Vietnamese produce exporters eye high-quality markets worldwide

March 03, 2023 - 05:29
From Asia to Europe and the Middle East to North America, potential buyers are looking for top-notch products, which has prompted domestic exporters to ramp up their efforts to meet these rigorous standards.
Enterprises introduce agricultural products at HortEx Vietnam 2023. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Anh

HCM CITY — At a forum in HCM City on Wednesday, experts discussed the growing interest in Vietnamese fruit and vegetables among high-quality markets around the world.

From Asia to Europe and the Middle East to North America, potential buyers are looking for top-notch products, which has prompted domestic exporters to ramp up their efforts to meet these rigorous standards.

Lê Thanh Hòa, deputy director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (Agrotrade), said that over the recent years, fruits and vegetables have been among the groups with export revenue of over US$3 billion each year. The figure reached $3.37 billion in 2022.

Last year, many kinds of fruits, such as passion fruit, durian and banana, were allowed to be exported to China through official channels. At the same time, Vietnamese pomelo was exported to the US, limes and pomelos to New Zealand and fresh longan to Japan.

In the first two months of this year, export of fruits and vegetables hit $592 million, up 17.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2022. China remained the major market of Việt Nam, consuming 57.5 per cent of the country's total fruit and vegetable exports.

Hòa also highlighted the advantages Vietnamese fruits and vegetables enjoy on other markets, especially those under free trade agreements (FTA).

Jos Leeters, director of Bureau Leeters, underlined that Việt Nam is eyeing great opportunities in the EU, where the market scale is 62 billion EUR ($66.05 billion), or 43 per cent of the world's total fruit and vegetable trade value.

He noted that the EU-Vietnam FTA is bringing 94 per cent of all tax lines to zero, making Việt Nam more competitive than Thailand and China.

Nguyễn Minh Phương, director of the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that due to low supply and high demand, the Middle East and North Africa are also promising markets for Vietnamese farm produce.

Experts, however, underscored that the major challenge for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables is the increasing requirements in the international market, especially those in origin traceability and food safety.

Phạm Minh Thắng from Agrotrade said Vietnamese firms had faced a lack of information on market demands and access to distribution channels in imported countries.

Meanwhile, exporting fresh vegetables to other markets is encountering obstacles due to transportation difficulties, while the rate of processed products remains modest.

To promote fruit and vegetable exports, Thắng advised producers and exporters to actively renovate their farming techniques to increase their product quality while strengthening processing and trade promotion activities, diversifying trading activities on digital platforms, and applying information technology in the sale of farm produce.

The forum was held on the sidelines of the fifth International Exhibition and Conference for Horticultural and Floricultural Production and Processing Technology (HortEx Vietnam 2023), which opened in HCM City on the same day.

HortEx Vietnam 2023, showcasing fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables and technologies used in their production and processing, has attracted 200 companies from 25 countries and territories.

The Netherlands is the partner country, with 33 enterprises participating.

Kees van Baar, the Dutch ambassador to Việt Nam, said companies from his country are showcasing the latest agricultural technologies, innovations and expertise.

"The Netherlands has a long history of agricultural excellence, and we are proud to bring this expertise to Việt Nam,” the ambassador said.

The exhibition at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre was organised by Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co., Ltd, Nova Exhibitions BV (Netherlands), and the China Great Wall International Exhibition Co., Ltd (China) will end today. — VNS