Processed food leaves a good taste hinh anh 1Processed meat products are labelled at the Nam Thu food processing company in Quy Nhon city, Binh Dinh province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - With its annual stable growth rate of about 10 percent, the country’s young population with increasing income and a trend to consume ready-to-eat food, especially organic, the food processing industry offers many opportunities for investors.

Vietnam’s food processing industry has developed strongly and supplied products with high competitiveness for both domestic and export markets, according to the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Last year alone, food and beverage consumption increased by 18 percent, the agency said, adding that the food and beverage consumption value accounted for 15 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and would go up in the coming time.

Business Monitor International (BMI) projected earlier this year that Vietnam’s food industry would grow by 10.9 percent each year between 2015 and 2020.

Vo Thanh Do, deputy head of the Department of Agricultural Products Processing and Market Development under the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, said having a diverse source of raw materials for processing food and beverages was an opportunity for firms in the food and beverage sector to diversify their products and satisfy demands from customers, especially young ones.

An abundant source of raw materials, the country’s stable and high economic growth, favourable investment environment, abundant human resources, and good infrastructure at industrial parks are also factors that help attract investors in the sector.

In addition, free trade agreements have opened up opportunities for domestic food firms to enhance exports and attract more foreign investors in the sector.

But to capitalise on the opportunity, local firms need to invest more in deep processing to add more value for the products.

They also need to further improve their production technologies, apply good manufacturing practices and develop close linkages with multinational food processing groups in Vietnam to shorten the roadmap for them to participate in the global food supply chain, according to experts.

To attract investment and develop the food processing sector in a sustainable manner, Vietnam needs to create a zoning plan for high-quality material areas to meet quality and hygiene, and food safety standards of the global food supply chain, experts said.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam is among the world’s largest exporters of rice, coffee, pepper and cashew nuts.

Exports of farm produce, especially fruits and vegetables, have seen good growth over the past years, with the products exported to more than 100 countries and territories.-VNS/VNA