Vietnamese firms reaching out to global partners

September 6, 2006

 
   

Vietnamese enterprises are scrambling to tie up with global firms in preparation for the country’s integration which has gathered speed with the imminent World Trade Organization membership.

A slew of announcements were made recently about joint ventures and other cooperation between local firms and international partners.

The most recent was the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank)’s joint debit card with TV music channel MTV Asia, targeted especially at youths.

Besides payments and money transfers anywhere in the world, the card offers promotions and discounts at popular clothing and music stores, coffee houses, bars, restaurants, hotels, resorts, and beauty salons among others.

Singapore company Giant South Asia Investment Pte. Ltd. was another to enter Vietnam through a partnership with a local firm. In July the government licensed the firm to establish a chain of stores within Citimart supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho city, and Kien Giang.

However, it is not clear what kind of arrangement the two retailers, who would otherwise have been competitors, have.

A tie-up between Cadbury Schweppes, the world’s biggest confectionery maker, and Vietnam’s leading food maker Kinh Do, has drawn the attention of international investors.

The deal is expected to help both sides market their products in overseas markets.

Tran Kim Thanh, Kinh Do chairman, said the tie-up with Cadbury was an opportunity to introduce new products and would give access to foreign markets.

A US$ 37 million joint-venture has been set up between SABMiller, the world’s largest brewery, and Vietnam’s top dairy company, Vinamilk.

SABMiller expects to use Vinamilk’s local knowledge and distribution network to break into Vietnam’s emerging beer market.

In July a Vietnamese tourist company joined forces with the world’s 3rd largest travel firm, RADIUS, in what was the event of the year in the tourism sector.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based Saigontourist Transport Joint Stock Company (STC) acquired some stakes in the US firm, becoming one of over 90 such travel firms worldwide.

Becoming a RADIUS partner would enable STC to exploit the former’s 4,900 tourist destinations in over 80 nations.

Reported by Trung Binh – Translated by Ha Viet

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