13:09 | 07/05/2016 Investment
Republic of Korea’s consumer goods firms are shifting their overseas focus to Viet Nam as their business in China reaches its limits, increasing investment and aggressively opening new branches, according to Yonhap.
With a population of over 90 million and 60% in their 30s or younger, Viet Nam stands out as a market of promising robust growth.
A recent report by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said the RoK Government is pursuing expansion of consumer goods exports to Viet Nam to make up for the country's slowing trade, describing Viet Nam as a good opportunity for local firms.
CJ Group, whose affiliates range from entertainment to food and beverages, made an early start, opening an office in Viet Nam in 1998. The group's chairman, Lee Jay-hyun, declared in 2012 that the conglomerate will build a "third CJ" in Viet Nam following the RoK and China. It is currently engaged in seven different sectors and maintaining its top position in three of them -- bakery, home shopping and movie theaters.
In February, it took over Ong Kim's, a popular kimchi brand in Viet Nam. A month later, it acquired a 4.08% stake in the country's meat manufacturer Vissan and is planning to obtain more.
The Korean retail giants, Lotte and Shinsegae, are also strengthening their foothold in Viet Nam.
Lotte Mart opened its 12th Vietnamese branch in Go Vap, an urban district of Ho Chi Minh City, last week. The 19,273-square-meter facility will add a seven-screen multiplex cinema in July. After venturing into the Asian country in 2008, Lotte chalked up US$190 million in sales last year.
The conglomerate continues to enlarge its market presence there, opening the Lotte Center Ha Noi in September that includes a Lotte Mart, Lotte Department Store and Lotte Hotel, in addition to acquiring a local department store, the Diamond Plaza. In Ho Chi Minh, the company is building an eco-smart city that combines a shopping mall with residential and office facilities.
Shinsegae is making most of its strides through its discount chain E-Mart, whose first Vietnamese branch opened late last year in the Go Vap district. Viet Nam is the chain's second overseas entry after China.
E-Mart officials say they hope to eventually export products directly to Viet Nam./.