The US-backed Walmart, one of the world’s biggest retail groups, is boosting its purchase of Vietnamese goods.
The group’s Walmart Global Sourcing vice president Bill Foudy said that after the establishment of a sourcing office in Ho Chi Minh City in June last year, “Walmart has been seeking opportunities to purchase goods in Vietnam to export to overseas markets under the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).”
“This is in line with the group’s strategy to expand its overseas business markets,” Foudy told Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh in a meeting last week.
“Walmart wants to strengthen its presence in Vietnam. We are pleased with Vietnamese goods. Our presence in Vietnam will prompt other investors to come to Vietnam to do business. We will also provide local partners with technical assistance,” he said.
Minister Vinh said Walmart’s presence in Vietnam would help the country lure more foreign business and investment partners. He said the government would provide the best conditions to Walmart to perform its business in Vietnam.
Walmart’s International Corporate Affairs senior director Kevin Gardner told VIR that “Walmart doesn’t have any retail operations in Vietnam and at present the firm doesn’t have plans to open stores in the country.”
Walmart is sourcing goods from Vietnam through its new office. Gardner said the office would provide Walmart with an opportunity to better facilitate the identification and selection of suppliers while monitoring the manufacturing process to ensure compliance, safety and quality.
Walmart sources clothing and footwear, entertainment, footwear, home appliances, toys and seasonal goods. The office employs 20 people and has relationships with numerous suppliers in Vietnam.
“We’re looking to establishing strategic relations with growers and economic groups, and having an office in Vietnam will enable us to do that more effectively,” Gardner said.
At present, Walmart has many retail chains in North America, South America, Europe, Japan, India, China and Africa.
Minister Vinh noted several major foreign groups like Walmart were seeking investment opportunities in Vietnam in anticipation of the TPP.
By Nguyen Thanh