EU beef imports to Vietnam recover hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) - The European Union’s beef imports to Vietnam should recover as mad cow disease gets under control in Europe and the potential market in Vietnam lures imports with high demand and zero import tariff. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s National Agro, Forestry, Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (Nafiqad) said Vietnam has granted import licence for hundreds of factories in the EU to ship beef from the EU to Vietnam. 

From November 2-4, 42 enterprises from EU countries visited Vietnam to study the domestic food market, the ministry said. Those enterprises came to supermarkets to contact directly with local customers for get information about demand and eating habit of the local people. They also had 500 meetings with domestic enterprises to find cooperation and investment opportunities. 

The EU enterprises expect to promote their exports to Vietnam in the future, especially after the Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement comes into effect with zero tariff for many kinds of import and export goods. 

This year, many cattle producing countries in the EU controlled completely mad cow disease--such as Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy--so the US and North American and Asian countries have opened their markets for beef imported from the EU. Vietnam has also given import licences for French factories to ship beef to Vietnam since May 2015. 

So far, 158 French enterprises have received permission to sell their beef to Vietnam, and one third of them having slaughter plants. Hundreds of factories from Spain, Belgium, Italy, Poland and Portugal have had qualified beef products to import to Vietnam. 

Doan Ngoc Tho, Director of HCM City-based THO Trade and Service Co Ltd, said beef from the US, Australia and the EU has reached highest quality standard in the world. 

Restaurants and hotels in Vietnam have still had high demand on importing beef, he said. 

Tho was quoted by online newspaper saying “I think control of mad cow disease in the EU and the effectiveness of the Vietnam – EU FTA will make beef a much more popular import than pork and chicken.” 

Currently, imported frozen beef from the EU and the US to Vietnam has been taxed with a high tariff of 14-30 percent. Beef is a hot product at supermarkets, restaurants and hotels with high retail price at between 300,000 VND - 600,000 VND per kilo. 

Veviba - a food company with a national and international presence located in Bastogne in the province of Luxembourg, has not exported its beef to Vietnam. Instead, it has shipped its beef to Greece and the Middle Eastern countries, said Sandrine Guillaume, a representative of Veviba, one of the 42 EU enterprises visiting Vietnam on November 2-4. 

After studying Vietnam’s market, Guillaume said her group has planned to export beef to Vietnam in the future because the Vietnamese people pay attention to clean food and Veviba has produced beef under quality management process. 

The ministry said Vietnam imported 1,720 tonnes of beef from the Europe in 2014, 70 times higher than the imports in 2012. The beef imports from Europe continued growing by 11,000 tonnes in 2015 against 2014 and by 15 percent in the first nine months of this year. 

So far, 200 exporters in the EU have been granted licences to export their beef to Vietnam, it said.-VNA