Vietnam has removed numerous technical barriers for its agricultural products to penetrate foreign markets with focus on the US, Japan, Australia and the Republic of Korea (RoK), reported The Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

According to the Plant Protection Department (PPD) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), negotiations to deal with technical barriers produced significant positive results in 2014.

The talks have now paved the way for litchi to get a toehold in the US, for dragon fruit to find a footpath into the New Zealand market as well as for mangos to find a path into the RoK, VOV quoted a representative from the ministry as saying.

After the US officially allowed the import of Vietnamese fresh longan and litchi, the first batch of fresh longan was shipped to the US market in last December. The US has revealed it intends to import Vietnamese mangos and star apples this year.

Meanwhile, Japan has been cooperating with Vietnam to ensure the quality of mangos for export to the Japanese market. The two countries have also been conducting negotiations to open up the market for Vietnamese red-flesh dragon fruit.

Vietnam has met all conditions for import of mangos into the RoK and the government has been considering granting authorisation for the import of Vietnamese star apples.

Taiwanese importers have also expressed an interest on purchasing Vietnamese dragon fruit provided they comply with food hygiene and safety regulations.

The Australian market has set out a number of conditions for Vietnam’s export of fresh litchi.

For New Zealand, Vietnamese exporters signed several contract to sell dragon fruit while keeping an eye on shipping rambutan to the promising market.

Moreover, Vietnam has also been dickering to export four kinds of flower to New Zealand, including rose, daisy, carnation and lisianthus.

The PPD said most of Vietnamese agro-products met importers’ requirements on plant quarantine. Last year, 90 letters of notification of violations were issued for Vietnamese partners, a reduction of 20 percent from 2013.

PPD Director Nguyen Xuan Hong said Vietnam strictly implemented food hygiene and safety regulations in 2014 and prevented the use of harmful chemicals in agricultural production.

The PPD intensified inspections on the trading and the use of pesticides, and all kinds of imported pesticides were carefully examined by the ministries and other functional agencies, he added.

Talking about the PPD’s tasks in 2015, Hong emphasised the need to popularise the application of the integrated pest management (IPM) – an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management, and advanced technologies in production.

He noted the PPD will also intensify inspection and management over pesticides as well as working to ensure safety of vegetables and fruits.-VNA