A surging number of South Korean enterprises have come to Vietnam for partnerships, of which the number of franchisers has jumped seven-fold in 2015 from a year earlier, Park Sang Hyup, head of the Trade Section at the South Korean Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, said at a business event on December 3.
HCM City is a potential market for South Korean firms to step in in the context that South Korean-style eating out and making-up trends are widespread in Vietnam, said Mr. Park.
Firms seeking for franchising in Vietnam operate mainly in the fast-food, beverage and cosmetics industries such as Don Chicken, Yadllie Chicken, Pizza Manu, Coffee Bay Coffee & Bakery, Namwa Restaurant and Coreana, which are already present in Japan, China, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Lotteria, CJ Foodville, Genesis, Holly, F&B, SF Innovation, Caffe Bene, Tous Les Jours, Paris Baquette and BBQ Chicken have franchises in the Southeast Asian country.
The Domestic Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has licensed 148 foreign brands in Vietnam over the past eight years. Restaurant service accounts for 43.7% of the total, followed by the fashion with 19.3%, education service with 14.1% and convenience store with 2.2%.
Exports of South Korea-invested firms including Samsung, Lotte, LG and Hyundai now make up 25% of Vietnam’s total export turnover. A wide array of satellite companies have followed them to Vietnam, said Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry-HCM City branch.
South Korea is the top investor in Vietnam with 4,459 projects having a combined capital of $39.16 billion. In addition, the Northeast Asian country is the third-largest trading partner of Vietnam.