Workers process tra fish at a factory of the International Development & Investment Corporation in Lap Vo district, Dong Thap province (Photo: VNA)
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), tra fish exports were estimated at USD609 million in the first four months of this year, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier.
The figure included USD11.54 million from exports to Japan, soaring 61.5 percent, making the Northeast Asian country the eighth biggest market of Vietnamese tra fish - its debut in the top 10.
In 2018, tra fish shipments to Japan shot up 12 times from the USD2.56 million in 2011.
This is a notable result because in the past, Japanese consumers shunned imported farmed aquatic products. The rise in tra fish imports shows Vietnamese products are gradually gaining a foothold in this demanding market.
The two countries signed an economic partnership agreement on December 25th, 2008, and this deal took effect on October 1st, 2009. This is Vietnam’s first bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), in which the two sides give more preferential treatment to each other compared to the FTA between ASEAN, of which Vietnam is a member, and Japan.
Under these FTAs, Japan has eliminated import tariffs on some Vietnamese aquatic products.
Since April 2019, Japan has also exempted import tariffs on fresh and frozen catfish fillet products from members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), including Vietnam.
Thanks to the three agreements, tra fish exporters now have more chances to bolster shipments to Japan.
VASEP expressed its belief that there remains huge potential for tra fish exporters to capitalise on the Japanese market./.