​Prawn production for export in southern Bac Lieu district. (Source: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – Singapore is a strategic gateway for Vietnamese agriculture and seafood exporters to make inroads into other markets, experts commented at a trade exchange programme in Singapore on November 21.

The event drew nearly a hundred of businesses from the two countries.

Deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Export-Import Department Tran Thanh Hai highlighted rice, coffee, tea, vegetable, fruits, fine art and handicraft products as strengths of Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Singapore has advantages in processing, packaging, and increasing product values as well as management, marketing and broad relations with foreign partners, he noted.

Chairman of the Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro) Nguyen Huu Thang said his company will continue to boost exports of processed food, garment-textile, and handicraft products to Singapore while grasping opportunities from the 5.1-million-population market to enter other countries via trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Singaporean businesses recognised the cooperation opportunities and potentials with Vietnam, especially when it comes to rice, coffee, and tea.

Tan Ah Mee, a representative from the Singapore’s Univen Pte Ltd Company said his group imported a large amount of rice from Vietnam and India, of which 60 percent was from the Southeast Asian country.

In the coming time, the company plans to purchase 120-150 containers of rice per month, he revealed.

Vietnam-Singapore trade posted an annual average growth of 12 percent over the past three years.

Vietnam grossed 2.93 billion USD from exports to Singapore in 2014, a yearly increase of 10.4 percent, while importing 6.83 billion USD worth of goods in the period, a year-on-year rise of 20 percent.

In the past ten months of 2015, Vietnam’s exports to Singapore expanded by 30 percent year on year to 3.1 billion USD.-VNA