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More opportunities are awaiting the industry given increasing demand of local consumers for packaged items.

Vietnam ranked 32nd in the world in terms of demand for food packaging last year, according to market research firm Euromonitor. The demand is forecast to grow 38% by 2020 while that of the world would expand by only 13%.

For packaging in the pharmaceutical industry, Vietnam is placed 30th globally with over US$4.11 billion worth of packaging consumed last year. The figure is expected to rise to nearly US$6.3 billion by 2020, up 52% compared to the world’s average  growth of 25%.

Currently, more than 1,000 firms are operating in the packaging industry in Vietnam.

Despite the large number and strong growth of the sector, it is still considered a sub-sector in this country, Vinpas chairman Nguyen Ngoc Sang told the Daily.

In the list of business codes issued by the Ministry of Planning and Investment for sectors in Vietnam, producing packaging from wood is coded 1623, and belongs to the bamboo and wood production sector. Meanwhile, paper and carton packaging is coded 17021 while plastic packaging has a 22201 code.

“Packaging is not only made from wood, paper or plastic but metal, rubber and glass also, and how can authorities manage the production of glass packaging as it has no business code,” he said.

In the U.S. and other developed countries, packaging is classified as one of the top sectors. However, the position of the industry in Vietnam is different, Sang said, adding that this has caused difficulties for packaging firms because they cannot benefit from the Government’s policies.

“While seafood exports enjoy tax incentives, packaging firms get nothing but it is packaging that helps preserve seafood,” Sang said.

(Source: Saigontimes)