Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The EU is a demanding market with strict standards for imported products, so meeting the bloc’s requirements would be an opportunity for local exporters to expand their market.
Phạm Văn Cường, general director of G.O.C Food Processing Export Joint Stock Company told the 2018 Việt Nam – EU Trade Forum, themed ‘Agro-trading: Partnership for sustainable development’ held in Hà Nội on Thursday this would be an opportunity for Vietnamese firms to improve their management experience.
With three factories specialising in producing and supplying agricultural products for export, he said exporters to the EU also have to pay attention to policies relating to environmental protection, energy saving and labour standards.
He said his company has not set a high profit target when exporting to the EU but meeting the market’s requirements would help them export elsewhere.
Meanwhile, specialist Hadyn Craig from the UK Centre for Scientific and Technical Creativity noted that consumers’ health in the EU has been considered as one of important factors for development. It was the reason that controlling quality has always been a requirement for products, especially imported agricultural ones.
Nguyễn Thị Huyền, director of VINA SAMEX JSC said the trend in the EU was to use natural products.
“Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises should not only strictly control food safety and quality of products, but also promote organic and clean products,” she said, adding they have trained farmers not to use fertiliser and chemicals.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Cao Quốc Hưng said the EU is a prosperous economic region with GDP accounting for 23 per cent of the world’s nominal GDP and annual average per capita income up to US$40,890.
He said Việt Nam has advantages in production and exports of tropical agricultural products to the EU and will have more when the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect. However, this market has strict regulations on product quality and food hygiene and safety.
However, the Government, businesses and consultants should join hands to take advantages of EVFTA, he said.
French agricultural counselor in Việt Nam, Alexandre Bouchot, said it is crucial to decentralise the management of food policy, promote local initiatives, enhance the attraction of enterprises’ investment in agriculture and focus on training to meet requirements.
Many trade experts said that the first barrier for exports of Việt Nam’s agricultural products to the EU was a lack of links between farmers and enterprises.
Trần Văn Công, deputy director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in addition to preferential land prices and interest rate, the Government has also encouraged businesses investing in high-tech and clean agriculture.
He said investing in high-tech agriculture would not only improve product quality but also help firms join value chains, meet importers’ requirements and increase competitiveness.
“Việt Nam welcomes and is ready to apply preferential mechanisms to encourage investment and co-operation from EU firms in agricultural processing,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the two-way trade between Việt Nam and EU reached $50 billion in 2017, with exports of agricultural products from Việt Nam to the EU exceeding $5 billion.
Last year, the country’s total export value of agricultural products posted a 4.5 per cent year-on-year rise to VNĐ768.2 trillion ($33.4 billion).
The EU was second among export markets of Việt Nam, with 18 per cent of Việt Nam’s total agricultural products shipped to the market.
In the first 10 months of the year, the country’s export value of agricultural products reached $4.3 billion, increasing 10 per cent from the same period last year and could surpass the whole year’s set target.
The forum offered an opportunity for economic experts to share difficulties and challenges for Việt Nam – EU trade, helping enterprises to remove barriers and obstacles in production and business as well as providing updates and forecasts on the EU’s policies and regulations for imported agriculture products. — VNS