Rice exports to China need ecommerce channels: official

Expanding ecommerce channels is necessary to ramp up Vietnam’s rice exports to China, which have seen a recent decline, commercial counselor of the Vietnamese Embassy in China Dao Viet Anh said at a meeting on May 7.

Speaking at the meeting in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap between the local government, a working team of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and a delegation of Chinese rice importers, Anh said that it is essential for Vietnamese firms to prioritize ecommerce platforms for sale, apart from traditional commerce.

“This (ecommerce) is an effective method of Vietnamese rice distribution and shipments to China,” Anh said.

Anh told the Saigon Times on the sidelines of the meeting that some Vietnamese firms have successfully shipped large volumes of rice at high prices to China through ecommerce channels.

“This is a sustainable and stable distribution channel,” he said, adding that Loc Troi Group has exported one or two rice products to the Chinese market through the ecommerce channel.

Aside from the focus on rice distribution methods to China, Anh suggested Vietnamese rice exporters should focus on the quality of their rice and meet quarantine requirements.

“As rice can affect consumers’ health, Chinese authorities specifically attach great importance to the quality of imported rice,” Anh said.

In 2018, the Chinese side pointed out some problems in terms of sterilization and preservation methods for Vietnamese rice, he added.

Domestic rice exporters should proactively enhance commercial promotion activities, including joining food fairs in China to enhance the volume of rice exports, Anh stated.

“It is necessary to build and register a rice brand in the Chinese market,” he said, suggesting collaborating with Chinese outlets to sell Vietnamese-branded rice at supermarkets in major Chinese cities.

A report by the General Department of Vietnam Customs indicated that over the first two months of 2019, Vietnamese rice exports to China fell a whopping 95% year-on-year. However, the China still has high potential for rice trading, importing up to 5.32 million tons of rice per year.


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