2023: Opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products

Saturday, 21/01/2023 09:30
2022 continues to be a successful year in the export of agricultural, forestry and fishery products, although the agricultural sector must face many challenges such as high prices of raw materials; the market being affected by the Russia - Ukraine conflict and the production protection policies of some countries; and stricter import requirements.
 Processing seafood for export. (Photo: VNA)

According to Vietnam News Agency, thanks to market and product diversification, many new records were made in items such as rice, seafood, and coffee. Therefore, the export of agricultural products reached over 53 billion USD, trade surplus posted 7.8 billion USD, up nearly 48% from the previous year.

Many new records

After more than 20 years since joining the international market, the seafood sector has posted a record export of nearly 11 billion USD.

Ms. Le Hang, communications director of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said 2022 saw the most records. Shrimp export value reached 4.3 billion USD, pangasius 2.4 billion USD with a record growth of nearly 80%, and tuna exports posted 1 billion USD for the first time.

Given the 40-year high inflation, currency fluctuations in many markets and surging prices due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict which have forced importers to consider reducing orders, Vietnamese businesses have flexibly diversified markets and products, according to Hang.

For example, when domestic shrimp production meets difficulties, businesses have to focus on value-added products to Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Australia. Or fluctuations in currency exchange rates, businesses also choose markets with less volatility and more stability like Mexico.

She held that free trade agreements (FTAs), especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), have significantly benefited the domestic fishery industry, explaining that exports to the CPTPP markets expanded by 30% to make up 26-27% of the country’s total fishery export value.

Trade promotion activities both at home and abroad have also played a role in the hikes, Hang added.

In the year, rice export is also expected to hit a record of 7 million tonnes, said Do Ha Nam, vice chairman of the Vietnam Food Association, noting that rice contracts would be maintained in early 2023 thanks to high prices.

Looking back at the results of the agricultural sector in 2022 deputy director of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, assessed that agriculture as well as other economic sectors have made great efforts to recover after the COVID-19 epidemic. Agriculture has achieved spectacular results thanks to the accumulation process from many years of restructuring with a solid development foundation.

Promoting the efficiency of market opening

Over the past year, many agricultural products have entered many countries, helping diversify markets for Vietnamese agricultural products such as: durian, sweet potato, and bird’s nest exported to China; pomelo to America; longan to Japan; and lemon and grapefruit to New Zealand.

In 2023, the agricultural sector will promote negotiation to open more foreign markets for local farming commodities, said Hoang Trung, director of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The first export batch of durians of Long Thuy Production Trading Company Limited was exported to China. (Photo: VNA) 

Trung said that many agricultural products had been permitted to enter many countries this year after the negotiations had been carried out for many years.

“But it is important to maintain and expand market shares in those countries,” Trung said.

Developing coded planting regions and package facilities is one of the mandatory requirements related to phytosanitary conditions for export products. The agricultural sector guides localities, businesses and farmers to build the planting regions and package facilities granted codes. Now, more than 300,000 hectares are granted planting area codes.

Dao The Anh, deputy director of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had changed the market structure, and many Vietnamese fruit and rice products have entered Europe, where Thailand dominated before.

“In the coming time, Vietnam still has to continue to diversify markets, organise production following the requirements of the export market on food safety, and complete the post-harvest stage, including packaging. However, many opportunities are still expected for export growth of agricultural products in 2023,” Anh said./.