Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Việt Nam has a diverse and well-developed agricultural and food industry that offers vast opportunities to companies in the food industry, from sourcing to processing, a Hong Kong speaker said at a forum held on Wednesday in HCM City.
More than 300 representatives from Vietnamese firms as well as 30 companies from Hong Kong, Japan, mainland China and South Korea participated in the Forum for Trade and Investment Promotion for the Việt Nam’s Food Sector.
Stephen Liang, assistant executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), said Hong Kong and the 10 ASEAN member states formally signed a free trade agreement and related investment agreement last November.
“These agreements marked a major milestone for Hong Kong-ASEAN collaboration on trade and economic matters, of which Việt Nam has been a close trading partner in ASEAN for Hong Kong,” he said.
As Việt Nam is one of the most dynamic emerging countries in East Asia, with a rising middle class willing to eat non-local foods, he said “I believe the high-quality food products our delegates offer will attract them. Professional service provision is another major area that stands a very good chance for further collaboration.”
Many companies in Việt Nam want to reach out to overseas markets, including the fast-growing Chinese mainland.
“As an international business hub, Hong Kong service providers can offer a wide range of services, from logistics and supply chain management to marketing and packaging to assist Vietnamese companies,” he said.
Vũ Bá Phú, head of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said in recent years Việt Nam’s food industry had been developing rapidly, supplying a number of highly competitive products for exports and the local market.
“The country’s annual food consumption value is estimated at 15 per cent of the country’s GDP.”
Statistics show that over the past five years, consumption of processed foods has increased by 9.68 per cent per year, and consumption of beverages by 6.66 per cent per year.
Participants visit exhibition booths displaying farm produce products from 50 Vietnamese cities and provinces. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp
According to estimates by BMI Research, Việt Nam’s food industry will reach annual growth rate of 10.9 per cent during the 2015-20 period, which will promote business opportunities and trade and investment for Vietnamese food companies.
Exports of farm produce in the first six months were estimated at $13.5 billion, up 9.5 per cent from the same period of 2017.
Of the figures, exports of fruits and vegetables increased by 20.9 per cent with total export value of $2.01 billion.
Exports of seafood and aquaculture increased by 11 per cent with total export value of $3.96 billion in the period.
Vietnamese farm produce has been exported to 100 countries and territories.
"Việt Nam has been a member of the WTO since 1997 and has signed 10 free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries, opening up opportunities for businesses to invest in Việt Nam, especially in the food processing industry," Phú said.
Việt Nam, which is one of the largest exporters of rice, coffee and cashew nuts, also has great potential for export of processed food, according to Phú.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will continue to work with the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other agencies to offer the most favourable conditions for investors in the processed food industry.
The Trade Promotion Agency will continue to cooperate with agencies to hold more trade promotion activities for enterprises in the food industry.
Speakers also discussed other issues in the food industry such as raw materials, new trends in processed food products and new technologies to increase added value.
At the event, 50 exhibitors from 50 Vietnamese cities and provinces, including HCM City, An Giang, Sóc Trăng, Nghệ An, Bắc Giang, Cần Thơ and Kiên Giang, displayed their farm produce products.
The forum was organised by the MoIT’s Trade Promotion Agency. — VNS