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Foreign firms flock to Vietnam Expo 2012 with hope of business expansion
HANOI, April 6 (BSS/Xinhua) -- The Vietnam International Trade Exhibition (Vietnam Expo 2012), the 22nd of this kind held so far in the country, is attracting more than 450 domestic and foreign enterprises from 20 countries and regions to the capital of Hanoi.

Themed "Vietnam - Cooperation for Development", the 4-day expo (April 4-7) is expected to bring good opportunities to participants to promote their export, import, investment activities and to expand overseas markets as well, addressed Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien at the opening ceremony.

Joining Vietnam Expo 2012, more than 200 Chinese firms have displayed products at a large national pavilion, each highlighting their line of business sphere.

Having 20 years of experience in cosmetic industry, China's Voles International Cosmetic Co., Ltd participated in this kind of show for the first time with expectations of expanding its market in Vietnam.

The company has branches in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Australia and Cuba, and now it is seeking chances to be available in Vietnam.

"After the first two days here at the expo, we had two Vietnamese clients interested in our products, and the two sides are under negotiation to establish cooperative ties in the near future. I hope Voles' first representative office will soon be open in Vietnam," Linda Lin, Voles's overseas marketing manager told Xinhua reporter.

"When coming to Vietnam, we will face challenges, including knowing the country's culture and the customers' demand. Another difficulty is that we have to compete with South Korean cosmetics companies, who to some extend won the local customers' trust," Lin added.

Meanwhile, Yunnan Dongjun Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. from China, came to the expo for several times with an ambition of introducing new products to customers and expanding its market.

Dongjun opened a representative office in Vietnam in 2006, but not until late 2011 did the company get the permission of the Vietnamese Pharmaceutical Management Department to distribute its products in the country.

"We have participated in the Vietnam Trade Expo for several times, and each time we bring new products to introduce to customers. Our products are made in China, and we are seeking for some Vietnamese partners to manufacture them right here in Vietnam to reduce the cost," said chief representative of Dongjun in Vietnam, Cao Hui.

"Vietnam is developing fast, and demand of the Vietnamese people on pharmaceuticals is increasing with more attention to quality and price. We hope that in the near future, when we have our own processing factory here, Vietnamese customers can enjoy the same price as the Chinese," he said.

"We also need support from the local government to control the market out of fake medicines to protect people's health and to secure foreign businesses' operation", Cao added.

Among 200 Chinese enterprises attending the expo, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is the sole financial unit.

"After three years of operation in Vietnam, this is the first time ICBC participated to the show, with a hope that we can introduce our banking services to Vietnamese and foreign customers, " said Nguyen Hong Quan, Customer Manager of ICBC's Vietnam Branch.

He added that ICBC's customers are mostly Chinese enterprises and Vietnamese ones doing business with Chinese partners.

The number of Belarusian enterprises come to Vietnam Expo has increased year by year to the present total of about 50. Belarusians are interested in Vietnam's huge potential, especially in the fields of truck and automobile manufacturing, scientific- technological research and education.

At the booth of Belarusian National Technical University (Polytechnic), senior researcher Andrei Simonchyk said that they have signed five protocols with two universities of Hanoi in the first two days of the expo, and hope that they will have more in the next days.

"We want to inform the Vietnamese students of chances to study in Belarusian universities, with tuition fees of around 2,000 - 3, 000 U.S. dollars per year, a relatively cheap compared with others worldwide," added Simonchyk.

Among 48 South Korean firms, Hanshin Machinery Co. Ltd., with over 40 years of operation in air compressors came to the expo for the first time.

Hoang Thu Hien, Director Assistant of Hanshin Vietnam said the company has so far received attention of many visitors.

The great number of South Korean companies at the expo indicated the fruitful ties between the two countries and a deep desire by South Korean companies to set up partnership with their Vietnamese counterparts, Hien said.
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