Exporters forced to embrace domestic moves as coronavirus impact persists

July 15, 2020 | 14:00
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Hit hard by the global health crisis forcing most export markets to apply shutdowns, export-oriented enterprises are turning to the domestic market in order to boost sales and keep themselves afloat.
1500p19 exporters forced to embrace domestic moves as coronavirus impact persists
Exporters forced to embrace domestic moves as coronavirus impact persists (Photo: VNA)

Pangasius, also known as basa fish, from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region has been exported to many different overseas markets including Japan, the ASEAN, the United States and Europe, but is generally ignored by the domestic market.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has upset the applecart with sales witnessing a sharp fall – and therefore businesses are being forced to look closer to home.

Vo Hung Dung, vice chairman of the Vietnam Pangasius Association said, “The domestic market share of basa fish has been as much as 10 per cent but more recently only 5 per cent. The expansion of the domestic market will help enterprises reduce pressure as well as increase sales in the context of the slowing demand of overseas markets.”

Vietnam’s basa fish products have been exported to over 100 countries worldwide and played a key role in the development of Vietnam’s seafood industry. However, in the first six months of this year, exports of this sector reduced 29 per cent on-year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development last month hosted a trade promotion event for the product. Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said, “It does not make sense when 90 per cent of domestic output of basa fish is exported overseas. We focus on too much on those markets.”

Thus export-oriented enterprises of not only basa fish, but also of many other export goods could change their sales strategies in line with the new global situation as well as the desire of the government to reach the domestic market of nearly 100 million people, in order to offset an export crisis to keep growth on track with the nation’s socio-economic development.

Total retail sales in the first six months of the year decreased by 0.8 per cent on-year. Meanwhile, exports in the first half of 2020 decreased by 1.1 per cent, according to the General Statistics Office.

With the aim of penetrating the domestic arena, a promotional programme entitled “Vietnam Grand Sale 2020” was launched this month, hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The programme is expected to create a spillover effect and attract participation of a large number of enterprises across various fields.

Hanoi Trade JSC (Hapro) general director Vu Thanh Son said that the domestic market and Hanoi especially will play an important role for domestic businesses to gain sales and offset slowing demand of overseas buyers. Hapro plans to develop supermarkets and retailers across Vietnam.

By Nguyen Thu

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