Vietnam’s agricultural exports to Northern Europe are still modest, why?

Compared to other ASEAN countries, Vietnam is the largest exporter of agricultural products to the Nordic market, but the market share is very small, less than 1% of the total agricultural import turnover of this region.

Vietnam ranks 15th in the world and second in Southeast Asia in terms of export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products.

On the afternoon of September 15, 2022, within the framework of the 22nd International Agricultural Expo – AgroViet 2022, the 970 Agricultural Product Connection Forum Team (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) coordinated with the Promotion Center Agriculture trade organized “Forum to connect consumption of agricultural products in the market of the Netherlands and Nordic countries and connect international agricultural business”.


Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), said that Vietnam has become the 15th largest country in the world and the second largest in Southeast Asia. on export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products.

Forum connecting the consumption of agricultural products in the Nordic market.

Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery production capacity has reached over 140 million tons/year, many products are occupying leading positions in the world market such as rice, pepper, cashew nuts, aquatic products, vegetables, fruits, etc. food and gradually shape the brand, reputation for quality, competitive price in the world market.

In 2021, Sweden, Denmark and Norway will import about 6.5 billion USD of agricultural products, of which vegetables and fruits are 4.8 billion USD; tea, coffee and spices are 1.2 billion USD. billion USD; grain is 503 million USD. However, the amount of agricultural products Vietnam exports to these three countries is very small, thereby showing that the Nordic space for Vietnamese enterprises to exploit is still very large.

The total export turnover of Vietnam’s agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the first eight months of 2022 will reach more than 36 billion USD, of which, there are 7 export products of over 2 billion USD such as coffee, shrimp, rice, cashew, vegetables, wood and wood products. wood and rubber products.

Referring to the EU market, including the Nordic market, Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, Director of the Center for Agricultural Trade Promotion, said that the immediate challenge is that Vietnamese agricultural products enter the EU market only 4-5 times. % of the total import of 160 billion USD of this market.

Vietnam is lacking big brands, agricultural products exported to the EU mainly rely on the brand of this place. “The EU has very strict regulations on origin, food hygiene and safety. While, we have not had the regular and periodic appearance of Vietnamese enterprises to grasp the market, policy fluctuations, technical barriers, “said Mr. Tien.

Sharing an overview of the Nordic market, Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy, Counselor of the Vietnam Trade Office in Sweden, said that the Nordic region consists of 5 countries: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. Iceland. Although the population is small (about 25 million people) but has a high income, these are small countries with open and modern economies. In 2021, 4 out of 5 Nordic countries are in the top 10 countries with the highest per capita income in the world. Import turnover is quite impressive, about 500 billion USD/year.

Visitors to the booth at AgroViet 2022.

Compared to other ASEAN countries, Vietnam is the largest exporter of agricultural products to the Nordic market, but the market share is very small, less than 1%. “In the 27 EU countries, businesses only focus on exploiting the traditional Western European market and leaving 20 other small countries open while the Nordic market potential is still quite large. The reason is that the market is geographically remote and has the strictest standards among EU countries,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy, Counselor of the Vietnam Trade Office in Sweden.


Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy said Nordic people are increasingly inclined to consume organic food with sustainable production methods, with less impact on the environment.

“In order to conquer the Nordic market, businesses need to pay attention to environmental protection, circular economy, sustainable production, social responsibility, and fair trade. For food, businesses Industry should focus on healthy products, safe products, organic products, novel products and regional specialties, convenient products, “said Ms. Thuy.

Nhu Nguyen, Director of VIEC Company in the Netherlands, said that although the Netherlands has only 17 million people, it is a “gateway” market for import and re-export to other European markets. If they want to bring products to the Dutch market, Vietnamese businesses need to have a long-term strategy, need to take many steps to promote the brand of agricultural products so that consumers understand the value of that agricultural product.

“In the short term, if businesses want to export to the Dutch market, Vietnamese businesses should focus on high-value items as well as maintain their brands. In the long term, we need to have coordination with partners who understand the Dutch market.”

Director of VIEC Company, Mr. Nhu Nguyen in the Netherlands shared his experience, when having brought products to the Dutch market, besides meeting standards and regulations, businesses need to build trust. with customers and consumers to build a long-term market. In addition, businesses need to grasp the consumer culture, business culture, import and export culture of partners in the Netherlands.