Though billed as an “international agricultural exhibition,” the AgroViet 2012 turned out to be a poorly organized event with the participation of various types of manufacturers, rather than just those of the agro sector, as its name suggests.
The participants, meanwhile, said they will never attend such a fair again shortly after the event, organized by the Economic Development and Commercial Corporation (EDC) at Ho Chi Minh City’s Phu Tho Stadium, concluded on Thursday, due to its poor quality.
Tran Thi Hong Hiep, owner of a Ninh Thuan-based Tri Hiep facility specializing in producing products from grapes, decided to join the exhibition thanks to the organizer’s claim that the “fair is organized at an international level, attracting as many as 750 booths,” she said.
“But I was later stunned to see a number of booths selling various types of goods ranging from belts and shoes to electronic speakers and radios,” she said.
Hiep said she received less than 50 visitors on a daily basis, and could only manage to sell some VND500,000 worth of products a day, while “the transport cost for them is already ten times higher.”
Despite the poor visiting rate, the organizers still demanded VND10,000 per person for admission as of 5:30pm every day to increase their profits, she added.
Similarly, the Dong Thap-based Red Lotus Wine Co was unable to hand out all of its brochures to exhibition visitors because “[visitors] left the fair shortly after arriving as the goods are displayed in a mess,” said company director Nguyen Huynh Luu.
The AgroViet 2012 fair, themed “building a sustainably developed agriculture sector,” was considered a significant event for the agro industry to promote local products to international partners.
But the exhibition was in fact full of booths selling non-agro products such as clothing, footwear, and even cooking utensils.
Around 100 out of 750 booths at the venue were non-agricultural, while dozens of the stands had to shut down as there were no visitors.
The organizer, EDC, admitted that the exhibition had fallen short of their expectation due to the short preparation time.
“Some international partners declined to attend at the last minute, and certain booths thus had to be left empty,” director Nguyen Dinh Anh told Tuoi Tre.
Many exhibitions held under the label of “promoting Vietnamese goods” in fact focused only on benefitting the organizers by selling as many booths as possible, while neglecting management on the quality of the participating businesses.
Little attention was paid to inspecting the quality of the goods to be displayed at the fair, and participants could sell whatever they wanted once they completed registration.
A recent fair, named “Vietnamese and Vietnamese goods,” also angered visitors as most of the booths were selling Chinese products and copycats of international fashion brands at throwaway prices.
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