Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Thirty-five Japanese businesses introduced various food items at a programme to connect businesses in the field of food, agricultural and forestry products and seafood in HCM City on Wednesday.
Under the programme, the Japanese businesses showcased many products, including rice, wheat flour, beef and seafood, as well as fresh fruit, canned juice, wine and powder milk.
Cool Hokkaido introduced Nanatsuboshi rice, ranked the top in a contest to evaluate Japanese rice flavour for six consecutive years. The rice is special for its taste and suitable for making sushi and cơm nắm -- a Vietnamese rice dish of the northern region that is shaped into a roll.
Meanwhile, JA Fukushima Company showcased Megumi juice, which is condensed from fresh peach and has no sugar and preservative substances.
Several Vietnamese businesses that participated in the programme said the Japanese food products were higher priced in comparison with other Asian countries such as South Korea and Thailand. However, known for their safety and special flavour, many kinds of Japanese food products had evinced interest in Việt Nam and witnessed high growth in consumption.
Takimoto Koji, chief representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation in HCM City, said Việt Nam was a potential market for food products originating from Japan.
According to a statistics from 2016, Việt Nam ranked seventh on the list of countries importing food and agricultural products from Japan.
In recent years, the number of Japanese restaurants has been rapidly increasing in Việt Nam. There are currently more than 1,000 Japanese restaurants in the country, with HCM City leading with nearly 660 restaurants, doubling the figure from three years ago.
Japan is the second-largest foreign investor in Việt Nam. By June 31, 2017, Japan had 3,443 projects with total registered capital of US$46 billion operating in the country.
The country has witnessed growth in investment in services. In 2016, the volume of projects invested in retail, hotels and services doubled the figure of 2015. A series of supermarkets, retail shops and restaurants such as Aeon Mall, Family mart, Ministop, Takashimaya and 7-Eleven have entered the Vietnamese market and are planning to expand business.
In the first five months of this year, Việt Nam imported seafood worth $28.4 million from Japan, marking a year-on-year increase of nearly 12 per cent. Meanwhile, the country spent more than $8 million importing other food products, up 29 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Việt Nam has signed two free trade agreements with Japan -- ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) and Việt Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA).
According to VJEPA, the average tax rate on Vietnamese goods exported to Japan and vice versa will be gradually cut to 2.8 per cent and seven per cent by 2018. — VNS