Vietnamese seafood exporters urged to go digital

Friday, Mar 29, 2019 07:49

Participants at a meeting in HCM City on Thursday discuss the importance of exporting Vietnamese seafood to China through official channels. — VNS Photo Bo Xuan Hiep

Vietnamese companies should export seafood and other farm produce via e-commerce to China to meet the market’s increasing demand for high-quality goods, experts have recommended.

Speaking at a meeting held yesterday in HCM City, Cao Lam Vien, vice chairman of the HCM City Business Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Products, said that purchasing power in China had risen dramatically, with average income last year reaching nearly US$10,000 per person.

In big cities like Beijing and Tianjin, the average income is up to $20,000 per person per year.

Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary general of Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said China was now a major seafood import market with diverse needs and higher quality requirements. “They prefer imported products and naturally caught products.”

China is currently reducing aquaculture production due to environmental issues, and is lowering import tariffs for officially exported Vietnamese seafood.

Vien said that bilateral trade between the two countries had been conducted mostly through unofficial cross-border transactions over the past 30 years.

However, unofficial exports over the border to China are facing technical barriers since the two nations have agreed to limit them and increase official exports.

Unofficial exports could be risky in terms of payments as well as quality and quantity of goods, he said, adding that China had tightened quality norms and origin traceability.

Viet Nam’s farm produce exports to China have faced stiff competition from other exporting countries in terms of quality, price and branding.

Vietnamese enterprises must also conform to new Chinese requirements for quality and traceability as well as Chinese regulations and standards on packaging and labeling, in addition to improving added value, Vien noted.

China is the world’s largest importer of agricultural products, accounting for 10 per cent of global imports, and its imports are growing at 8.8 per cent annually.

It accounted for 70 per cent of Viet Nam’s agricultural exports last year.

According to the General Department of Customs, Viet Nam exports about $1.2-1.3 billion worth of seafood to China each year.

Viet Nam is China’s third largest seafood exporter, while China is Viet Nam’s fourth largest seafood export market. — VNS

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