|Australian table grapes are showcased at the seminar. — VNS Photo Phương Thảo|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is a potential market for Australian table grapes because of its growing middle class, rapid economic growth and the increasing purchasing power of Vietnamese consumers.
The statement was made by Yvonne Chan, Australian Deputy Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner to Việt Nam, at a seminar in Hà Nội on Thursday.
The event was organised to cement existing trade relations and build new partnerships among Australian table grape exporters and Vietnamese importers.
Table grapes are produced in all Australian states, with the majority grown in Victoria. Of the country’s roughly 1,000 table grape growers, most are small-scale, family owned businesses.
Australia plants an average volume of 170,000 tonnes of table grapes each year, 62 per cent of which is exported to 42 countries and territories, Chan said.
Việt Nam is the 7th largest importer of Australian table grapes with a 4 per cent share, following China (38 per cent), Indonesia (15 per cent), Japan (10 per cent), Hong Kong (7 per cent), the Philippines (5 per cent) and Thailand (5 per cent).
According to Dianne Phan, trade head of Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, Việt Nam is a key export market for Australia, and the Australian table grape industry has worked hard to introduce Vietnamese consumers of Australian grapes.
“Over the past four years, Australian table grape exports have grown 73 per cent, demonstrating the increasing demand for our high quality and premium produce,” she said.
Australian Table Grapes Association CEO Jeff Scott said several new varieties were coming into production for export this year such as sweet nectar, sweet sapphire, pristine seedless, long crimson, cotton candy and melody seedless. However, thompson seedless and crimson seedless are still expected to be Australia’s main export varieties.
“Việt Nam is one of the best favourable markets for Australian table grapes, especially thanks to the easy delivery through air flights between the two countries,” Scott told Việt Nam News.
“I expect the exporting volume of Australian table grapes into Việt Nam will reach 7,000 tonnes this year, nearly five times higher than that in 2016,” Scott said.
Besides table grapes, Australia is exporting two other types of fruits into Việt Nam, including citrus and cherry fruits.
Negotiations are also ongoing to bring Australian stone fruits into the Vietnamese market.
“I look forward to the trade ties between Australia and Việt Nam being closer and more and more Australian products being presented in Việt Nam, especially after Việt Nam officially became a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (