A booth at the Vietnam Foodexpo 2019 that is being held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from November 13 to 16. — VNS Photo Xuân Hương
HCM CITY — Vietnamese food producers need to improve quality, adopt international standards and overcome trade barriers in other countries to boost exports, the Vietnam Food Forum heard in HCM City on November 13.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Đỗ Thắng Hải said the many multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements the country had signed had opened up plenty of opportunities for Vietnamese companies to boost exports.
Agricultural and food exports had seen good growth in recent years, but firms came up against stringent requirements in many markets.
Vianney Lesaffre of the International Trade Centre said, “There is an increasing trend of applying non-tariff barriers in the international market.
“Non tariff measures (NTMs) are official policy measures, other than ordinary customs tariffs, that can potentially have an effect on international trade in goods, changing volumes traded or prices or both.”
They include technical measures and standards as well as regulations on customs procedures, para-tariff measures, financial measures, prohibition, and others.
The ITC and the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) are jointly carrying out an NTM programme to identify the most challenging trade regulations faced by Vietnamese companies, define feasible actions to overcome the obstacles and reduce costs and increase understanding of NTMs and related procedures.
Nguyễn Thị Minh Thúy, acting director of Vietrade’s information technology application centre, said besides the NTMs programme Vietrade has also collaborated with the ITC for some other projects such as the ‘Trade for sustainable development (T4SD) hub in Vietnam’ and the ITC SheTrades Initiative that aims to connect three million women entrepreneurs to international markets by 2021.
To boost exports, Vietnamese firms must understand the specific requirements of their target markets, improve marketing strategies and build brands, other delegates said.
Andreas Krey, general director of Germany’s Thuringia State Development Office, said, “German consumers are increasingly fond of Vietnamese products thanks to improving quality.”
He said he saw a lot of opportunities for both sides to bring products to each other’s market and suggested businesses from Germany, especially Thuringia State, and Việt Nam should enhance co-operation, for example by creating joint ventures, “to share their experiences in production and quality.”
“It is time to come to Germany because we need your products.”
Vietnam Foodexpo 2019
The forum was held on the sidelines of the 2019 Việt Nam International Food Industry Exhibition being held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from November 13 to 16.
The expo has more than 600 stalls put up by 450 exhibitors from 29 provinces and cities in Việt Nam and 23 countries and territories from around the world.
Products on display include fresh, dried, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen, canned and processed seafood, beverages, food materials, processed foods, and food processing technologies and equipment.
The Bến Tre Green Pomelo Cooperative, Bình Thuận’s Thanh Bình Cooperative and Ninh Thuận’s Table Grape Evergreen Cooperative introduced their fresh fruits grown to VIETGAP standard as well as processed products such as dried fruits, juices, and fermented grape juice.
These co-operatives are being supported by the Vietnam Cooperative Development Project funded by the Canadian Government.
This year Germany’s Thuringia State has been selected as the Country of Honour, and it is showcasing its food industry, from meat, sausage, and potato-based products to vegetarian and functional foods and food processing machines.
Many other events are also being organised to enhance trade links between Vietnamese and foreign enterprises, including the Investment Promotion Conference in the Food processing Industry, Morning Wake up Coffee Championship, business deal signing ceremonies, and culinary shows.
Hải said: “We believe Vietnam Foodexpo will become an effective platform for businesses and visitors to access new trendy products, innovative solutions in food preservation and food processing technology.
“The exhibition also creates a favourable trade promotion environment for food businesses to promote their brands, expand their market and thus contribute significantly to the strong and sustainable transformation of Việt Nam's food industry amid the ever deepening international economic integration.” — VNS
Delegates cut the ribbon to open the 2019 Việt Nam International Food Industry Exhibition at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre on November 13. — VNS Photo