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Imports from China and Japan floods domestic market
Sep '08
Imported goods, despite being expensive, are sweeping the domestic market and are posing a threat to the locally produced and relatively cheap products sold in the super-marts and retail stores.

Hachihachi, a mini super mart in Ho Chi Minh City, has attracted a large crowd of customers by virtue of its specialization in selling imported goods from Japan. Goods on sale are diverse and range from simple everyday commodities of use to high technology products.

However, not all of these goods are from Japan, a number of them are made in Poland and China and are exported by Japanese companies for its local consumers.

It's a common believe in Vietnam that goods made in Japan are of superior quality and are more durable which is why there is a huge demand for these products in the country. According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), in the first eight months of this year, six groups of import products saw value increase by 100 percent over the same period last year.

Besides, a large number of foreign made products, especially in the apparel market have started to dominate the domestic markets. European and South Korea brand names have miraculously taken over the luxury segment of the market while the Chinese products have been doing quite well in catering to the section demanding cheap clothing.

Most of the domestic garment companies in HCM City are of the opinion that locally produced goods are being marginalized. To overcome the threat of being completely wiped out in competition and that too in its own domain, many are considering setting up a division in charge of importing products for domestic sale.

When reasons for such dramatic takeover of domestic market by foreign goods was assessed, experts noted that lower import tax on Chinese goods when compared to those charged on other WTO members, was one of the main reasons behind a huge influx of these goods in the market. Moreover, time and again, Chinese products have proved to be more competitive than the Vietnamese ones.

A survey made on various super-marts have revealed that domestically- made apparel products account for only 30-40 percent of the apparel sales while the others are usually those imported from China.

Vietnamese companies suffering a loss in their business have unanimously agreed that foreign-made products have been flooding the market and that they are trying hard to regain their lost grounds.

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