Vietnam Market Watch: Coca-Cola’s Suspension, Mekong Tech Incentives, and Increased National Browsing Behavior

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Ministry of Health Suspends Sale of 13 Products from Coca-Cola

The Ministry of Health (MoH) recently suspended sales of 13 Coca-Cola beverage products as Coca-Cola Vietnam did not have valid permits to produce the beverages. The beverages were listed as “supplement food” and the company did not procure the relevant food safety certificates required for supplement food production.

The listed products include, Minute Maid Nutriboost milk drink in orange, strawberry and mango flavor, Samurai energy drink in strawberry flavour, Minute Maid TEPPY Orange Drink, Aquarius sport drink, Dasani bottled water, and Minute Maid Splash Smooth. Coca-Cola was licensed to only produce bottled drinks and did not obtain separate certificates for supplement food. Consequently, the MoH ordered the government administration of  Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Can Tho, Khanh Hoa and Nghe An to supervise the suspension. Earlier, the MoH had initiated a 45-day inspection of Coca-Cola Vietnam to check their operations in the country. The latest development highlights the importance of regulatory compliance in Vietnam.  

Professional Service_CB icons_2015RELATED: Pre-Investment, Market Entry Strategy Advisory from Dezan Shira & Associates
Mekong Delta to Offer New Incentives to Attract IT Industry

Government officials of Cần Thơ, a city in the Mekong Delta province, plan to attract greater investment from the information technology (IT) industry by offering new incentives to the industry. Võ Hùng Dũng, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Cần Thơ branch recently said that the Mekong Delta province has an abundance of human resources for the IT industry. However, the province does not have high-tech parks such as those in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

The exact nature of the incentives for the IT industry has not been announced yet. The Central government in March 2015, announced the National Targeted Programme on developing IT industry by 2020 with vision to 2025. The policies for Mekong Delta are expected to be aligned with the central government’s plan. In recent years, Vietnam has become an attractive destination for technology-oriented companies from several countries. This includes companies such as Sanyo, Sony, Panasonic, and several others. Investors that are keen to invest in the IT industry in Vietnam should keep a track of the incentives that are expected to be announced.. Investors that do so can structure their investment plans and business operations to take advantage of such plans.

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Vietnamese Spend Increasing Time Online

A recent report by an independent agency states that Vietnamese consumers spend around 24 hours and seven minutes online every week. The online time is equivalent to around three working days. This marks a significant increase in the online presence for Vietnamese consumers, who spent around 14-15 hours online in 2014. 

The Nielsen Vietnam Cross-Platform Insights Report 2015 assesses the manner in which Vietnam consumes digital content. The report states that nearly 91 percent of the consumers in Vietnam own smartphones, which marks an increase of nine percent since 2014. The report and the associated figures highlight the market penetration that technology and digital media offer to businesses. Companies that factor in technology and digital engagement as a part of the operating strategy in Vietnam stand to gain significantly in the coming years.


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