Opportunities to boost export of processed foodstuff to Asia -Pacific, African markets

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) hosted a conference with Vietnamese trade representative offices abroad on February 28 to discuss opportunities to promote the export of processed foodstuff to in Asia-Pacific and African markets.

In his opening speech, Director of the MoIT’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) Vu Ba Phu said the conference, which was organised in both online and face-to-face formats, focused on solutions to remove obstacles facing Vietnam’s import-export activities, towards developing the sustainable import-export of processed food products.

In the first session, representatives of the Vietnam Trade Offices in Australia, Algeria, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand briefed on the latest developments in these markets as well as recent changes in policies and regulations for processed foodstuff products.

In the second session, representatives of the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) and Association of Food Transparency (AFT), and the Department of Industry and Trade of Phu Tho province discussed difficulties and advantages, and proposed initiatives to enhance trade promotion of processed foodstuff to foreign markets.

The event heard that there is huge room for Vietnam to boost the export of farm produce and processed foodstuff to foreign markets in the time to come thanks to abundant raw materials. Vietnam’s agricultural and processed foodstuff products are being sold in over 180 countries and territories worldwide. The export of many products has contributed billions of US dollars to the country’s annual export turnover.

The world’s leading import and consumption markets such as the US, the EU, and China have increased requirements of sustainability for products including social, environmental and economic aspects in the entire supply chain.

Phu said the Vietnamese trade offices abroad should continue to better support stakeholders to develop production and brands, diversify markets, supply chains and export products.

The departments of industry and trade should make recommendations to the MoIT and Vietnamese trade offices abroad to support enterprises and localities in implementing import-export activities effectively, contributing to the increasingly strong development of the country’s trade sector, Phu added.

Nguyen Phu Hoa, Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Australia, proposed allocating funds for trade promotion activities, thus helping Vietnamese export enterprises directly join in trade promotion activities in the Australian market, and closely coordinate with the Vietnam Trade Office in implementing trade promotion activities in this market.

Hoa also advised businesses to regularly update regulations of Australia, and keep a close watch on and consult importers and law consulting units, and the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia to avoid problems arising in export activities to the market.

Vietnamese enterprises and localities should consider joining  food fairs in Australia such as Foodservice (April 20 - May 2) in Melbourne, Fine Food (September 11-14) in Sydney, he said, adding that these are effective activities to introduce products and businesses, and seek potential partners in this market.

According to Le Phu Cuong, Trade Counsellor of Vietnam in Malaysia, the eastern state of Sabah wants to invite Vietnamese businesses to participate in Sabah International Expo (SIE) from September 22-24 in Kota Kinabalu.

Representatives of the AFT in Hanoi proposed the MoIT to provide trade promotion funding, thus facilitating its members’ attendance in more international exhibitions and fairs, to meet more partners.