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Co May ecosystem with many new opportunities for development

Co May Group has been known as one of the a few enterprises that are pioneers focusing on research & development of new products and services instead of mobilizing only on developing the core products. Facing the challenges and opportunities in the current business environment, especially after COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam Logistics Review has organised a talk with Mr Pham Minh Thien – CEO of Co May Group about different stages in the development process in ecosystem of the corporation.

Mr Pham Minh Thien – CEO of Co May Group

Good morning Mr. Pham Minh Thien!

As has been known, Co May Group is one pioneer who cares much about research and development of new products in agricultural ecosystem, supplying for the basic demands of our community. Up to date, how has the Co May ecosystem been grown, Sir?

After over 30 years of establishment and development, we always put all whole heart and whole resources to fulfill the promise “Quality in our sayings” in each products that Co May produces and launch in the market. Now, Co May provides several key products like rice, aqua feed, animal feed, packaging, catfish and pangasius fillet for domestic and global trades.

Along with operating and developing stably some key products, we also focus on investing and seeking the opportunities for new products by using the available materials from the local regions.

At Co May, we have very qualified rice types for different income levels in the market. Co May Essential just uses the available materials in Mekong Delta region and applies modern technologies and techniques to study on new products, such as mushroom sauces, mushroom chips and snacks etc. Co May Bach Hoa not only produces and sales flowers (mostly roses) but also provides various types of vegetables and fruits following the high-tech standards. Besides, many high-added valued products like: rose essential oils, cuisine, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics from roses are also significantly invested.

With the complicated situation and lasting for days, how did COVID-19 impact on producing activities of the group? And what sale strategies does Co May prepare for the new journey with “a new order” after COVID-19?

At Co May, COVID-19 impacted mostly on the cash flow of the group, but I think this put heavy effects on not only Co May but most of the other enterprises. Prior to COVID-19, the cash flow was stable, but it suddenly down a half due to the inventory goods for months, while other costs like warehouse fees, yards, workers... have to be paid.

Especially, the issue that many enterprises are afraid is the short-term bank loans. At this moment, no one had could forecast exactly about the epidemic and how it led to the risks and difficulties in manufacturing activities in the companies.

The government has some policies supporting for enterprises, however I, myself, assessed that these policies have not brought the results as expected. For examples, Government directed to reduce the interest rates and rescheduling debts for the impacted companies but the debt reschedule will lead to another fact that the enterprises will get the lower rank in the credit ranking list, then they will have many difficulties if continue borrowing a bank loan later. Therefore, in other words, the government policies were not adequate with the real situations of the enterprises sometimes.

Currently, COVID-19 epidemic has been down, like other enterprises, Co May has changed to the stage to promote the sale and producing activities, try to seek the new markets and export the inventory goods, reconnect the broken supply chain in the group. The quick and effective response towards COVID-19 pandemic has made Vietnam become one economic destination inside the eyes of global friends. Vietnam now concentrates fully all factors and conditions to create a big push for the development in the next stage. So that I believe that enterprises need to act quickly and more strongly to catch up the “gold” chance to recover, greatly boost and stimulate the growth.

With the development of diversified many potential products, it can be sure that Co May always expects to distribute your hearted products into domestic and international markets. Facing the opportunities and challenges from the free trade agreements (FTA) like EVFTA, CPTPP etc., how does Co May welcome the promising potentials from these FTA, Sir?

Vietnam’s commitments and signing the FTA has created many conditions for businesses to break through within the development steps, this is very great opportunity. However, to Co May, we listen to this news with not such glad attitude but quite anxious because these agreements normally have the profound integration, basically any countries or enterprises which are more flexible and catch up the opportunities faster can take the market first.

Once products or goods of the international enterprises are imported into Vietnam more easily with cheaper prices... then the pressure about competitive capacity put on Vietnam’s enterprises will increase, whereas our enterprises take the opportunities from these FTA still very slowly. Typical example for that is rice – one of the key exporting products of our country and this is a core product of Co May.

For me, rice of Co May in particular, or of Vietnam in general, is not less competitive with Thai’s rice, even it looks better. But the question is that why our country did not treat enterprises more “generously”. Or in some policies on rice export, why we did not apply tax fines to regulate the export environment like: if enterprises can export rice with higher prices then can pay lower taxes and vice versa, if enterprises export rice with lower prices then have to pay higher taxes. This can reduce the less efficiency business of the lower cost products. With this strategy, the government both increases sale revenues and ensures the fairness among enterprises.

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