Wide scope for the export of high quality agricultural products to the EU

VIETNAM, July 21 –

The European Union (EU) is Việt Nam’s main trading partner, while Việt Nam is a potential and safe investment destination for European companies. After nearly two years of implementation of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade pact has shown its importance in helping bilateral trade between Việt Nam and the EU to increase by 14.8%. percent and EU exports to Việt Nam increase by 16.5 percent.

News from Việt Nam spoke to Phùng Đức Tiến, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), about the opportunity to export high quality agricultural products between the two markets.

How do you assess the cooperation between Việt Nam and the EU in the agricultural sector?

The EVFTA came into effect in August 2020 and despite the impact of COVID-19, Việt Nam’s agricultural exports to the European market grew rapidly from over $4.5 billion in 2020 to $5.2 billion. billion in 2021. The figure for the first five months of this year was $2.26 billion, up 26% year-over-year.

The EU is a major import market for Việt Nam’s main agricultural products such as pepper, seafood, cashew nuts, wood and wood products. For our part, Việt Nam imports agricultural machinery and equipment, livestock products and raw materials for animal feed from the EU. Both sides’ export products are complementary and not competitive.

Much remains to be done to promote trade in the agricultural sector between the two markets. Việt Nam has assets in terms of agricultural production and export. We are among the top 15 exporters of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the world with an export turnover of $48.6 billion in 2021 and an expected $55 billion this year.

With comparative advantages in agricultural production, a stable macroeconomic environment, a large-scale domestic market with nearly 100 million people, and the gateway to Southeast Asia market with 650 million of inhabitants, Việt Nam has attracted many large and wealthy people. – well-known European agricultural companies such as Bayer (Germany); De Heus, Nutreco (Netherlands); Nestlé (Switzerland); Ceva, Virbac (France). However, the total number of FDI projects and capital from EU companies in the agricultural sector of Việt Nam remains modest with 44 projects worth more than 200 million dollars.

What new impulses does Việt Nam need to make our agricultural products more accessible to the EU market?

Last week, a European business delegation of 50 high-ranking representatives visited Việt Nam and held meetings to seek cooperation opportunities with Vietnamese companies in areas of mutual strength. They went on an excursion to discover the work of Vietnamese farmers, raw material areas, preliminary processing, traceability and marketing of products in the EU market, especially organic products in Việt Nam.

I wholeheartedly agree with EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski saying that “seeing is believing” and his first working trip to Việt Nam since the adoption of the EVFTA laid the groundwork for a new period of development. The two sides will promote information exchange to release the development potentials and growth of Vietnamese agricultural exports to the European market.

Faced with the challenges of climate change and the risk of global food insecurity, Việt Nam’s agricultural industry is vigorously transforming towards green growth, developing an integrated multi-value growth model towards high technology, diversity and sustainability. , rational use of natural resources, protection of the ecological environment, maintenance and conservation of biodiversity.

Việt Nam is building a transparent, responsible and sustainable agricultural sector. Importantly, amid global supply chain disruptions and rising food prices, Việt Nam actively participates in the global food chain with a production capacity of nearly 44 million tons of rice, including exports reached 6.7 million tons.

Việt Nam wishes to develop its exports of rice, vegetables, coffee, processed products and products with geographical indications in the EU.

The EU is a “demanding” marketdemanding quality agricultural products. What will be the ministry to help businesses unlock this market?

Việt Nam and the EU have established official diplomatic relations since 1990, just after Việt Nam embarked on its policy of economic renewal. After more than 30 years of establishing diplomatic relations and 10 years of signing the Việt Nam-EU Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement, relations between the two sides are developing rapidly and comprehensively with many positive results.

The two sides have built a solid cooperation framework with many important agreements and effective cooperation mechanisms. The EVFTA is a very important trade and investment cooperation framework that opens up great opportunities and prospects in bilateral relations.

Commercial links in the agricultural sector have also continuously improved in recent years. Especially after the entry into force of the EVFTA with numerous tax incentives, many Vietnamese companies and organizations have quickly and creatively caught up with global technology that allows them to meet the strict standards of the European market.

The ministry will review each specific item and closely monitor market developments in conjunction with production reorganization and agricultural restructuring to better seize opportunities in this market.

With the European business community, what do you wait in agricultural cooperation in Việt Nam?

We regard the EU as a leading trading partner, a traditional and potential big market for Vietnamese agricultural products, especially when the next-generation EVFTA came into force, opening up business opportunities in the agriculture sector. , forestry and fishing. The ministry is ready to work closely with the EU to facilitate trade, ensure technical standards in line with international practices and not create new trade barriers without sufficient scientific basis for the benefit of producers, businesses and consumers of both sides.

Việt Nam welcomes new EU projects to support the country’s agricultural development and wishes to attract more FDI projects in the agricultural sector. The priority development areas are agricultural knowledge, ecological, circular and organic agriculture, especially high technology and basic technology.

Some cooperation content is very important, such as the training of human resources, the constitution of regional clusters of industrial links associated with large specialized agricultural areas, processing, the diversification of products with high added value and the development of commercial and logistical infrastructures in the agricultural value chain service.

At the same time, Việt Nam wishes to mobilize more EU resources to help complete the legal timber control system in the near future and strengthen the fight against illegal fishing at sea. The ministry will accompany and create favorable conditions for EU companies make successful, long-term and sustainable investments in Việt Nam. —VNS

Amalia H. Mercado