Vietnam exported more than 38,000 tonnes of pepper in the first four months of 2013, earning 370 million USD, up 30 percent year-on-year.

According to the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA), over 90 million tonnes of pepper will be shipped abroad by the end of this year.

Vietnam is currently the world leader in terms of pepper output with about 120,000 tonnes per year. However, 70 percent of its pepper exports are in the form of raw materials with low value.

The country exports pepper to more than 90 countries and territories, but most consumers are unaware of the spice they use originating from Vietnam as products are usually processed and packaged overseas.

Six foreign-invested businesses are purchasing and processing pepper in Vietnam. They contributed nearly 40 percent of the country’s total pepper export turnover last year.

Pepper businesses should accelerate their restructuring and work together to maintain their global market share, said VPA Chairman Do Ha Nam, adding that local exporters need to hone their competitive edge to stay ahead of foreign rivals.-VNA