HANOI, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam is becoming an attractive destination for foreign retailers, with a number of big names setting foot in the country so far this year.
In early July, Mapletree, an Asia-focused real estate development, investment and capital management company headquartered in Singapore, showed up in Vietnam. The joint venture between Mapletree and a Vietnamese retailer has signed deals with 13 retailers in the SC Vivo City mall in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City.
Robins Department Store, a Thailand's leading retailer Central Group, plans to open its second store in Ho Chi Minh in November this year after launching the first outlet in capital city Hanoi in March.
Caffe Bene, a South Korea-based coffeehouse chain, is preparing for presence in the Southeast Asian country after signing a franchise agreement with a Vietnamese company.
In early 2014, Japanese corporate retail group AEON together with America's famous fast food McDonald and ice cream Dairy Queen made their debut in the market of 90 million population.
A recent report by CB Richard Ellis Vietnam under America-based real estate CBRE Group showed that Vietnam's retail market ranked second among the top ten attractive retail markets in Asia in 2014.
More foreign retailers are expected to show up in the country as Vietnam has made commitments to the World Trade Organization that it will fully open the door of its retail market in 2015.
Another factor that makes Vietnam a potential market for retailers is that the country will exempt import tariffs for 10, 000 kinds of goods from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations since 2015 following an agreement signed among members of the bloc.
According to Vietnam's General Statistics Office, total retail sales of goods and service in the first half of 2014 stood at nearly 1,440 trillion Vietnamese dong (over 68.2 billion U.S. dollars), up 10.7 percent over the same period of 2013.
However, excluding inflation, the real growth was only 5.7 percent.