Processing fish for export (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese exporters need a revolution to promote shipments to the fastidious US market, said Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.

Vietnamese enterprises should develop a food safety system to ensure high-quality products, Anh noted, adding that consultancy organisations should be established to support businesses in completing relevant exporting process and procedures.

In a bid to get a foothold in the market, Vietnamese exporters must better their understanding of US partners, regulations and business practices, the minister highlighted.

Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) revealed that two-way trade in the first five months of this year hit 17.8 billion USD, with 14.6 billion USD from Vietnam’s exports. As of May, the US was the 8 th largest investor of Vietnam with 809 valid projects valued at 10.8 billion USD.

Although robust growth has been seen in Vietnam’s exports to the US in the past years, experts said that Vietnamese exporters have not fully benefited from the trade expansion due to fierce competition, trade barriers and enterprises’ shortcomings.

According to Nguyen Duy Khien, Director of the MoIT’s American Market Department, the US has applied safeguard measures to imports, including Vietnamese farmed fish.

Vietnam’s aquatic product shipments to the US have experienced a substantial fall from 2015 as a result of the US Department of Agriculture’s catfish programme, posing great challenges to Vietnamese exporters.

Regarding other exports, Khien said that to increase Vietnamese product access to the American market, exporters must build their own brand names while ensuring sufficient supply to meet customers’ demand.

Meanwhile, Do Kim Lang, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, underscored that it is significant for Vietnamese exporters to deepen their knowledge about food safety and regulations to enter the US market.

Former technical expert of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Foreign Facility Registration Verification Programme David Lennarz pointed out other difficulties facing Vietnamese enterprises. He said that anti-terrorism measures such as the container security initiative and regulations on food and drug processing facility registration will increase export costs for Vietnamese enterprises.

Revenue from Vietnamese exports to the US is expected to shoot up in the coming time thanks to high demands and opportunities brought about by global integration. However, Vietnamese exporters need to overcome trade barriers like food hygiene and registration procedures.-VNA