Promote the export of agricultural products to the Northeast Asian market

The Northeast Asia market region has a population of more than 1.6 billion people (China alone is 1.4 billion people). This is an area with great purchasing power and great potential for Vietnam’s agricultural, forestry and fishery products to boost exports.

Seafood is a potential export product to the Northeast Asian market.

In the photo: Processing seafood for export at Cafatex Fishery Joint Stock Corporation company.

Currently, countries in the Northeast Asia region have signed and participated in both bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements with Vietnam such as: Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA); Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA); RCEP Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (with China, Korea, Japan)…

Market rich in potential

Mr. Nguyen Duy Kien – Asia-Africa Market Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) said: In the first nine months of 2023, Vietnam’s export turnover of agriculture, forestry and fishery products to the Northeast Asian market region reached 10 million. billion USD, up 14.2% over the same period in 2022.

Among them, typical items are rice with 545 million USD, an increase of 52.9%; Fruit and vegetable products reach 3.2 billion USD, an increase of 115% over the same period in 2022.

Currently, Northeast Asia is an important export market for many Vietnamese agricultural products. This is the largest export market for fruits and vegetables with a proportion of 75% of total exports. In addition, this is also the largest export market for rubber and cassava products with 83% and 95.8% of total exports, respectively.

“Currently, the potential for exporting agricultural, forestry and aquatic products from Vietnam to this market area is still very large. Statistics show that China’s total imports of these products are about 151 billion USD/year; Korea 40 billion USD/year; Japan 33 billion USD/year; Meanwhile, Vietnam’s exports to these markets only account for 7 billion USD, 1.3 billion USD and 1.2 billion USD, respectively,” Mr. Nguyen Duy Kien emphasized.

Regarding the Japanese market specifically, according to Director of OTAS Global Joint Stock Company Nguyen Van Minh, in the period 2019-2022, the growth of import turnover of fruits and vegetables in the Japanese market will average 2.5%/year, an increase up 6% in 2023.

In 2022, Japan’s fruit and vegetable imports will reach 165 million USD. The Japanese market’s demand for fresh fruits is growing, but domestic production can only meet a very small part.

This is an export opportunity for Vietnam’s tropical fruits, especially fruits such as bananas, mangoes, dragon fruits, lychees, and longans that have been officially allowed to export to Japan.

Currently, Japan mainly imports fruits and vegetables and frozen goods from China, the US, the Philippines, Mexico, and New Zealand.

China is the largest market, accounting for nearly a third of Japan’s total fruit and vegetable imports in 2020.

The United States is the second country, accounting for about 17.7% and Vietnam ranks 10th with total export turnover to Japan reaching 128.4 million USD in 2020 and only accounting for about 1.7% of total import turnover. Japanese fruits and vegetables.

According to the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) effective from October 1, 2009, Japan has committed to reducing tax rates on imported goods from Vietnam; Vietnam also enjoys preferential tax rates under the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP)…

Therefore, many Vietnamese agricultural products have a huge competitive advantage when exported to Japan.

Meet quality requirements

The challenge with Vietnamese agricultural products exported to the Northeast Asian market today is that when tariff barriers are gradually removed, countries increase non-tariff barriers such as: Technical barriers for trade (TBT); Food hygiene and safety standards and animal and plant quarantine (SPS); Import quotas (quota) for some sensitive items; Safeguard measures, anti-dumping…

In addition, many countries apply the management of growing area and packaging facility codes to trace and authenticate origin to prevent counterfeiting of product origin and protect consumers.

To fulfill this requirement, businesses must standardize data from production, preliminary processing, processing to preservation and customs clearance…

In the Chinese market, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in China, Vietnam currently ranks 10th among countries exporting agricultural products to China. As for fruit and vegetables, Vietnam is in the group of three countries with the largest export turnover to the Chinese market, after Thailand and Chile.

However, currently, China’s system of standards and regulations requires very high product quality through documents such as:

  • Order 248 on Regulations on management of registration of imported foreign food production enterprises;
  • Order 249 on Import and Export Food Safety Management Measures;
  • Regulations on packaging, labels, and traceability;
  • Agreements and Protocols between China and exporting countries;
  • Other relevant standards of the importing country (labeling rules for pre-packaged foods…).

Therefore, the representative of the Vietnam Trade Office in China said: Vietnam needs to promote its advantage in geographical location; production and transportation costs; tropical products… to exploit and meet the maximum potential and great needs of the Chinese market; Organize production according to VietGAP, GlobalGAP standards, importing country standards and strengthen management and supervision of quality, food safety and hygiene; comply with regulations on quality standards, quarantine testing, packaging, and origin traceability of the importing country; Focus on building agricultural product brands.

In addition, it is necessary to have human resources with professional knowledge, proficiency in the language, and understanding of the Chinese market to be ready to compete with agricultural and food products from countries participating in exporting to this market. .

As for the Korean market, according to Mr. Pham Khac Tuyen – Head of the Trade Office, Vietnam Embassy in Korea, the trend of this market is increasingly favoring good agricultural, forestry and fishery products. for health, increased resistance, meat replacement products, environmental protection products…

Accordingly, many regulations and quarantine procedures for imported agricultural products have been increased according to laws such as: Food Safety Law; Law on Plant Quarantine; Law on Prevention and Control of Animal Infectious Diseases; Foreign Trade Law…

Therefore, businesses exporting to this market need to update and comply with regulations to limit violations of food safety and hygiene.

The Northeast Asian market includes three major trading partners of Vietnam: China, Japan, and Korea, accounting for 48% of Vietnam’s total import and export with the world.

There are also a number of other important markets including Taiwan (China), Hong Kong (China), Mongolia…

Despite the difficult world economic situation, Vietnam’s agricultural, forestry and fishery exports to Northeast Asia increased by 14.2% over the same period in 2022 (mainly thanks to exports of commodity groups). This to China increased significantly, reaching 28.3%).