Vietnamese agricultural products increasingly welcomed in Belgium

More and more people in Belgium know about Vietnamese agricultural products and welcomed them.

Pham Bich Thuy, the owner of “Le Panier Asiatique” - an Asian grocery in Brussels, said that besides Vietnamese customers, many foreigners visit her store.

She always tries to introduce Vietnamese products to the customers, offering them to take home to try first and pay later.

Many of the customers revisit her store and choose Vietnamese products because of their competitive prices and quality compared with those from other countries, Thuy said.

For the last few years, many agricultural and food products of Vietnam are favoured by customers in Belgium such as Duy Anh rice papers, Ba cay tre (Three Bamboo) fresh vermicelli, dried pho, Vifon instant noodle, Phu Quoc fish sauce, and Cocoxim fresh coconut milk of Ben Tre Import-Export Joint Stock Company (Betrimex).

Tran Ngoc Quan, Vietnam’s Trade Counselor in Belgium and the EU, said that the challenges for Vietnamese goods are not small. Firstly, Vietnamese goods access the Belgian market through many local importers, making Vietnamese businesses highly reliant on the importers and unable to build brands.

Secondly, in the past time, while some Vietnamese enterprises were very proactive and made changes in production to serve export, others still produced first and then looked for markets.

Quan said that in that way, it’s very difficult for them to access markets like the EU which has a lot of regulations for imports.

In addition, many spices such as basil, laksa leaves, perilla, and coriander are of the Vietnamese origin but purchased and exported to Europe by Thai enterprises.

Therefore, promoting the export of agricultural products, fruits, and vegetables to the Belgian market in particular and the European market in general requires efforts from Vietnamese enterprises to improve production capacity, ensure product quality, and look for business partners.