Vietnam could become the next big counterfeiter

Vietnam could become the next big counterfeiter

Fake product makers in China are chasing cheaper labor and leaner oversight from European and US importers all the way to Vietnam, said Phan Minh Nhut, brand protection manager for Nike, during the a conference on intellectual property rights held in Hanoi on Tuesday.

Nguyen Thanh Hong, from the Department of the Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam’s counterfeit goods’ operation is equal to one-sixtieth, or one-seventieth of China’s.

“Without drastic measures to combat fake products, Vietnam could become a big counterfeit goods producer in a near future,” he said adding that many handicraft villages specializing in counterfeiting have cropped up as farmland continues to disappear.

He used, as examples, Hanoi’s Thuong Tin District, which produces counterfeit blankets and pillows and portions of Thai Binh Province, which produces fake eyeglasses.

Now, fake products can be found all over Vietnam, Hong said, blaming the country’s proximity to China.

He said a large volume of bogus Chinese-made Viagra has recently turned up in Belgium. Fake products have also been found in northern provinces, especially Hanoi, Nhut said.

Do Thanh Lam, deputy head of the Market Management Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said his department deals with 90,000 counterfeit cases a year mainly in the form of knock-off beverage products, cigarettes and garments.

The department imposes fines worth some VND400 billion (over $19 million) annually.

In the first quarter of this year, over 25,000 counterfeit cases were resolved, he said adding that many more go undetected.

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