Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – China, one of the biggest markets for Vietnam’s agro-fisheries products, has increasing demand, but its quality requirements for products are also rising.

In the first six months of 2018, trade revenue between Vietnam and China reached 46.8 billion USD, up 17.4 percent year on year. In the period, Vietnam’s exports of agro-fisheries products to the market hit 3.7 billion USD, up 6.4 percent over the same time last year.

However, Vietnam faces fierce competition from Thailand, Indonesia, India and Cambodia, and from Chinese firms. Meanwhile, some strong agro-fisheries products of the country such as mangosteen, durian, dairy products and live pig have not received permission to enter China.

According to La Dinh Tuyen from the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, currently, China has become a choosy market as it has applied modern equipment to check quality of products and enhanced the quarantine capacity to the standards of the US, Japan and EU.

Therefore, Vietnamese exporters are facing stricter quality barriers in the market, as well as stronger competition from other ASEAN countries.

Tuyen said domestic firms should continue maintaining traditional markets of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan, and try to enter potential new ones such as Sichuan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian, while improving customs clearance procedures to cut costs.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Ha, head of the Zone 7 Quarantine Sub-Department, said China has raised its plant quarantine barriers and slapped stricter regulations on imported farm produce.

She advised exporters to maintain their prestige by abiding by Chinese regulations in origin tracing, while changing storage methods.

They should also work with quarantine agencies of China in testing products shipped to China, especially dragon fruit, longan and green banana, she added.

Ha also stressed the need for Vietnamese authorities to work with their Chinese peers to remove technical barriers to facilitate Vietnam’s exports, while proposing China open its market for more kinds of Vietnamese fresh fruits.

Experts predicted that the demand for agro-fisheries products for production and consumption will continue to rise. Alongside, advantages from the ASEAN-China free trade agreements as well as other international commitments of China have also make it easier for Vietnam to expand market share in China.

But they also warned Vietnamese exporters should continue working hard to keep their traditional markets and seek other promising ones.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, acting head of the Agro-Product Processing and Market Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said Vietnam should pay more attention to ensuring quality of products during cultivation, growing and processing, thus meeting requirements of choosy markets.

Currently, the ministry is working to standardize the quality of different groups of farm produce, while taking steps to improve the efficiency of processing and storage as well as distribution activities.-VNA