With its population of over 90 million, Việt Nam is considered a promising market for Japanese retailers, and firms like 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Lawson and Ministop have all revealed plans to either enter or expand their business in the country.

Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motoo Hayashi (first left) visis Family Mart and Ministop stores in HCM City on Sunday. — Photo VOV

Their executives were accompanying Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motoo Hayashi during his visit to HCM City on Sunday.

Hayashi said the convenience stores, which had grown rapidly in Việt Nam, were a "very important" channel for medium and small Japanese businesses to sell their products in Việt Nam.

He said organisations like the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), the Japanese consulate and financial agencies would join hands to help Japanese retailers bring their goods to Việt Nam.

FamilyMart and Ministop, which operate a total of 130 stores around the country, plan to increase the number to 200 by November of this year.

They sell around 60 items, including agricultural products, confectionery and sake, Japan’s Jiji Press reports.

Given that Japanese convenience stores operate like all-in-one shops, they would bring not only consumer goods but potentially also financial and related services, Yasuzumi Hirotaka, JETRO’s chief in HCM City, said.

When the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade bloc that includes Việt Nam, Japan, Australia, the US and eight other countries, takes effect to bring low or zero duties and simple import procedures, Japanese products and services would stand a better chance of entering Việt Nam, one of the biggest and most potential retail markets in Southeast Asia, he said.

Both FamilyMart and Ministop have plans to open thousands of stores in Việt Nam, according to the chief.

On Sunday Hayashi visited Family Mart and Ministop stores in HCM City and also held talks with the heads of the two companies.

At a meeting hosted by JETRO, he said the government would support the planned establishment of a local group to provide information and know-how to Japanese companies planning to start businesses or make investments in HCM City, Jiji Press reports.

Strategic relations between Việt Nam and Japan were being increasingly promoted, indicated by the exchange of high-ranking delegations by the two countries, the Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, told the Japanese delegation at a meeting on Sunday afternoon.

Japan is one of Việt Nam’s major partners in various areas ranging from official development assistance to foreign direct investment and trade. — VNS

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