Vietnam's food processing, drinks industry attracts more foreign investors

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Foreign investors have also invested in and expanded their trade centers, supermarkets and convenience stores, which have helped increase consumption of processed foods.

Multinational retailers like Circle K, 7-Eleven, B's mart, Family Mart, MiniStop, Big C, Aeon and Lotte now have a total of 3,000 convenience stores, 3000 trade centers and supermarkets in Vietnam.

"The food and drinks sector is now taking the largest proportion of monthly spending for the Vietnamese, around 35 percent," Pham Thanh Kien, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, was quoted by Sai Gon Giai Phong (Saigon Liberation) newspaper as saying.

In Ho Chi Minh City, food and drinks represented 17 percent of its total retail revenue last year.

HANOI, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's food processing and drinks industry has seen growth of 7 percent in recent years, with more and more foreign investors deciding to pour money into it, local media reported on Monday.

In the last five years, many international food processing companies have invested and expanded their production in Vietnam whose government plans to withdraw its shares in major food processing and drink firms, including Vinamilk and Habeco, creating more opportunities for foreign investors, daily newspaper Vietnam News reported.

For foreign investors, the abundance of agricultural products and foodstuffs in Vietnam is an advantage. Vietnam is considered as one of the top five food baskets in the world and one of the top 15 largest countries by agriculture exports.

Vietnam's young population and the rising popularity of processed food are two other factors influencing investors' decisions.

Vietnam's export turnovers for processed foodstuffs and agricultural products totaled more than 40 billion U.S. dollars last year. Vietnamese products have been present in 3000 countries and regions, including the United States and Japan.