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Japanese convenience operator FamilyMart has told just-food that it will be the first such chain to open its doors in Vietnam later this year.

Creating a joint venture with local operator Phu Thai and its main shareholder Itochu, FamilyMart said it would open the first of 300 shops in September in Ho Chi Minh City.

“With its young population and pro-Japanese sentiment we foresee a lot of growth for us in Vietnam,” a Familymart spokeswomen told just-food.

“As the first to enter Vietnam obviously we are aware we have a huge advantage here to develop the Japanese retail trade in Vietnam.”

Familymart aims to increase the total number of stores it operates in Japan and overseas to 20,000, from about 14,000 now. The company is well established in South Korea and Taiwan and predicted that it will turn a profit in Vietnam in two years.