E-commerce expected to help Hung Yen longan reach out to foreign markets hinh anh 1The northern province of Hung Yen expects to harvest 50,000 - 55,000 tonnes of the fruit this year, 15 - 20 percent higher the output last year. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The largest-ever international teleconference seeking buyers for longan and other agricultural products from the northern province of Hung Yen was held on July 15, Vu Ba Phu, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) told reporters.

Hosted by the MoIT and the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, the “Conference on Promoting Sustainable Trade for Longan and Specialty Agricultural Products of Hung Yen Province 2021” gathered Vietnamese trade offices and embassies as well as foreign trade promotion agencies, partners, and importers from 22 countries and territories including the UK, Australia, Poland, Belgium, the US, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong (China). Ten trade promotion organisations and foreign diplomatic representatives also participated in the event from Vietnam.

Participants included trade officials from China’s Yunnan and Guangxi provinces and multiple Chinese enterprises and importers, he said, adding that China has been Vietnam’s largest buyer of longan and longan products for years, purchasing up to 80 percent of the total output.

With the support of Vietrade, five online trading floors are cooperating with Hung Yen to sell longan online, he continued, e-commerce is a modern distribution channel to better promote Hung Yen’s longan domestically and internationally.

He emphasized the importance of such conferences amid COVID-19 outbreaks, saying they help localities ease backlogs in distributing agricultural products and at the same time, increase their added values.

The Vietrade leader further noted that to gain broader access to demanding foreign markets like Japan, the US and EU, Vietnamese localities must properly zone off their farming areas and specifically designate them for certain markets. It should be done with the labelling of origin tracing and granting of Origin Certificates to meet the requirements of these markets.

E-commerce expected to help Hung Yen longan reach out to foreign markets hinh anh 2E-commerce is deemed an effective channel for promoting Vietnamese agricultural products. (Photo: VNA)

From the success of the similar conferences for lychee in Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces, it can be seen that promotion and communications are vital, he said, noting that Vietrade has partnered with media outlets and multimedia channels to take Vietnamese lychees and longans to every corner of the world and bring it closer to global consumers.

E-commerce also plays an increasingly important role in promoting longan. About 6,000 tonnes, or 2.8 percent of the total lychee output in Bac Giang, was sold on e-commerce platforms this year, he noted, though the volume was relatively small, e-commerce remains an effective channel for advertising local specialties.

Since trade promotion activities have been disrupted, with most of in-person events cancelled, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, he explained, the MoIT has ordered Vietrade to accelerate the application of information technology in trade promotion. Over the last year, Vietrade has shifted to online interactions, with one to three trade events on various Vietnamese specialties held weekly with both domestic and international partners, he stated.

Phu further said that the agency has cooperated with domestic online marketplaces and foreign platforms like Alibaba and Amazon in organizing training courses to raise awareness of the importance of e-commerce among Vietnamese enterprises and instruct them how to trade and export their products online.

Hung Yen is home to about 4,800ha of longan, of which more than 1,300ha have met VietGAP standards. The province expects to harvest 50,000 - 55,000 tonnes of the fruit this year, 15 - 20 percent higher than the output last year./.