Over 1,200 tonnes of dragon fruit were exported to Japan in 2015 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – 2015 marked the point at which Vietnam boosted its fruit shipments to several demanding foreign markets, as heard during a conference held on January 12 to review outcomes and set tasks for local plant quarantine work.

Efforts carried out last year to boost quality control and lift export barriers has expanded the market for Vietnamese fruits, said Hoang Trung, deputy head of the Plant Protection Department.

In 2015, apart from over 1,200 tonnes of dragon fruit and 10.6 tonnes of mangos exported to Japan, Vietnam shipped more than three tonnes of lychees and 100 tonne of longans to the US. Vietnamese herbs have also reappeared in the EU market.

Australia has approved the import of Vietnamese fresh lychees and since then has consumed 28 tonnes of the fruits. New Zealand has sent experts to examine rambutan cultivation areas in Vietnam and licensed the fruit to enter the country.

The Republic of Korea, meanwhile, decided to expand growing areas for mango export to outside the local Mekong Delta.

In terms of import, Vietnam found 603 batches of foodstuffs containing prohibited substances last year.

The country has temporarily halted the import of Indian peanuts and Ukrainian wheat due to continuous quarantine violations. Import specifications have also been issued for 13 fruit products from the Netherlands, Australia, Egypt, and Poland, among others.

At the conference, the Plant Protection Department said it will focus on quarantine and administration reform, and work with relevant agencies to help local fruit and vegetables make their way to more countries worldwide.

In 2015, the volume of import-export commodities grew 17.7 percent from last year.-VNA