Vietnamese firms were instructed to export agro-fishery products to Finnish and North European markets during a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on April 20.

According to Tran Viet Cuong, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the agro-fishery sector’s export value depends more on volume than price.

The majority of Vietnamese agricultural enterprises are small, with under-10-employee firms mounting to 44 percent and over-300-employee businesses accounting for only 3.47 percent, he noted, adding that 82 percent of companies have less than 20 billion VND (926,000 USD) in capital.

Cuong held that the project to support the export of Vietnamese agro-fishery products to Finland and Northern Europe, funded by the Fund for Local Cooperation through the Finnish Embassy in Vietnam, plays an important role in helping the sector expand its market.

The project is expected to give technical assistance and market information to Vietnamese enterprises, enabling them to reach their partners more easily, he said.

Agro-fishery exporters across the nation will benefit from the project, especially those in Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong Delta localities, asserted Cuong.

During the conference, Vietnamese and foreign experts also provided businesses with basic information and practical guidelines in export activities for aquatic products and fruit to the targeted markets.

They also introduced activities to support Vietnamese firms, including seeking Finnish partners through the Finnartnership business connectivity programme, sponsoring them to expand investment and operation as well as develop their capacity to meet international commercial practice requirements.

By the end of 2014, trade between Vietnam and Finland was over 260 million USD, a 15 percent rise from the previous year, with Vietnamese exports worth more than 100 million USD.

Major Vietnam earners included garments and textiles, computers, electronic products and spare parts, machineries, plastic products, and footwear materials and leather. The country imported electronic products and spare parts, machineries, equipment, paper, chemicals and steel from Finland .

By the end of March this year, Finland had 10 projects in Vietnam with total investment of 235 million USD, making it the 29 th largest investor in Vietnam.-VNA