Take advantage to increase fruit and vegetable exports to nearby markets

VCN - With close geographical distance, low cost and transportation time, and preferential tariffs... are great advantages that Vietnam's fruit and vegetable industry needs to take advantage of to increase exports to other Asian markets such as China, ASEAN, Middle East...
Production across various sectors is experiencing a revival. Photo: N.Linh
The export potential for Vietnamese fruits is still very large. Photo: N.H

Large growth potential

According to the Department of Crop Production, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam's fruit growing area currently has about 1.2 million hectares with about 50 types of fruit, including temperate, subtropical and tropical fruits. Among them, tropical fruits have great advantages in export. Besides Vietnam's traditional and largest export market, China (accounting for 65%), Vietnamese fruits and vegetables have also penetrated many large, demanding markets such as the US, Korea, Japan, Netherlands... with high export value.

Mr. Le Thanh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Department of Quality, Processing and Market Development of Agricultural Products, assessed that, in addition to the advantages from 17 signed Free Trade Agreements, the quality of Vietnam's fruit and vegetable products is also increasingly improved, meeting the ever-evolving regulations of markets on food safety and animal and plant quarantine.

In 2023, Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports set a record with a value of about 5.6 billion USD, an increase of 66.7% compared to 2022. In particular, durian exports recorded breakthrough growth, surpassing Dragon fruit rose to number 1 with about 2.2 billion USD, an increase of more than 5 times compared to 2022.

Dr. Le Thi Mai Anh, Head of Department, Asia - Africa Market Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade predicts that with the growth trend that has been established since 2023, Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports will continue to record an increase. double-digit growth in 2024, expected to reach about 6.5 - 7 billion USD if taking good advantage of existing opportunities. In particular, Ms. Mai Anh predicted that in difficult markets that Vietnam has penetrated, fruit and vegetable export output will continue to increase. In addition, Vietnam's fruit and vegetable export turnover only accounts for about 2-3% of the total world fruit and vegetable export turnover, so the growth potential is still very large.

"Penetrating into many demanding markets has affirmed the position and quality of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables, which also means that Vietnamese fruits and vegetables will continue to conquer many other markets" - Ms. Mai He assessed. Specifically, the US has opened its doors to grapefruit and coconuts; New Zealand opens doors for lemons and grapefruits; Japan imports dragon fruit, mango, lychee, longan; The EU imports bananas, durian, coconuts, longans, and spices; China opens the door to officially import durian from Vietnam... These are steps that demonstrate the opening of the market and promote the rapid increase in fruit and vegetable export turnover in the coming time.

Take advantage of the nearby market

In the Asian region, besides the Chinese market, which has been experiencing huge growth in fruit and vegetable exports, Ms. Mai Anh especially appreciates the advantages of the ASEAN market. "If ASEAN countries are combined into a common market, ASEAN is currently the second largest market for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables, only after China" - Ms. Mai Anh said. Meanwhile, this market has many advantages for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables such as close geographical location, convenient logistics, and fast shipping time to help reduce transportation costs as well as minimize risks of goods quality... In addition, according to the ATIGA Agreement, most import and export products between Vietnam and ASEAN are only 0 - 5%, much lower than other markets.

Ms. Mai Anh also pointed out that, from ASEAN, Vietnam has additional very large partner markets through free trade agreements between ASEAN and countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India. Another special point is that ASEAN is not a difficult market, so it will be a place for businesses to test the adaptability of their products, thereby serving as a springboard to move into other markets.

However, besides these advantages, the ASEAN market also has quite fierce competition due to its structure being quite similar to Vietnam. Therefore, Ms. Mai Anh said that if businesses only focus on exporting fresh fruits, they may not meet expectations. However, if businesses focus on specifically understanding each market's tastes and consumption habits, they can promote the export of processed vegetables, tubers, and fruits.

Typically in the Thai market, Ms. Mai Anh said, processed products and dried fruits and vegetables are the group that accounts for the main proportion of the export turnover of Vietnam's fruit and vegetable industry to Thailand. Thai consumers have a habit of choosing ready-made, convenient products with beautiful packaging... If businesses pay attention to understanding and responding to this trend, they will be able to promote processed products to Thailand.

Recently, within the framework of the International Exhibition and Conference on vegetable, flower and fruit production and processing technology - Hortex Vietnam 2024, Hortex Vietnam Organizing Committee and Chanthaburi Chamber of Commerce (Thailand) signed a minutes Remember to cooperate in trade promotion and support the export of vegetable, flower and fruit products. Accordingly, Mr. Ukrit Wongthongsalee, Chairman of Chanthaburi Chamber of Commerce, affirmed that he will create favorable conditions for export enterprises in Vietnam to participate in the Fruit Innovation Fair (FiF) event and related promotional activities in Thailand. This will open up opportunities for Vietnamese vegetable, flower and fruit products to increase access to Thai consumers.

Similarly, with the UAE market, Mr. Truong Xuan Trung, Head of the Vietnam Trade Office in the UAE, said that due to specific natural conditions, the UAE mainly develops industry and services and is almost completely dependent on the UAE market. depends entirely on imported food. In particular, in addition to serving domestic people, the UAE is also a place for transshipment and re-export of goods to other markets. Therefore, Vietnamese fruit, vegetable and agricultural product exporters can take advantage of this market to reach larger consumption areas.

However, to be successful in the UAE market, Mr. Trung noted that UAE buyers regularly update prices and prioritize imports from sellers offering lower prices. In addition, the UAE and the Middle East region have a large Muslim population, so food and beverage products exported to this region are required to have a Halal certificate. It is especially necessary to negotiate and apply the safest payment terms when making transactions to avoid risks in international trade.

By Nguyễn Hiền/Huu Tuc

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