|A panel discussion as part of the press conference to introduce HortEx Vietnam 2023 in HCM City on October 11. — VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters need to further enhance deep processing and diversify their export markets to avoid risks when major export markets face difficulties, the Asia-Africa Market Department said.
Đỗ Quốc Hưng, the department’s deputy director general, said Việt Nam’s fruit and vegetable exports were worth US$3.5 billion last year, accounting for less than 1.4 per cent of the world’s total fruit import revenue.
“We export to more than 60 markets but mainly focus on a number of large markets such as China, EU and Northeast Asia,” he told a press conference in HCM City last week to introduce HortEx Vietnam 2023, an International Exhibition & Conference for Horticultural and Floricultural Production and Processing Technology.
With China tightening inspection under its Zero COVID policy, Việt Nam’s fruit exports to that market had reduced to account for 56 per cent of total exports in the first eight months of the year compared to 70-80 per cent before COVID, he said.
Businesses had sought to promote exports to other markets but not enough to offset the drop from the Chinese market, he said.
Đăng Phúc Nguyên, general secretary of the Việt Nam Fruit Vegetable Association, said Việt Nam’s fruit and vegetable exports in the first nine months of the year dropped by 11 per cent year-on-year to about $2.45 billion, with exports to China down by 35 per cent.
In the context of a sharp decline in the country’s largest export market, local fruit and vegetable exporters had promoted exports to markets that the country has free trade agreements with and had witnessed a significant increase in exports in these markets, including those that require high standards such as the US, EU and Japan, he said.
“I think this is a good sign for fruit and vegetable enterprises in particular and domestic agricultural companies in general to further improve productivity and product quality to diversify export markets instead of relying too much on a few large markets,” Nguyên said.
He said HortEx Vietnam 2023, the largest professional exhibition for the horticultural and floricultural sector, would be a good opportunity for local businesses to meet international buyers to seek new export opportunities.
Ingrid Korving, agricultural counsellor at the Netherlands Embassy in Hà Nội, said each year, the EU imported about $120 billion of horticultural products, accounting for 40 per cent of global imports. Exports from Việt Nam to this market accounted for roughly 4 per cent of EU needs.
“The Netherlands, being the gateway to Europe, is now the biggest market of Việt Nam products to EU (for domestic consumption and further export to other European countries). Therefore, we can see, there is a lot of potential for Việt Nam in this market, by upgrading the level of production and processing to meet the demands and requirements of this market,” she said.
After more than three years of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HortEx Vietnam will return to HCM City from March 1 to 3, 2023.
The fifth edition of the exhibition is expected to attract 250 exhibitors from 30 countries and about 7,000 trade visitors.
The exhibition will also feature many activities such as a series of specialised seminars, an export forum, business matching and VIP buyer programmes, and others.
According to the organisers, the exhibition aims to create a meeting place for Vietnamese and international businesses and experts in the horticulture and floriculture industry, where suppliers and buyers can meet, exchange information and seek business opportunities.
Held by the Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co., Ltd, and the Netherlands’ Nova Exhibitions B.V., the exhibition will take place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre. — VNS