As many as 23 businesses representing Vietnam’s seafood processing and export industry are currently show-casing the tra and basa fish products featuring at the 2014 Seafood Expo Global in Belgium, which is bringing pleasure to international observers.

Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Pham Sanh Chau ceremoniously opened the Vietnamese booth at the expo in the capital city Brussels on May 6.

On the same day, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and the Directorate of Fisheries jointly organised a conference emphasising that Vietnam’s farming of the fish strictly adheres to the international standards on food security and environmental protection.

With a turnover of 1.8 billion USD, tra fish exports make up more than 25 percent of the country’s total turnover from aquatic exports. Furthermore, Vietnam’s exports in the fish constitute over 95 percent of catfish exports, the conference heard.

Vietnam has upheld its quality standards for the fish in the last two years by applying VietGap standards in farming. Some farms have been awarded certificates in food security granted by the US, Europe and Japan.

The Vietnamese catfish, one of the top 10 favourite fish and seafood products in the US, is also popular in Europe.

Nguyen Huu Dung, VASEP Vice Chairman, said that the EU is one of the three key importers of Vietnamese aquatic products, particularly tuna, accounting for a total 20-25 percent of Vietnamese exports.

In 2013, Vietnam, with support from the EU, devised a programme to secure a sustainable supply of tra fish by 2017, aiming to boost production in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, as well as ensuring the complete food security for consumers by 2020.

At the expo, the Vietnamese firms also carried out a range of trade promotion activities for their products.

Seafood Expo Global, also called Seafood Processing Global, is the largest seafood trade event in Europe. Almost 1,700 companies from 76 countries and territories hold exhibitions at the annual fair, which provides a good opportunity for them to meet and do business with seafood suppliers from every corner of the globe.-VNA