Hong Kong firms seek to import rice from Can Tho hinh anh 1Rice varieties introduced to Hong Kong's firms at the seminar (Photo: VNA)

Can Tho (VNA) –
Thirty importers from Hong Kong (China) said they want to enhance rice trade with Vietnamese partners while attending a seminar held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on November 5.

According to Chairman of Rice Merchants Association of Hong Kong Kenneth Chan, the Hong Kong business delegation came to Can Tho to study Vietnamese rice varieties and seek information on Vietnamese exporters.

Following the global rice crisis in 2008, the amount of rice Hong Kong purchased from Vietnam increased significantly, from 0.5 percent of the territory’s total rice imports in 2008 to 42 percent in 2013, he said.

Statistics showed that Vietnamese rice accounted for 30 percent of Hong Kong’s total rice imports in the first nine months of 2019, which show the competitiveness and popularity of Vietnamese rice in the Hong Kong market, he underlined.

Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Food Association Nguyen Trung Kien said that Hong Kong has become an important market for Vietnamese rice in recent years, buying mostly Jasmine, Nang Hoa and KDM rice.

During January-September, Hong Kong imported around 90,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam at higher prices as compared to rice from other countries, and the region is forecast to buy 90,000 to 120,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice in 2020, according to Kien.

Kien suggested local firms to pay due attention to rice processing, quality management and food safety so as to meet stringent requirements of the Hong Kong market.

According to a report from Can Tho city’s Department of Industry and Trade, the city sold 29.6 million USD worth of rice, seafood, garment and textile and processed agricultural products to Hong Kong in the first nine months of the year. Of the total amount, rice export brought home 6.6 million USD.

Director of the department Nguyen Minh Toai said that Can Tho is able to ship 1-1.2 million tonnes of rice abroad each year. In addition, local businesses have built high-quality material zones with many rice varieties qualified to enter fastidious markets like Hong Kong, Japan and the EU.

He expressed his hope that businesses from both sides will take full advantage of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on June 11, 2019, so as to boost two-way trade and set up long-term trade cooperation ties./.