A booth displaying fruit and vegetable packaging machine at the Hortex Vietnam 2020, which is being held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from February 26 to 28. — VNS Photo Xuân Hương
HCM CITY — The 3rd International Exhibition & Conference for Horticultural and Floricultural Production and Processing Technology (HortEx Vietnam 2020) opened in HCM City on Wednesday.
With an exhibition scale of 2,200sq.m, HortEx Vietnam 2020, the biggest exhibition for the horticulture and floriculture sector in the country, has attracted nearly 150 exhibitors from 24 countries and territories, including the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, the US, Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand and Việt Nam. There are no exhibitors or visitors from China due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
The exhibition showcases equipment and technologies for the vegetable, flower and fruit industries, including greenhouse films, net houses, packaging machines, gardening tools, agricultural materials, fertilisers, post-harvest and processing of fresh vegetables, flowers, ornamental plants and plant nutrition.
One of the most prominent activities within the exhibition is the second edition of the Export Forum, which provides a platform for international buyers to meet Vietnamese growers and exporters, and offers an opportunity for local exhibitors and visitors to discover the latest information on export markets.
The exhibition also includes annual programmes such as B2B business matchmaking, international VIP buyers, and seminars.
Willem Schoustra, agriculture counselor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said: “We have over 20 Dutch companies here. I think we are the largest participating country in this fair after Việt Nam. These companies can show you the latest products, innovations and techniques of the Dutch agricultural sector and they are very keen to work with the Vietnamese agricultural sector.”
Lê Văn Đức, deputy director general of the Department of Crop Production, said despite taking place amid the COVID-19 epidemic fears, this year’s exhibition has attracted a large number of exhibitors from many countries, which demonstrates the interest of foreign businesses in the Vietnamese market.
“Hortex Vietnam 2020 would be a good place for local and international companies and organisations to enhance co-operation in seed research and production technology and in seeking consumption markets.”
By strengthening co-operation with foreign partners, local firms can develop a better orientation and contribute to boost the development of the local fruit and vegetable sector in a sustainable manner, he added.
Speaking at the seminar on investment prospects in the vegetable, flower and fruit industries held on the sidelines of the exhibition on Wednesday, Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, president of the Việt Nam Academy of Agricultural Science, said: “The sector has gained achievements in the past 10 years, with fruits cultivation area, productivity and output going up by 4.2 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 9.2 per cent a year."
Fruits and vegetables exports value increased steadily at 22 per cent annually in the 2010-19 period. The market for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables expanded to 60 countries and territories, including more selective markets such as the US, South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Many concentrated growing areas that are linked to processing facilities have been set up, while multiple processing facilities have formed with a capacity of approximately 1.2 million tonnes per year.
In addition, producers and processors have focused more on improving quality to meet food hygiene and safety standards required by importing markets, he said.
“But the sector has shortcomings and needs more investment to enable it to develop further, which will offer investment opportunities to local and foreign firms,” he said.
Sơn said he saw high investment opportunities in “high-tech technology in the production of vegetables, flowers and fruits, especially the development of temperate vegetables and flowers varieties, high-yield and quality fruit tree cultivars, technologies for producing seedlings, and tending and post-harvest activities.
In addition, investment opportunities exists in input materials, especially biological products for safe and organic production, processing technologies, agricultural machines and horticulture logistics.
Held by the Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co., Ltd (VEAS), the Netherlands’ Nova Exhibitions B.V. and GIE Exhibition Company Ltd., the exhibition will run until Friday at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre and expects to receive more than 4,500 trade visitors. — VNS