Vietnam, India boost trade in farm produce, processed food

The Vietnam Trade Office in India, in collaboration with the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India (Invest India) and the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) held a teleconference on February 22 to step up business cooperation opportunities in farm produce and processed food.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Hai said the food processing sector accounts for 32% of the total food market and 14% of the manufacturing industry’s GDP of India. The sector is expected to draw 33 billion USD in investment in the next decade.

With a population of over 1.4 billion people, India is a promising market for Vietnam’s farm produce and processed food. Meanwhile, several kinds of India’s farm produce and processed food are likely to be sold well in Vietnam such as seafood, chili, spices, fruits and vegetables, he added.

Le Thanh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said during 2021-2022, Vietnam’s farm produce exports to India reached 351 million USD, accounting for 1.3% of India’s total farm produce imports, a modest figure.

General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit) Dang Phuc Nguyen said more Vietnamese farm produce target meeting VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards.

He suggested both nations open their markets for fruits and vegetables and sign bilateral trade deals to facilitate trade in farm produce.

Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor in India Bui Trung Thuong wished that firms would continue joining trade exchange and market introduction programmes, particularly the upcoming event with the India state of Kerala on March 8 in the fields of agriculture, seafood and services.

In terms of agro-forestry-aquatic product trade, Vietnam is running a deficit with India, with 473.8 million USD in 2021 and 687.73 million USD in 2022.