|Workers check quality of shrimp at Mien Trung (Central) Seafood Import Export JSC. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang
HCM CITY (VNS) — South Korea has high demand for fisheries and farm produce, making it a promising market for Viet Nam, according to the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade).
Speaking at a Korean market access seminar held in HCM City on Wednesday, Bui Thi Thanh An, deputy director of Vietrade, said however farm exports to Korea remain very modest, accounting for around 10 per cent of the country's total exports.
To expand exports to the market, Vietnamese products need to meet strict requirements in terms of quality and technical standards, she said.
"A number of firms have exported their products to difficult markets like the US, EU, and Japan, and I think they will do well in this market (Korea) in the coming time."
Experts from leading Korean food companies like Shinsegae, CJ, and Pulmuone spoke to more than 100 local entrepreneurs about purchasing trends and procedures in the Korean agro-fisheries sector.
Yeong Hun Kim, manager of Pulmuone Food Co Ltd, said Korea's seafood imports are rising every year.
Viet Nam has surpassed China to become the biggest shrimp exporter to Korea, he said.
White-leg shrimp is very popular in his country and Korean importers are looking for Vietnamese suppliers, he said.
Processed products like shrimp crayfish, shrimp flake, butterfly shrimp, squid ring/bar/bal, fish, salmon, and squid cutlets are also in great demand, he revealed.
To penetrate the Korean market, besides ensuring product quality, Vietnamese firms also need to focus more on packaging, he said.
Since Korean consumers tend to be concerned about the health aspects of food and safety of packaging materials, the type of plastics used in packaging should be carefully considered and good materials should be used, he warned.
Bui Thi Thanh Duyen, business development director at Thanh Thai Gia Trading Investment Company, who specialises in tea and coffee, said apart from studying the demand and consumers' taste in the market, knowing Korean language is also important.
An said that the seminar, which was organised by Vietrade and the ASEAN-Korea Centre, was meant to help Vietnamese firms understand the Korean market and the specific requirements of importers there.
The seminar also featured a training in packaging for local firms and business-to-business meetings.
Chung Hae-moon, secretary general of the ASEAN-Korea Centre, said trade between Viet Nam and Korea has grown strongly in the recent past to reach US$27.3 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 38 per cent, he said.
Viet Nam exports garment and textile, farm produce, and fisheries products to South Korea and imports electronic components, machinery and equipment, and other capital goods.
Oh Jae Hack, the South Korean envoy in HCM City, said the two countries are negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement, which is expected to be concluded by the end of this year.
Once it comes into effect, the two countries would have more opportunities to boost investment and trade, he said.
Bilateral trade is expected to top $70 billion by 2020, the target set by the two governments, he said. — VNS