UK retail giant Tesco has stayed silent on a report that it is looking to enter Vietnam.

According to a report in The Independent today (12 January), Tesco is understood to be weighing up an entry into the Vietnamese market. A move would make the south-east Asian country Tesco’s 15th overseas market.

At an investor summit focusing on Tesco’s operations in Asia in November, the retailer cited the continent as having a “large and growing population and increasingly prosperous consumers”. Tesco pointed to Asia as being “a powerful driver of long-term growth and returns” for the company.

Vietnam has a current population of around 87m, Tesco’s presentation noted, and a “modern grocery distribution” market worth GBP4bn at present.

However, when contacted by just-food today, Tesco declined to comment on “rumour or speculation”.

According to Euromonitor’s Retailing in Vietnam report, retailing is considered one of the most attractive industries in the country.

Among the major players in the Vietnamese retail industry, Saigon Coop, Hapro Mart and G7 are the three most active, with “high ambitions to strongly resist the competition posed by international players”, the report noted.

The sector, however, remains small. Retail sales in Vietnam are forecast to increase from VND373.73bn (US$19.2m) in 2009 to VND469.66bn by 2014.