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Meeting standards is a prerequisite for market entry
After two years of pursuing and understanding the market to proactively produce to meet standards, the Thai Nguyen Union of Agricultural Cooperatives had the first shipment of two tons of tea to the US in early 2023. Up to now, the Thai Nguyen Union of Agricultural Cooperatives has monthly exported one container to this market.
Talking about conquering this big market, Doan Thanh Hang, Chairman of the Board of Directors cum General Director of Thai Nguyen Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, said that to export to the US market, the cooperative had carefully studied the market, produced according to the habits and tastes of consumers and above all, met their strict standards. According to Hang, to conquer a large market like the US, expanding exports to other markets will have more advantages.
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in the US, developed countries, including the US, are paying more and more attention to consumer safety, sustainable development, and climate change. This will be the premise for setting up new standards and regulations related to materials, labour, and the environment for imported products. Moreover, China’s reopening and exports to key regions increased competition in the US market. For example, according to statistics, the volume of containers imported at the US seaports from China has increased again in the first two months of 2023.
Not only in the US but also in many other large markets, there are many regulations and high standards that businesses need to pay attention to convert and increase their competitiveness of goods. For example, for the EU market, Vo Thi Ngoc Diep, Trade Counselor, Vietnam Trade Office in the Netherlands, said that the EU focused on implementing regulations on the number of pesticide residues, which would affect Vietnam’s export products, such as rice and nuts. Therefore, businesses need to pay special attention to this issue.
Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy, the representative of the Vietnam Trade Office in Sweden, said that the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration had just announced a control campaign for 2023, which would control the fermentation of sausages, food fortified with micronutrients, ecological claims, sugar printed on cakes and cocktails, synthetic products from third countries, and pesticide residues in imported foods.
For the Chinese market, Nong Duc Lai, Vietnam Trade Counselor in Beijing, China, said that since opening, China’s economy has grown again, bringing advantages and challenges to Vietnamese businesses. As a result, commodity competition will be much greater than before; China has strictly controlled technical standards, food safety, and hygiene.
Change production mindset
To expand the export market and overcome its strict barriers, the representative of the Vietnam Trade Office in the US said that Ministries and sectors should develop policies in the direction of encouraging enterprises to produce and export according to the circular economy approach, factors of sustainability production and consumption to gradually change the production thinking of enterprises, encourage the application of technology, materials, and using renewable energy to be ready to meet standards and regulations in the US market.
Simultaneously, localities, business associations, and industries strengthen their relationships with partners through online platforms, actively participate in promotion activities in the US market, join in appropriate fairs and exhibitions, participate in survey programs and market research, and strengthen exchanges and cooperation with partners.
A representative of the Vietnam Trade Office Branch in Nam Ning said that it was necessary to develop a plan focusing on a few commodity lines or a few groups of products with export strengths to create spillover effects to other similar groups. For example, focusing on building Vietnamese durian and mangosteen brands (two products that China cannot produce) through organizing agricultural product weeks in crowded areas, editing manuals introducing history, culture, and cuisine about durian and mangosteen to create a brand of Vietnamese goods, thereby creating a spillover effect for other Vietnamese fruit products in the Chinese market.
Additionally, it is necessary to encourage and support Vietnamese fruit processing and exporting enterprises to build distribution channels in the Chinese market actively. Organize conferences to promote the consumption of local-specific agricultural products in market areas deep in China’s interior to promote the shift of exports in formal trade. Also, build short videos promoting Vietnamese brands and products in Chinese on Chinese social networking platforms.
Furthermore, industry associations and businesses must actively cooperate with import partners in building and promoting their business image and key products in addition to mastering and meeting the requirements of quarantine and quality of the Chinese market. Furthermore, actively build a direct communication channel with the Trade Office based on understanding the export needs of local businesses.