Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến (first, right) visits a Vietnamese booth at the Brussels Seafood Expo 2019 in Belgium. — VNA/VNS Photo Kim Chung
BRUSSELS — Vietnamese enterprises are showcasing their products at the 2019 Brussels Seafood Expo in Belgium from Tuesday to Thursday, aiming to find a firm foothold in the European market.
This year’s exhibition includes 25 booths with many types of seafood such as shrimp, tra catfish, tuna, squid and octopus as well as processed foods.
Vietnamese booths have received attention from partners and visitors during the opening day.
On the sidelines of the event, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development worked with the Vietnamese Embassy and Trade Office in Belgium and the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) to hold a forum on Vietnamese seafood and co-operation prospects.
VASEP also collaborated with the Directorate of Fisheries and the southernmost province of Cà Mau to hold a seminar on tra fish and Vietnamese shrimp.
Speaking at the forum, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến said the Vietnamese fishery sector is focused on developing its products, applying modern technology, increasing product quality and value, diversifying its offerings and ensuring food safety and hygiene.
Tô Thị Tường Lan, VASEP’s deputy general secretary, said Vietnamese firms have followed sustainable farming standards for tra catfish and shrimp products.
For caught fish, Việt Nam has complied with the legal requirements of European fishing. As for farming, the problem of traceability is particularly important. It is also a challenge for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Bùi Anh Dũng, deputy general director of Minh Phú Seafoods Company, said that ensuring high quality and meeting sustainable farming standards has helped the business gain a firm foothold and increase exports to the EU market.
Minh Phú has satisfied the EU’s highest standards such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Global Gap, certificates of organic farming products EU Bio and Bio Suisse.
Javier Cordova Fernandez, Deputy General Manager at Mitsui & Co Europe PLC, said the company has bought Vietnamese shrimp products for years thanks to their good quality and competitive prices.
European consumers pay attention to their health, he said, advising Vietnamese enterprises to increase product traceability and expand the use of organic feed in aquatic farming.
The EU has great potential as a market for Asian countries, including Việt Nam. It has been a key market for Vietnamese seafood products for many years.
Last year, Việt Nam exported 275,800 tonnes of aquatic products to the EU, earning US$1.4 billion, making it the second biggest importer of Vietnamese aquatic products.
The signing and ratification of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement is expected to raise the Southeast Asian nation’s export turnover thanks to tariff cuts. — VNS