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17/10/2022 - 15:08

Fruit, vegetable exporters urged to further diversify export markets

Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters need to further enhance deep processing and diversify their export markets to avoid risks when major export markets face difficulties, the Asia-Africa Market Department said.

A panel discussion as part of the press conference to introduce HortEx Vietnam 2023 in HCM City on October 11 (Photo: VNA)

Do Quoc Hung, the department’s deputy director general, said Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports were worth 3.5 billion USD last year, accounting for less than 1.4% of the world’s total fruit import revenue.

“We export to more than 60 markets but mainly focus on a number of large markets such as China, EU and Northeast Asia,” he told a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City last week to introduce HortEx Vietnam 2023, an International Exhibition & Conference for Horticultural and Floricultural Production and Processing Technology.

With China tightening inspection under its Zero COVID policy, Vietnam’s fruit exports to that market had reduced to account for 56% of total exports in the first eight months of the year compared to 70-80% before COVID-19 broke out, he said.

Businesses had sought to promote exports to other markets but not enough to offset the drop from the Chinese market, he said.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit Vegetable Association, said Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports in the first nine months of the year dropped by 11% year-on-year to about 2.45 billion USD, with exports to China down by 35%.

In the context of a sharp decline in the country’s largest export market, local fruit and vegetable exporters had promoted exports to markets that the country has free trade agreements with and had witnessed a significant increase in exports in these markets, including those that require high standards such as the US, EU and Japan, he said.

“I think this is a good sign for fruit and vegetable enterprises in particular and domestic agricultural companies in general to further improve productivity and product quality to diversify export markets instead of relying too much on a few large markets,” Nguyen said.

He said HortEx Vietnam 2023, the largest professional exhibition for the horticultural and floricultural sector, would be a good opportunity for local businesses to meet international buyers to seek new export opportunities.

Ingrid Korving, agricultural counsellor at the Netherlands Embassy in Hanoi, said each year, the EU imported about 120 billion USD of horticultural products, accounting for 40% of global imports. Exports from Vietnam to this market accounted for roughly 4% of EU needs.

“The Netherlands, being the gateway to Europe, is now the biggest market of Vietnam products to EU (for domestic consumption and further export to other European countries). Therefore, we can see, there is a lot of potential for Vietnam in this market, by upgrading the level of production and processing to meet the demands and requirements of this market,” she said.

HortEx Vietnam

HortEx Vietnam will return to HCM City from March 1 to 3, 2023.

The fifth edition of the exhibition is expected to attract 250 exhibitors from 30 countries and about 7,000 trade visitors.

The exhibition will also feature many activities such as a series of specialised seminars, an export forum, business matching and VIP buyer programmes, and others.

According to the organisers, the exhibition aims to create a meeting place for Vietnamese and international businesses and experts in the horticulture and floriculture industry, where suppliers and buyers can meet, exchange information and seek business opportunities.

Held by the Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co., Ltd, and the Netherlands’ Nova Exhibitions B.V., the exhibition will take place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre./.