The Vietnam – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) will create huge opportunities for the penetration of Vietnam ’s aquatic exports into Japan ’s market as it officially comes into force, said aquaculture sector experts.

Experts said that 86 percent of agricultural, aquatic and forestry exports from Vietnam to Japan will enjoy tax incentives within 10 years after the VJEPA takes effect.

Vietnam ’s shrimp exports to the Eastern Asian country will be exempt from duty immediately while its octopus exports will be eligible for this privilege five years later.

Japan is the largest import market for Vietnam ’s frozen shrimp, which had, by the end of June, raked in nearly 200 million USD from Japan-bound exports, making up 32 percent of the country’s total aquatic export value.

To make a smooth entry into Japan ’s market, aquaculture sector experts have recommended that Vietnamese exporters pay more attention to the quality of aquaculture exports, strategies on aquatic processing, brand name awareness and trade promotion.

They added that in the near future, Japan will support Vietnam to build an aquaculture processing centre meeting international standards and the two countries will set up a joint committee to overcome any obstacles relating to the quality, hygiene and safety of products.

The negotiation on the VJEPA started in January 2007, shortly after the accession of Vietnam to the World Trade Organisation. After nine official talks and a number of unofficial talks, the two nations reached an agreement in principle in September, last year and officially signed the accord on December 25, 2008.

VJEPA is Japan ’s 10th free trade agreement and the first bilateral free trade agreement for Vietnam since entering the WTO./.