HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam earned US$119 million from fruit and vegetable exports in the first two months of this year, up 16 per cent on the same period in 2012.
The result continues the sector's target of a 10-year growth in exports.
This year's fruit and vegetable export turnover is expected to hit $1 billion.
Thanks to the advantages of favourable climates in growing regions, exports of fruit and vegetables have grown strongly since 2004. Export turnover last year was 5.5 times higher than 2003's figure, with an average growth of 20.7 per cent annually.
This growth has increased rapidly in the past two years: 38.1 per cent in 2011 and 33.1 per cent in 2012.
The country's 13 primary markets exceeding $10 million included China ($218.1 million), Japan ($54.6 million), the US ($39.9 million), Russia ($28.4 million), South Korea ($22.6 million) and Thailand ($20.4 million).
Large volumes of specialty fruits are being shipped abroad, such as longan, mango, orange, grapefruit, lychee, banana and dragon fruit, as well as fresh vegetables and flowers.
However, Viet Nam still spends significant amounts on fruit and vegetable imports. They totalled $294 million in 2010, $293.5 million in 2011, $335 million in 2012 and $51 million in the first two months of this year – up 11.2 per cent on last year.
Sustainable export growth will require Viet Nam to focus on improving quality, controlling illegal imports, and ensuring food hygiene and safety. — VNS