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Exporting agricultural products through overseas Vietnamese: A promising way

10:17 | 04/03/2022

VCN - Vietnam currently has 5 million overseas Vietnamese living and working in 190 countries and territories. Overseas Vietnamese are a bridge to help Vietnamese agricultural products conquer many export markets, and at the same time increase foreign investment in the agricultural sector in the future.

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Exporting agricultural products through overseas Vietnamese: A promising way
Vietnamese agricultural products still have many opportunities to increase exports through the "channel" of overseas Vietnamese.

Building a "bridge" for expatriates and businesses

According to Mr. Hoang Manh Hue, President of the Union of Vietnamese Business Associations in Europe, Vietnam has a rich and diverse source of agricultural and forestry products with great potential for export to European countries.

In order to conquer the market, businesses need to learn about the market, the law, the culture. The Vietnamese community in Europe will be a valuable source of information to provide accurate and fast information for domestic businesses.

However, Mr. Hoang Manh Hue said that currently, the link between the Vietnamese community in Europe and domestic enterprises is still weak.

To solve this problem, it is necessary to promote the role of domestic organizations and industry associations in strengthening links with Vietnamese organizations and businesses in Europe through seminars and forums.

“On the part of state management agencies, it is advisable to create a common data center so that expatriates and businesses can access and exchange information closely and conveniently; at the same time, taking advantage of the potential commercial center of Vietnamese people in Europe to bring Vietnamese agricultural products into consumption. Currently, there is a system of trade centers of Vietnamese people in most Eastern European countries. 80% of businesses operating are Vietnamese while Vietnamese goods sold here account for only 10-15%. This is a great advantage that businesses need to take advantage of and improve," said Mr. Hue.

Mr. Vo Van Long, Chairman of Thang Long Group (a company specializing in food and restaurant business with 30 stores across Germany and Eastern Europe), and also the owner of Thang Long Group and President of the Vietnam Business Association in Germany said that Vietnam's strength is the Vietnamese community with more than 220,000 people living in Germany. Vietnam should build a "bridge" between Vietnamese enterprises and Europe through enterprises in Germany because this is a very large market.

“German people consume a lot of Asian goods, but the amount of agricultural products from Vietnam is very small, most of them are from China, Thailand and other countries. We want the Government to create a connecting space for domestic enterprises and businesses in Germany to promote the export of Vietnamese agricultural products,” said Mr. Long.

This businessman said Germany is not a "difficult" market but a potential market because Vietnamese goods entering Germany will certainly enter other markets. Notably, in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic, in the German market all agricultural products have increased in price by at least 30%. This is an opportunity for Vietnamese goods to enter Germany.

Standardization of agricultural production

Besides creating a stronger connection between overseas Vietnamese and domestic enterprises, improving and standardizing the quality of agricultural products is a factor that many expatriates pay special attention to in order to promote the export of Vietnamese agricultural products.

Ms. Hong Shurany, an overseas Vietnamese living in Israel, said that in the past 5 years, Israel has become a country with very developed agriculture. She has invested to develop Israel's high-tech agriculture in Vietnam, specifically the Central Highlands provinces. In the past two years, due to the impact of the pandemic, Vietnamese agricultural products have had to be dumped. However, Israel's agricultural products and fruits are more expensive and exported.

It is supposed that the agricultural development conditions of Israel and Vietnam have many similarities. In order to help Vietnamese agriculture, Ms. Hong Shurany suggested that the first three campaigns should be well implemented, including changing perceptions to educate local leaders on standardizing export-oriented agricultural production; change the way enterprises invest and organize the production and export of agricultural products to take advantage of the tariff advantages of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs); and change the perception of farmers in export agricultural areas in order to standardize agriculture.

“It is necessary to exploit the strengths from the signed FTAs, promote exports, attract and make the most of FDI inflows into agriculture, especially resources from overseas Vietnamese. For example, the State gives priority to Israel's high-tech agriculture in Vietnam, national-level coordination between the two states of Israel and Vietnam to make each large agricultural area for Vietnam," said Ms. Hong Shurany.

Noting the progress of Vietnam's agricultural industry, Tran Hai Linh, Chairman of the Vietnam - Korea Business and Investment Association (VKBIA), said that the agricultural industry still faces the most difficulties such as production is small, scattered and not concentrated, and it has not yet been able to meet the "fastidious" overseas markets.

Notably, the output of Vietnamese agricultural products is facing fierce competition with the global supply chain. Specifically, markets such as the US, EU, China, Japan, and South Korea have increased the protection of domestic agricultural products through technical barriers such as food safety and hygiene, quality control, and source traceability.

Emphasizing the application of science and technology, increasing post-harvest processing, for example with coffee products, Mr. Linh said that every year the Korean market consumes a lot of coffee.

However, Vietnamese coffee entering this country is mainly raw. Through Korean partners, many businesses have preliminarily processed to suit Korean taste and achieved remarkable success. Similarly, with ginseng products in Lai Chau, Mr. Linh assessed that it could bring higher value.

Remove difficulties for import and export goods through northern border provinces Remove difficulties for import and export goods through northern border provinces

“In December 2021, we coordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the People's Committee of Lai Chau Province, the Vietnamese Embassy in Korea to organize a workshop and invite Korean experts to join the people of Lai Chau to restore and develop Lai Chau ginseng," Mr. Linh said.

By Thanh Nguyen/Bui Diep