Untapped potential for Vietnam’s agro-fishery exports to Japan

06:00 | 07/04/2022 Trade

(VEN) - Japan’s great demand for agro-fishery products and foodstuff provides increasing opportunities for Vietnamese exports. 

untapped potential for vietnams agro fishery exports to japan
The Vietnamese pavilion at the Foodex Japan 2022

Great demand

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan, Japan has great demand for agro-fishery products and foodstuff, such as fish and its processed products, shrimp, eel, meat and meat products, soybean, cereal products, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables and coffee. Last year, Vietnam’s agro-fishery exports to Japan reached US$1.8 billion, a drop of 0.5 percent compared with the previous year. Except for aquatic products, a key export item recording a 7.4-percent decline, the remaining items saw good growth, such as coffee (25.5 percent), fruits and vegetables (20 percent), cashew nuts (39 percent) and pepper (56 percent). Some Vietnamese fruits have also gained popularity among Japanese consumers with a growing market share, such as dragon fruit, mango, coconut and lychee.

Agro-fishery products and foodstuff imported from Vietnam have carved out a growing niche in Japan due to the increase in the number of Vietnamese people living and working there in recent years.

untapped potential for vietnams agro fishery exports to japan
Vietnamese products displayed at the exhibition

Increasing market share

To help Vietnamese businesses penetrate more deeply into the Japanese market, the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan has strengthened trade promotion activities in both direct and online formats.

The office has received samples and catalogs from Vietnamese businesses to display at international exhibitions and the Vietnamese Goods Week in the Aeon supermarket chain across Japan.

The Foodex Japan 2022, held on March 8-11, also offered opportunities for Vietnamese exporters to promote agro-fishery and foodstuff exports to the country. This year’s exhibition gathered many large Japanese companies specializing in importing food and beverages and trading with Vietnam. The Vietnamese pavilion included 10 booths of five reputable importers in the Vietnamese community in Japan.

On display at Vietnam’s booths were dried noodles and vermicelli, frozen and dried fruits, salted roasted cashew nuts, dipping sauces and spices, ground and instant coffee, beer, wine and other beverages, coconut cream and processed coconut milk.

Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Japan Ta Duc Minh said this year’s exhibition offered opportunities to introduce Vietnamese quality products to Japanese consumers. The event also provided companies that import and trade in Vietnamese goods with opportunities to meet new partners and sign valuable contracts, while improving the image of Vietnamese cuisine in the Japanese market.

Although ample room remains for Vietnam’s agro-fishery and foodstuff exports to Japan, Vietnamese businesses need to pay attention to product quality in order to meet Japan’s strict regulations on food hygiene and safety, while improving packaging to attract more Japanese consumers. Exporters should also make good use of tariff preferences provided by free trade agreements, such as the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA), ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP), Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Thu Phuong