VASEP to ramp up promotion of seafood

Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 09:35

The value of Viet Nam's farm, forest and fisheries exports reached US$17.43 billion in the first seven months of 2014, up nearly 12 per cent year on year.

This includes $4.2 billion from seafood products, up 24.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the international seafood exhibition Vietfish 2014 opened yesterday, providing a good opportunity to local seafood enterprises to seek more foreign partners and increase exports.

On this occasion, Nguyen Hoai Nam, general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), spoke about trade promotion of Vietnamese seafood products.

Which factors have helped Viet Nam to maintain high growth in seafood exports in recent years?

Nguyen Hoai Nam
Viet Nam's fisheries have been developing for a long term and the country has become one of the leading seafood exporters in the world. So far, Vietnamese seafood products have met all standards of quality and quantity at home and abroad.

Recently, the world economy experienced a lot of change, leading to changing demand in export markets and seafood products. But the demand for seafood has still increased in the world market over the past few years.

Meanwhile, some countries with developed fisheries have faced difficulties in seafood exports due to shrimp diseases, including Thailand and Indonesia.

This has created a favourable situation for Viet Nam's shrimp and other seafood exports.

Regarding shrimp production, Viet Nam has changed its focus from development of tiger prawns to diversification of the kinds of shrimps grown for exports, including white-leg shrimp.

In the first half of this year, tra fish exports fell slightly due to changes in the export market demand and stiff competition from other kinds of fish. However, the demand in large export markets such as Europe has started rising after a period of decline.

Additionally, the local enterprises have improved their competitiveness in quality, production and exports. Most Vietnamese seafood enterprises have the ability to import seafood products of high quality from other countries for export processing, including India, Thailand, Indonesia and Ecuador.

Export markets often have different standards of quality, food hygiene and safety of seafood products. What is your opinion of such standards?

These standards are a trend and are often set up in markets in Europe and the US. They have contributed towards promoting sustainable development of seafood products, improving quality, food hygiene and safety, and ensuring social and environmental responsibility.

Over the last 10 years, VASEP has updated the standards for local enterprises.

The standards have had their effect on domestic seafood production, especially of tra fish which had different standards. The first impact is higher production cost because of high investment to improve farms which supply seafood products, factories which process export products as well as the high cost of testing product quality.

The high production cost would reduce the competitiveness of Vietnamese seafood exports.

Some say that the standards have made integration with the world market more difficult and are one way to protect the interests of the local industry in some seafood exporting countries.

The value of Viet Nam's farm, forest and fisheries exports reached US$17.43 billion in the first seven months of 2014, up nearly 12 per cent year on year.— Photo

However, Viet Nam is committed to manufacturing products of good quality and fulfilling its social and environmental responsibility by meeting the standards in export markets.

The domestic enterprises should find solutions to reduce the production cost and to increase their competitiveness.

Viet Nam will join activities which regulate the standards in export markets or have more cooperation with them to reduce the number of necessary certificates required, when there are similar standards here.

What does VASEP do to support domestic enterprises in building and advertising Viet Nam's seafood trademarks?

Over the past year, VASEP has revised trade promotion activities to create a good image for Vietnamese seafood exports.

The association has built an information channel between enterprises, customers and partners. Its website is a popular seafood trading website.

From this month, the association will develop an English version of the website to advertise Vietnamese seafood enterprises and seafood exports.

The association expects the website to update the latest news on Vietnamese enterprises and seafood products for the world market.

It would also promote international cooperation with import organisations or associations in foreign countries to support domestic enterprises in production and processing of seafood exports.

It will participate in exhibitions, fairs and dialogue programmes to introduce Vietnamese seafood products in foreign markets.

The latest event is Vietfish 2014, which started yesterday in HCM City. The association expects the international seafood exhibition to bring more export opportunities for local enterprises because it has attracted many participants from different countries.

This year, the exhibition was opened in August, instead of June, to attract a large number of local and foreign participants. — VNS

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