Food producers urged to make efforts to boost exports hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - Vietnamese food producers need to improve quality, adopt international standards and overcome trade barriers in other countries to boost exports, the Vietnam Food Forum heard in Ho Chi Minh City on November 13.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said many multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements the country had signed had opened up plenty of opportunities for Vietnamese companies to boost exports.

Agricultural and food exports had seen good growth in recent years, but firms came up against stringent requirements in many markets.

Vianney Lesaffre of the International Trade Centre said: “There is an increasing trend of applying non-tariff barriers in the international market.

“Non tariff measures (NTMs) are official policy measures, other than ordinary customs tariffs, that can potentially have an effect on international trade in goods, changing volumes traded or prices or both.”

They include technical measures and standards as well as regulations on customs procedures, para-tariff measures, financial measures, prohibition, and others.

The ITC and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) are jointly carrying out an NTM programme to identify the most challenging trade regulations faced by Vietnamese companies, define feasible actions to overcome the obstacles and reduce costs and increase understanding of NTMs and related procedures.

Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, acting director of Vietrade’s information technology application centre, said besides the NTMs programme Vietrade has also collaborated with the ITC for some other projects such as the ‘Trade for sustainable development (T4SD) hub in Vietnam’ and the ITC SheTrades Initiative that aims to connect three million women entrepreneurs to international markets by 2021.

To boost exports, Vietnamese firms must understand the specific requirements of their target markets, improve marketing strategies and build brands, other delegates said.

Andreas Krey, general director of Germany’s Thuringia State Development Office, said: “German consumers are increasingly fond of Vietnamese products thanks to improving quality.”

He said he saw a lot of opportunities for both sides to bring products to each other’s market and suggested businesses from Germany, especially Thuringia State, and Vietnam should enhance co-operation, for example by creating joint ventures, “to share their experiences in production and quality.”

“It is time to come to Germany because we need your products,” he said./.