Failure to establish global brand holds back Vietnam's rice exports

By An Hong   April 29, 2016 | 04:01 pm GMT+7

Vietnam is one of the world’s largest rice exporters, but appears to be less competitive on the international market because it has failed to build a national rice brand name, said economist Vo Tong Xuan at a seminar on Thursday.

Experts at the seminar agreed that a national brand would boost rice exports and help Vietnamese exporters gain more credibility in the international market.

Vietnamese rice exporters are less competitive than their rivals, and normally offer lower prices due partly to the fact that Vietnamese rice has so far failed to differentiate itself on the world market.

Professor Xuan said that Vietnamese farmers and rice exporters often have to make export deals at lower prices as international dealers often take the lack of origin guarantee into consideration.

Vietnamese exporters used to mix various qualities of rice to be more competitive on price, but that actually backfired on the country's exports, said Tran Anh Tuan, chief executive of consulting company Pathfinder.

He added that Vietnam lacked of a strategy to help export companies enter new markets.

Vietnam seems focus more on quantity rather than quality, mainly exporting low-quality rice to less demanding markets at a price 40 – 60 percent lower than rice from India and Thailand.

The government has recently approved a project to build a strong global brand name for Vietnamese rice by restructuring production, processing and distribution.