo Doan Tung

HA NOI (VNS)— Despite tens of billions of dong having been spent to build new markets to replace old or temporary structures in rural areas, several markets have been abandoned for years.

Nghia Hiep Market in Yen My District in northern Ninh Binh Province was an example. The market was built at a cost of more than VND2 billion (US$94,000) in the central area of the district to serve the shopping demand of local residents.

However, the market remains unused after two years of construction. The market, with surrounding cement fences and large gate, is now used to restore building materials or as a parking lot.

In southern Ben Tre Province, a market costing VND18 billion ($846,000) was built in Quoi Son Commune, Chau Thanh District, to serve 15,000 workers in the nearby Giao Long Industrial Zone. However, the market, with 400 kiosks in an area of about 5,000sq.m, failed to attract customers.

Five kilometres from Quoi Son Market, another newly-built market has also been deserted.

Another market in northern Bac Ninh Province's Thuan Thanh District, with 200 kiosks, camera security systems and security guards, has only attracted a small number of traders, after operating for five years.

Duong Xuan Vu, vice chairman of Ho Town's People's Committee in Bac Ninh Province, said that local residents were still buying items from temporary markets, instead of going to shopping malls or markets.

The reason, according to Vu, was that many of the customers were low-income earners. Thus, those who sold products did not want to spend money to rent kiosks, but preferred selling in temporary markets.

Vo Van Quyen, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Domestic Market Policy Department, told Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Countryside Today) newspaper that the plan to build markets in rural areas was not well done, resulting in the rapid increase of newly-built markets in these areas, while a shortage of markets was reported in other areas.

Moreover, most markets were small-scale for retail, with substandard facilities. Figures from the department showed that in the period 2003-13, 2,006 markets were built and nearly 3,000 markets were upgraded.

However, only 84 were wholesale markets, accounting for 0.98 per cent of the total number of markets, while many remained temporary.

An inadequate market system had failed to serve the trading demands of the public and about 3 per cent of these markets were proven to be ineffective after operating only a short time.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa said the ministry had required localities to halt the construction of markets, especially projects that used State budget funds.

She said it was necessary to encourage enterprises and co-operatives to participate in investing in building markets. For example, enterprises would invest half of their capital investment, while the State budget would support the rest.

Further, all projects must seek the opinions of local traders to make the facilities suitable for them, she said. — VNS

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