Room for Vietnamese agricultural and food products in the UAE
There remains huge opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to accelerate exports of agricultural and food products to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) thanks to its strong demand for these items, experts have said.
As the regional trade and logistics centre, the UAE was considered one of the world's largest re-export markets for goods including farm produce, Nguyen Manh Tuan, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UAE, said.
Currently, Viet Nam exports US$200 million worth of agricultural exports to the UAE each year. This figure was still modest compared to the UAE's annual import turnover at about $5 billion.
Truong Xuan Trung, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in the UAE, said that in order to increase market share in the UAE, Vietnamese businesses should strengthen co-operation and attend large agricultural fairs and exhibitions in the UAE.
At the same time, the Government agencies needed to host forums and business exchange events in order to support local firms in finding suitable partners, verify information about partners and competitors. The State should also provide the firms with updated market information while completing the bilateral legal framework.
Meanwhile, Raphael Nagel, President of the Abrahamic Business Circle, said the UAE had great demand for agricultural products to ensure food security. Therefore, in order to do business successfully in the UAE, businesses needed to establish representative offices in the country.
Amid a sharp increase in freight rates due to the pandemic, it was necessary for the firms to build separate distribution channels to ensure the circulation of exported agricultural products. At the same time, they could jointly rent cold storage and transportation systems to minimise export costs, he said.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the UAE was a potential market for agricultural and food products from Viet Nam. Thus, promoting the export of these products to the UAE market was one of the top priorities.
As part of its efforts, the ministry's Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) teamed up with the Vietnamese Embassy and Trade Office in the UAE to organise the Vietnamese Pavilion at the Gulfood Dubai Fair 2022 with the participation of some 12 agricultural and processed food enterprises from Viet Nam.
They included Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamik), Hanfimex Vietnam JSC, Hoang Son 1 JSC, Prosi Thang Long JSC, Tan Phat Foods Corporation and Dong Giao Foodstuff Import-Export Co.
During the event which runs from February 13-17, these firms showcased rice, cashew nuts, coconut, pepper, cinnamon, anise, milk and dairy products, fresh fruits and juice, among other items.
Director of VIETRADE Vu Ba Phu described the event which was held with over 5,000 booths, attracting nearly 100,000 visitors, as an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to seek new partners and diversify their markets in the context that they were finding it hard to export agricultural and aquatic products to traditional markets due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.