Coconut exports likely to exceed US$1 billion in the time ahead

The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) have consented to soon finalize procedures regarding the signing of a protocol on plant quarantine requirements for Vietnamese fresh coconuts and frozen durians exported to China.

In particular, both sides initialed the conclusion of negotiations on the protocol regarding phytosanitary requirements for the export of fresh coconuts from Vietnam to China. This has opened the door for Vietnamese fresh coconuts to enter the vast market of 1.4 billion people.

Tran Van Duc, chairman of the Board of Directors of Ben Tre Coconut Investment Joint Stock Company, highlighted the huge demand for imported coconut of China which consumes about 2.6 billion fresh coconuts each year and 1.5 billion coconuts for processing, while the neighbouring country's coconut output only meets 10%.

According to Duc, local businesses have long wanted to bring products into the highly lucrative market. However, the company's coconut products cannot be exported as both nations do not have a protocol even though the company's products have made their foray into high-end markets such as Europe, the US, and the Middle East.

“Vietnam currently ranks 7th in coconut production worldwide. With the advantage of being close to China, if this market can be opened, coconut exports will make a breakthrough in the time ahead," Duc emphasized.

A number of Chinese partners have begun to contact him to learn about and visit his company's factories. Duc is also confident that his company has experience in exporting fresh coconuts to fastidious markets, therefore, it will not be too difficult to meet the requirements of raw material areas and packaging facilities from China.

Dang Huynh Uc My, chairwoman of Betrimex, said that Vietnam currently has more than 180,000 hectares of coconuts, with a large amount concentrated in the central coastal provinces and the Mekong Delta.

Notably, like the southern province of Ben Tre, coconut products have been shipped to nearly 100 countries and regions, including European, American and Middle Eastern markets, and coconuts account for more than 42.5% of the province's export revenue.

“Last year, coconuts were also identified as a key economic crop for the first time and exports reached US$1 billion. With abundant supply, when Vietnamese coconuts are officially exported to China, this product will have the opportunity to exceed the US$1 billion mark as a contribution to raising people's income and boosting domestic coconut production in a more professional and standardized manner,” My went on to say.

Huynh Tan Dat, head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that over the past 2 years, the department has held an in-depth discussion with Chinese competent agencies on technical issues related to pest management, fruit quality and safety management measures, as well as product packaging.

According to him, the signing of the protocol on fresh coconuts is one of the innovations China creates for Vietnam. Successfully opening the market for each agricultural product also shows the trust of the international market in Vietnamese agricultural products, he added.

Source: VOV