Forum mulls measures to boost farm produce export to RoK hinh anh 1Pipeapples being processed for export at An Giang Fruit-Vegetables & Foodstuff Joint Stock Company (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Experts from the Republic of Korea (RoK) offered their advice to Vietnamese farm producers on how to get their products into the RoK market, which has a high demand for agricultural products, at a forum in HCM City on August 29.

Vietnamese firms and farmers must focus on improving quality, building brand and offering competitive prices, delegates told the forum on Vietnam-Korea Trade Promotion of Agricultural Products.

Le Thanh Hoa, deputy director general of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority, said the RoK’s agricultural imports have soared in recent years, reaching 35.2 billion USD last year.

Yet Vietnam’s exports of those products to this market were very modest, he said.

Deputy Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said bilateral trade in the agricultural sector is very low compared to the potential of the two countries.

Vietnam exports wooden products, seafood and fruits to the RoK and imports animal feed, fertilisers, seafood and fruits from there, he said.

Nam noted that the RoK has allowed the import of coconut, pineapple, banana, mango and dragon fruit from Vietnam, adding that Koreans are very fond of Vietnamese fruits and seafood, while Vietnamese like many Korean products, including kimchi.

Hong Sun, vice chairman of the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam, said to be able to enter the market, agricultural products must meet certain conditions like consistent quality, size, colour, and breeds and strong brands and have pricing strategies to ensure competitiveness.

He called on Vietnam’s agricultural sector to speed up the development of organic agriculture to meet international export standards, including those of his country.

Relevant agencies should instruct farmers in technological application to improve product quality and output, he said.

Son Sung Hoon, CEO of CJ Freshway in Vietnam, said to expand the export of agro-forestry and aquatic products, Vietnamese companies must ensure they have a steady supply of quality raw materials.

Choosy markets like the RoK have very strict regulations and standards for imported goods, and so relevant authorities must update farmers and producers of these standards to enable them to meet these criteria, he said.

Kim Yae Jin, vice director of the Korea Agro-trade Centre in HCM City, spoke about Korean consumer trends that enterprises need to know if they plan to enter that market.

Food safety is a top priority for consumers when choosing a product, she said, adding that the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety plans to strengthen inspection of foreign foods.

At the forum, delegates also spoke about food safety inspection regulations and aquatic product quarantine in the RoK. -VNA