Foreign investors interested in Vietnam’s food industry

Several foreign firms have recently acquired stakes in Vietnamese food processing enterprises, showing the local food industry’s increasing attractiveness.

CJ Cheil Jedang (CJ) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) purchased 71.6 percent of shares of the Cau Tre Export Goods Processing JSC (Cau Tre) – a prestigious food processor in Vietnam. Previously, it also bought Minh Dat Food, a big meatball producer in the local market.

According to Chairwoman of Cau Tre’s Board of Directors Tran Thi Hoa Binh, the merger with the foreign partner helped the Vietnamese firm expand capital sources and access new technologies, diversifying its products and increasing competitiveness. Meanwhile, the foreign partner benefits from Cau Tre’s advantages and experience in the domestic market.

Along with CJ, Daesang Corp of the RoK purchased 13 million shares of Duc Viet food in March this year. Food makers from Thailand and Japan are also enhancing trade promotion programmes and seeking more partners in Vietnam.

According to the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Ho Chi Minh City, the value of Japan’s food export to Vietnam reached 7.5 billion USD a year, with Japan aiming for a 30-percent growth of the export by 2019. JETRO said it will work with Japanese retail systems such as Ministop, FamilyMart, and Aeon to study Vietnamese consumers’ demand in order to bring more Japanese foods to the country.

Experts said a stable economic growth is the foundation for the boom in Vietnam’s food and beverage industry, which accounts for 15 percent of GDP and even higher in the future. Nielsen Vietnam estimated the country’s food and beverage market was valued at 30 billion USD in 2016.

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