|Processing tuna for export. Photo: T.H
Many industries achieved record results
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first six months of 2022, the total export turnover of agriculture, forestry and fishery reached US$27.88 billion, up 13.9% over the same period in 2021.
After six months, The agricultural sector recorded nine products and groups of products with export value of over US$1 billion, including coffee, rubber, cashew, vegetables, rice, pangasius, shrimp, wood products, and inputs for production. The agriculture sector brought in a trade surplus of about $5.75 billion, twice as much as in the same period in 2021.
As one of the items with impressive export turnover growth, seafood brought in $5.8 billion in the first half of 2022, up 40.8%. This result marked a record for seafood both in terms of sales and growth compared to the same period in previous years.
Similar to seafood, Vietnam’s rice exports also recorded growth in both volume and turnover. Statistics of the General Department of Customs show that in the first six months of 2022, the whole country exported over 3.49 million tons of rice, equivalent to nearly US$1.71 billion, the average price reached US$488.7/ton, up 15.4% in volume and 3.6% in turnover.
The good news for the rice industry in the first six months of this year is that two large Vietnamese rice exporters, Loc Troi and Tan Long, have successfully exported their own branded rice to the world’s most fastidious markets such as the EU and Japan. This has created a new position for Vietnamese rice grain in the international market, opening up opportunities for higher competition and improving the value of Vietnamese rice products.
In order to obtain such impressive results in the agricultural sector, besides the initiative of enterprises, the drastic participation of the Government, ministries and branches in the implementation of mechanisms and policies for the promotion of agricultural products, market development negotiations to promptly solve problems to promote the export of agricultural, forestry and fishery products, etc., and actively reform administrative procedures of Customs to create the most favorable conditions for enterprises.
Notably, during the peak period of agricultural exports in the northern border provinces, the Customs units arranged for officials and employees to handle customs clearance procedures and supervise exported agricultural products through the border gate outside office hours, on weekends and public holidays; prioritize and arrange for vehicles that have completed customs clearance procedures first to pass through the border gate early.
At the same time, Customs units coordinate with warehouse and yard businesses at border gates to arrange areas and locations to facilitate agricultural products to be stored and preserved while waiting for export; coordinate with Border Guard and Police forces to regulate traffic, avoid congestion, ensure security and order, and prevent instability affecting export activities of the enterprises.
Note when exporting to the high-end market
In 2022, Vietnam’s agricultural industry aims to grow by 2.8 – 3% compared to 2021, the total export turnover of agriculture, forestry and fishery will reach about US$55 billion. In which, main agricultural products reached US$25 billion; forest products and wooden furniture US$17 billion; seafood US$10 billion; other items are about US$3 billion.
To achieve this goal, focusing on promoting the major markets of Vietnam’s agricultural products, including the United States, EU, China, Japan and South Korea, is identified as the key solution. In order to help businesses exploit these markets well and increase export value, a representative of the Trade Promotion Department – Ministry of Industry and Trade has made some notes.
In particular, in the Japanese market, when importing agricultural products, partners not only see the test results for pesticide or antibiotic residues but also want to know the cultivation and farming techniques, such as what kind of fertilizer, and how to treat pests and diseases, etc. On the other hand, enterprises creating cooperative relationships with Japanese partners for the first time must be persistent and meet their initial requirements such as answering the ministry. This stage can be very time-consuming (2 – 3 years just to answer their questions) but once the product has been accepted it becomes easier to cooperate.
As for the Korean market, Vietnamese businesses need to make efforts to innovate their ways of doing things, pay close attention to safety standards, quality, and suitability with Korean consumers’ consumption preferences such as convenience, focus on investing in packaging, convey clear, detailed and attractive information about products.
For the EU market, the production must be associated with quality, hygiene and safety according to strict EU standards. On the other hand, from a national perspective, it is necessary to continue promoting trade and negotiating relations to avoid the EU imposing unreasonable technical barriers. In addition, farmers and businesses must incorporate traceability technology into each stage of the production process of agricultural products for export.
For the US market, the representative of the Trade Promotion Agency noted, if businesses want to quickly bring goods to the US market, they need to go through the distribution channels of enterprises already in the market.
Approaching, negotiating, introducing products and meeting standards on food safety, labels, working conditions, wages, and fire safety was very difficult at first, but once these criteria are met, Vietnamese enterprises can expand and develop production activities.
In addition, meeting these international standards also helps businesses quickly access other demanding markets such as Japan, Canada, and the EU.