|A fruit processing plant in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta. Photo nld.com.vn
HCM CITY — Exports of fruits and vegetables were worth US$2.06 billion in the first six months of this year, up 17.4 per cent year-on-year, and are expected to reach a record $4 billion this year.
Đặng Phúc Nguyên, general secretary of the Việt Nam Vegetables Association, said exports would increase sharply this year since importing countries are recovering economically, leading to an increase in demand.
But in the next few months Thailand, Malaysia, China, and other countries would also have their fruit harvest season making competition very fierce, he said.
New-generation free trade agreements such as the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are helping Vietnamese businesses increase fruit and vegetable exports this year, he said.
The UK – Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKFTA) that took effect late last year scrapped taxes on more than 94 per cent of vegetables and fruits, he said.
Experts said to take advantage of opportunities and boost exports, exporters should improve processing technologies, especially in the post-harvest and packaging stages, to preserve their products longer and enhance their value.
Việt Nam is gradually expanding exports to the US, EU, Japan, and South Korea, but China remains the leading market for Việt Nam’s farming, forestry and seafood products.
It accounted for 64.7 per cent of Việt Nam's fruit and vegetable exports in the first quarter of this year.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has urged the Ministry of Health to issue safety certificates for drivers transporting agricultural products and pay attention to deploying a priority mechanism for COVID-19 vaccination, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked to consider negotiate with bordering countries on the form of "vaccine passport" for drivers transporting goods across the border.
Việt Nam hopes that when COVID-19 is brought under control, Chinese experts can come to re-evaluate the technical processes for its durian.
If it gets approval for official export to China, Việt Nam could become a competitor to Thailand and Malaysia. — VNS