Despite failing to meet the targets for 2019, the fruit and vegetable sector is aiming to achieve an export target of US$5 billion during 2020 due to several advantages that will come with the signing of new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
Throughout 2019, Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports failed to achieve the expected results due to exports falling by 1 per cent to only US$3.8 billion in comparison to 2018.
This decrease can be attributed to the fallout of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, while the sector has struggled to take full advantage of the opportunities gained from newly signed FTAs. In addition, the existing inadequacies has made the industry fail to meet the set target of US$4 billion.
This year , the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association is sanguine about the industry's export value which is expected to reach approximately US$5 billion with the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) poised to come into force.
When the EVFTA takes full effect, the country’s export tariff on fruit and vegetable products being exported to Europe will instantly be slashed to zero per cent.
According to a statement issued by the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, several local vegetable and fruit products have started to make inroads into more demanding markets.
For example, mangoes have officially risen to become the nation’s sixth fresh fruit that is exported to the US market, following litchi, longan, rambutan, star apples, and dragon fruit.
Elsewhere, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan has sent a letter to the Plant Protection Department under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, indicating that there is a market in the Far East country for Vietnamese lychee.
The move is expected to open up a wealth of opportunities for the fruit and vegetable industry to enjoy major breakthroughs over the coming year.
Despite these positives, the sector must work to overcome shortcomings that still exist within production activities to meet international standards.
In fact, the cultivation area under GlobalGAP standards makes up only 5 per cent of roughly 1 million hectares of land.
Therefore, in order to increase the output of fruit and vegetable exports to Europe, the agricultural sector must encourage residents to increase the cultivation area that is used for fruit and vegetables to fall in line with these standards.