Vietnam’s export negotiations bear fruit

06:00 | 11/07/2022 Trade

(VEN) - China has accepted passion fruit imports from Vietnam while negotiations on durian have reached the final stage. Final steps are also underway for Vietnamese pomelo exports to the US, signaling promise for increased Vietnamese fruit exports.

Great potential

At a recent forum held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to discuss sustainable production and sales of key fruit products of the southern region, Le Van Thiet, Deputy Director of the MARD’s Plant Protection Department, said China had permitted piloting passion fruit imports from Vietnam via border crossings in the two provinces of Lang Son and Quang Ninh.

Passion fruit eligible for export to China must be grown in coded areas, have packaging codes and meet food safety requirements. Companies having export demand must contact the Plant Protection Department for registration. Chinese consumer demand for passion fruit is high, so the export value promises to be high.

Negotiations on durian exports to China are in the final stage. The two sides are finalizing a protocol on planting areas, distributor codes and disease management, which is expected to be signed later this year, Le Van Thiet said. Vietnam exports six types of fruit to the US, including dragon fruit, mango, lychee, longan, rambutan, and star apple. Final negotiations are underway for pomelo exports to this market.

Vietnam also exports three types of fresh fruit to Japan: dragon fruit, lychee and mango. The Plant Protection Department is negotiating with the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on cold treatment of lychees for export, paving the way for export of other types of fruit.

vietnams export negotiations bear fruit
China is the top importer of Vietnamese fruit

Market expansion

According to the Plant Protection Department, passion fruit was one of the top 10 exports in terms of value in 2021. Over the past five years, Vietnamese passion fruit exports have grown more than 300 percent in terms of volume and value. Vietnam ranks behind Brazil, Peru and Ecuador in exporting this fruit.

Vietnam has exported passion fruit to markets with strict requirements in terms of quality, quarantine and food safety, such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Switzerland. The MARD is negotiating fresh passion fruit exports to other major markets such as Australia, Japan and Thailand.

Some localities are expanding passion fruit plantations to take advantage of export opportunities. Doan Ngoc Co, Deputy Director of the Gia Lai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province recently added passion fruit to its list of key fruit trees, planning to increase its planting area from 4,000ha at present to 20,000ha by 2025 in order to maintain Gia Lai Province’s position as Vietnam’s top passion fruit grower.

Certain difficulties still exist in farm produce exports, particularly fruit exports. Although negotiations on pomelo exports have reached the final stage, businesses complain of numerous difficulties in identifying coded planting areas. According to Le Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of the MARD’s Department of Crop Production, China may tighten quarantine regulations, causing stagnation at border crossings and slowing down exports.

“China is the top importer of Vietnamese fruit and is tightening online inspection of coded planting areas and packaging facilities, especially for dragon fruit, mango and watermelon. Some planting areas and packaging facilities have not met Chinese requirements, especially in terms of COVID-19 control. Therefore, Vietnamese localities and businesses should abide by Chinese regulations. China may temporarily stop imports when they find a violation,” Thiet said.

Nguyen Hanh