VIETNAMESE AGRI-PRODUCTS EXPORT TO EU, PROSPECTIVE YET CHALLENGING
Vietnamese agri-products have long been recognized in the global market in general and in Europe in particular, bringing a great source of income besides other industries. With the advantages of EVFTA and the world political crisis, Vietnam has more and more opportunities to penetrate deeper into the markets of European countries. However, besides the advantages, Vietnamese agricultural product exporters also face many challenges to this fastidious market.
Dr. Arjen Roem speaking at the conference
At the "Connecting the suppliers in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam with distributors, exporting businesses and trade promotion organizations” program on August 5 in Ho Chi Minh City, Dr. Arjen Roem, Vice Chairman of the Board of Food, Agri and Aqua Business Sector Committee (EuroCham) highlighted that Vietnam ranked 31st among the partners exporting goods to the EU in 2021. Specifically, Vietnam's total export turnover to the EU has increased 14% compared to 2020, reaching 46 billion USD.
“With this growth momentum, Europe is currently one of the largest export markets for Vietnamese agricultural products, accounting for 14% of total export revenue of major agricultural products,” Dr. Arjen Roem mentioned at the Program.
EXPORT SITUATION OF AGRI-PRODUCTS TO THE EU
The top agricultural products that EU imported from Vietnam are tropical fruits, nuts, fresh and dried spices with a total turnover of EUR 869 million (39%); unroasted coffee, tea worth EUR 868 million (38%); the remaining agricultural products are coffee, tea, rice, noodles, cakes and biscuits. Wood and furniture exports to the EU also increased by 17% in 2021, reaching 14 billion USD.
In 2022, the export situation is also positive from the beginning of the year. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam exported more than 22,500 tons of rice (worth 18 million USD) to the EU market in the first quarter, up 4 times in both volume and value over the same period last year. Among the EU member states, Italy suddenly took the lead in Vietnam's rice import market with an increase of 26 times over the same period in 2021. In addition, there are a number of other key markets such as Germany, France, Netherlands…
In particular, in the context of the country's average rice export price tended to decrease, the export price of rice to the EU recorded an increase of 9%.
For the seafood industry, after 2 consecutive years of decline due to the pandemic, a positive signal has returned in the first months of 2022. Vietnamese pangasius and shrimp exporters have recorded a growth rate of nearly 70 % in the first 2 months of the year, reaching 190 million USD. The situation of tuna exports in the first 2 months was also relatively positive, with export turnover reaching US$155 million, an increase of more than 80% over the same period in 2021. Data from the Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers Vietnam (VASEP) shows that seafood exports to the EU reached more than 560 million USD, up about 45% over the same period.
OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES FOR VIETNAMESE AGRI-PRODUCTS EXPORT FIRMS TO THE EU
It can be seen that, right from the first year after taking effect from August 2020, the EVFTA Agreement has opened up a great opportunity to promote agricultural exports to the EU market. In addition, the Russia-Ukraine tension that broke out at the end of February also caused a shortage of agricultural products from these two key producing countries to Europe. EU countries are in need of alternative supplies in the context of rising food inflation. This is a great opportunity for enterprises to export agricultural products in Vietnam.
However, Mr. Arjen Roem noted, one of the main challenges for Vietnam's agricultural exports to the EU is the EU's strict requirements. Since many potential product groups such as vegetables, fruits, rice and processed foods of Vietnam have not yet reached the quantity required for large orders of supermarkets in the EU. The EU's demand is increasing, the number of fruits and vegetables that meet international standards for export to this market is still limited.
Ms. Vo Thi Ngoc Diep, Commercial Counselor, Vietnam Trade Office in the Netherlands also said that dry food products imported from Vietnam continuously received warnings of violations of regulations on ethylene oxide, so businesses Importers of this product have a more cautious mentality, reducing the amount of imported goods.
Over the past time, the EU has continuously updated and strengthened the application of sanitary and quarantine measures for imported agricultural products including feed and plant products. At the same time, increasing the application of new certification criteria related to environmental protection and sustainable development, socially responsible.
Therefore, despite promising signs, Vietnamese exporters are also facing many barriers to entry to this market.
WHERE CAN BUSINESSES FROM EU SOURCE 100% FRESH AGRI-PRODUCTS FROM VIETNAM?
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