Enterprises prepare to boost seafood exports to the EU

06:00 | 03/08/2020 Trade

(VEN) - The seafood industry has set a US$2 billion target for seafood exports to the EU in 2021 based on the terms of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which will take effect on August 1. Enterprises are preparing in terms of farming areas, food safety certification and logistics infrastructure to take opportunities provided by the recently ratified pact. 

enterprises prepare to boost seafood exports to the eu
Vietnamese enterprises have many opportunities to increase seafood export value to the EU

The potential EU market

The EU has become a major and important importer of Vietnamese seafood in recent years and is expected to continue being a potential market in the coming years.

The EU is currently Vietnam’s second largest seafood export market after the US, accounting for 17-18 percent of its total seafood export value. Specifically, shrimp products, pangasius and seafood products accounted for 22, 11 and 30-35 percent, respectively.

Data compiled by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) show that over the past three years, seafood exports to the EU yielded more than US$1 billion annually, reaching US$1.46 billion in 2017, US$1.47 billion in 2018, and more than US$1.2 billion in 2019 despite the yellow card on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) issued by the EU.

Expectations

VASEP Secretary General Truong Dinh Hoe said seafood enterprises are completing necessary preparations to take full advantage of the EVFTA and its zeroing of many tariff lines. For example, tariff on frozen shrimp and tiger shrimp will drop from the current basic rate of 20 percent to zero right after the agreement comes into effect.

Despite the pandemic, seafood enterprises are gearing up in terms of farming areas, food safety certification and logistics infrastructure to meet market requirements and boost exports. For example, the Viet Uc Group, Nam Viet Co., Ltd., Vinh Hoan Corporation, and Loc Kim Chi Development Co., Ltd. have invested in high technology pangasius farming areas, preparing for exports.

Nguyen Thi Anh, General Director of the Song Tien Trading Co., Ltd. (SOTICO), a 10-year veteran of exports to the EU, said seafood is considered essential goods so the demand for this product will remain despite the pandemic. The EVFTA will help boost exports as soon as it takes effect, she said. SOTICO has planned its farming areas and obtained certifications required by the EU market to meet requirements related to EVFTA commitments.

VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe: Seafood enterprises have taken advantage of the Republic of Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (KVFTA), Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to increase export value sharply, and they are expected to do so as well with the EVFTA opportunities.

Mai Ca