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Foreign importers keen on Mekong Delta fruit & vegetables

Released at: 16:56, 19/12/2017

Foreign importers keen on Mekong Delta fruit & vegetables

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) was seaking at the forum on Dec. 18 (Photo: VGP)

Many importers from US, Japan and South Korea looking to import fruit and vegetables from Vietnam.

by Ngoc Chi

In the first eleven months of 2017, growth of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports reached nearly 44 per cent year-on-year and exceeded the figure for 2016 as a whole. The 2017 figure is expected to reach $3.5 billion, surpassing both rice and oil exports.

Speaking at the “Expanding Market for Fruit - Vegetables and Improving Logistics for Agriculture and Rural Development” forum in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap on December 18, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that this represents major efforts from farmers and agriculture businesses, especially in the Delta.

He pointed out, however, that fruit and vegetables still have many problems to address. Vietnam ranks in the Top 50 globally in terms of GDP, but its exports of fruit and vegetables accounts for just 1 per cent of the global figure. Added value in fruit and vegetable exports also remains low.

The PM urged the Mekong Delta region to improve its logistics to increase fruit and vegetable exports to global markets. “Logistics play a key role in enhancing competitiveness and promoting the global market for Vietnamese fruit and vegetables,” he said.

Also in Dong Thap province, the Provincial People’s Committee, the Institute of Organic Agriculture Economics, and two companies - Vietnam’s Lavifood Company and China’s Greenland Business Group - have signed the first import agreement for Vietnamese agricultural products going to China, worth at least $500 million over two years.

“We see the potential of Vietnam,” Chairman and CEO of Greenland Yuliang Zhang, told local media on December 18. “In particular, Dong Thap has many advantages in terms of flowers and fruit and vegetables. Processed fruit will be promoted in the future.”

Dong Thap authorities also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Organic Agriculture Economics and Lavifood to strategically invest in Vietnam’s first fruit and vegetable processing facility, in Lap Vo district. The project attracted eight domestic and foreign enterprises exporting the province’s agricultural products to international markets such as the US, Japan, and the EU.

The US’s Global Food Importers is heading towards a $100 million export deal with Dong Thap amid growing demand for frozen vegetables in the US. Meanwhile, Japan is looking to buy flowers from Dong Thap due to supplies from Malaysia and Colombia being expected to decline. South Korea also wants to boost fruit imports from Vietnam.

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