A booth at the second International Exhibition & Conference for Horticultural and Floricultural Production and Processing Technology, which is being held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from March 13-15.(Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - With their high demand for agricultural products, the Republic of Korea and Japan offer opportunities for Vietnam to boost export of farm produce, especially fruits and vegetables, Do Quoc Hung, Deputy Director General of the Asia-Africa Market Department, has said.

The RoK’s farm produce import has soared in recent years, reaching 35.2 billion USD last year.

He noted, however, that export of Vietnamese farm produce to the RoK market remained very modest at about 2.14 billion USD, he said.

Hung spoke at an Export Forum held on the sidelines of the second International Exhibition & Conference for Horticultural and Floricultural Production and Processing Technology (Hortex Vietnam), which opened in HCM City on March 13.

Vietnam’s main agricultural and aquaculture products exported to the market include coffee beans, banana, chili, garlic, dragon fruit, mango, rice, shrimp and fish filets.

“Currently, the RoK market has allowed the import of coconut, banana, mango and dragon fruits from Vietnam. The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) has worked with the Korean side to open the door for Vietnamese star apple, pomelo, rambutan, longan and litchi to enter the market,” he said.

Hung noted that Japan is the world’s fourth largest farm produce importer, with import revenue worth 57.8 billion USD last year.

But like the Korean market, the export of Vietnamese farm produce to Japan is still low. Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exports to the market fetch 2.5 million USD and 36.4 million USD, respectively, accounting for 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent of its total imports, he said.

Japan has opened its market for Vietnamese dragon fruit (white and red flesh), mango and banana, Hung said, adding that MARD is in the process of getting a permit to export litchi, longan and star apple to the market.

Free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed with the two countries offer advantages for domestic firms to boost exports. But the two markets have applied strict quarantine regulations, causing difficulties for firms to boost exports to these markets.

He suggested that local fruits and vegetable producers focus more on applying good agricultural practices and technologies, and study the markets carefully so that more Vietnamese fruits and vegetables can enter the markets.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said that Vietnam earned 3.8 billion USD last year from fruit and vegetable exports, a year-on-year increase of 7.9 percent.

Vietnamese fruits and vegetables were exported to more than 60 countries and territories, with China, the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia among the biggest importers.

The Government expected export revenue to reach 4.5 billion USD this year and 5 billion USD in 2020 due to an increasing consumption demand both at home and abroad, he said.-VNS/VNA