On the afternoon of October 18 (local time) Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received leaders of LuLu Group as part of his time attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Gulf Cooperation Council (ASEAN – GCC) Summit and his visit to Saudi Arabia from October 18 to October 20 at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
LuLu is a retail group with a large and widespread supermarket chain in more than 23 countries around the world, including the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.
The group currently has more than 65,000 employees with an annual revenue of more than US$8 billion. In addition, it has a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City in order to purchase Vietnamese goods for its supermarket system.
At the meeting, Kottilingal said he feels very secure that the country is both a politically safe destination and rich in agricultural export potential, adding that in the near future the company will seek to expand its market share locally through efforts such as purchasing agricultural products and building an agricultural product processing factory.
He shared that the company has so far imported 30% of Vietnamese fresh lemons to sell in the Saudi Arabian market, as well as 40% of the country’s cashew nuts. In the near future it will continue to import other agricultural products such as fish, along with fruits and vegetables, from the nation.
The LuLu group leader also expressed appreciation for the role of the Vietnamese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in supporting the group as a bridge to conduct business in the Vietnamese market. He also suggested that the Vietnamese Government create more favourable conditions for licensing the expansion of agricultural processing factories in the country whilst expanding the import of Vietnamese agricultural products.
In response, PM Chinh thanked and appreciated LuLu Group for serving as a bridge to introduce quality Vietnamese products to Saudi Arabian consumers, as well as other countries through its extensive and large-scale supermarket chain over recent times.
According to the Vietnamese cabinet leader, the relationship that exists between Vietnam and Saudi Arabia is seeing positive developments based on mutual trust, fruitful co-operation, and huge potential. This represents a solid foundation for businesses of the two countries to further expand ties in the time ahead.
The Vietnamese Government leader outlined his hopes that LuLu Group with its large-scale network will be a bridge to bring potential investors from both inside and outside Saudi Arabia to Vietnam.
He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government will accompany and offer the best possible conditions for foreign financiers, including Lulu Group, in developing business investment in accordance with legal regulations.
The Vietnamese Government is therefore fully committed to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, investing and doing business in Vietnam in the spirit of “harmonious benefits, shared risks”.
The Vietnamese Government will create optimal conditions for the group to grant licenses to expand factory construction in the country. He also agreed on researching the opening of a direct flight to Saudi Arabia and assured delegates of the nation’s readiness to welcome the group’s leaders.
Upon receiving Ali Al-Khatib, deputy CEO for Investment and Portfolio of Ajlan & Bros Holding which leads Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf in the garment and textile field, PM Chinh welcomed and highly appreciated the group’s plans, development orientations, and linkages with Vietnamese businesses.
Ali Al-Khatib hailed the Vietnamese economy’s dynamism and rapid development, while also stating that the group considers Vietnam to be a priority market.
PM Chinh replied that the Vietnamese Government will pledge to accompany and create favourable conditions for Ajlan & Bros Group to do business and expand co-operation with Vietnamese firms.
He said he looks forward to welcoming Ajlan & Bros Group leaders in order to realize the group’s business investment plans in the Vietnamese market.