High demand from Korea, Japan for Vietnamese fruits, vegetables
With their high demand for agricultural products, South Korea and Japan offer opportunities for Viet Nam to boost export of farm produce, especially fruits and vegetables, Do Quoc Hung, deputy director general of the Asia-Africa Market Department, has said.
South Korea’s farm produce import revenue has soared in recent years, reaching US$35.2 billion last year.
He noted, however, that exports of Viet Nam’s farm produce to the South Korean market remained very modest at about $2.14 billion, he said.
Hung spoke at an Export Forum held on the sidelines of the second International Exhibition & Conference for Horticultural and Floricultural Production and Processing Technology (Hortex Vietnam), which opened in HCM City on Wednesday.
Viet Nam’s main agricultural and aquaculture products exported to the market include coffee beans, banana, chili, garlic, dragon fruit, mango, rice, shrimp and fish filets.
“Currently, the South Korean market has allowed the import of coconut, banana, mango and dragon fruits from Viet Nam. The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) has worked with the Korean side to open the door for Vietnamese star apple, pomelo, rambutan, longan and litchi to enter the market,” he said.
Hung noted that Japan is the world’s fourth largest farm produce importer, with import revenue worth $57.8 billion last year.
But like the Korean market, export of Vietnamese farm produce to Japan is still low. Exports of Viet Nam’s vegetables and fruits to the market are worth $2.5 million and $36.4 million, respectively, accounting for 1.3 per cent and 1.1 per cent of its total imports, he said.
Japan has opened its market for Vietnamese dragon fruit (white and red flesh), mango and banana, Hung said, adding that MARD is in the process of getting a permit to export litchi, longan and star apple to the market.
Free trade agreements that Viet Nam has signed with the two countries offer advantages for domestic firms to boost exports. But the two markets have applied strict quarantine regulations, causing difficulties for firms to boost exports to these markets.
He suggested that local fruits and vegetable producers focus more on applying good agricultural practices and technologies, and study the markets carefully so that more Vietnamese fruits and vegetables can enter the markets.
Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Viet Nam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said that Viet Nam earned $3.8 billion last year from fruits and vegetable exports, a year-on-year increase of 7.9 per cent.
Vietnamese fruits and vegetables were exported to more than 60 countries and territories, with China, the US, South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia among the biggest importers.
The Government expected export revenue to reach $4.5 billion this year and $5 billion in 2020 due to an increasing consumption demand both at home and abroad, he said.
Hortex Vietnam 2019 has the participation of nearly 200 local and international exhibitors.
Nguyen Ba Vinh, director of Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Service Co Ltd (VEAS), one of the event’s organisers, said the exhibitors came from 28 countries and territories.
The exhibition showcases equipment and technologies for the vegetable, flower and fruits industries, including greenhouse film, net houses, packaging machines, gardening tools, agricultural materials, fertilisers, post-harvest and processing of fresh vegetables, and flowers, ornamental plants and plant nutrition.
In addition to annual programmes such as B2B matchmaking, international VIP buyers, and seminars, the event this year also includes new activities such as the Export Forum Programme, which offers an opportunity for exhibitors and visitors to update latest information on high potential markets such as ASEAN, Australia, Japan, Korea, China and Europe, Vinh said.
Le Van Duc, deputy director general of the MARD’s Department of Crop Production, said this year’s exhibition has grown significantly compared to the first one in 2018.
“Hortex Vietnam 2019 will be a practical and effective event to accompany the development of Viet Nam’s vegetable-flower-fruit manufacturing and processing industry, a place for organisations to collaborate and share technology and technical advancement, to search and expand their markets, enabling Viet Nam to become one of the highest-ranking vegetable, flower and fruit exporting countries in the world,” Duc said.
Held by VEAS and the Netherlands’ Nova Exhibitions B.V., the exhibition, which will run until March 15 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre, expects to receive about 6,000 trade visitors.