Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters are seeking to make inroads into Thailand amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Vietnam Fruit & Vegetable Association (VinaFruit), exports to the US, Thailand and Africa saw positive signs last year.
Vietnam exported 74.94 million USD worth of fruits and vegetables to Thailand in 2019, up 66.3 percent compared to the previous year.
Secretary General of VinaFruit Dang Phuc Nguyen suggested that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should negotiate with the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to balance trade for fruits and vegetables because Vietnam has long been running a trade deficit for farm produce from Thailand.
The ministry should ask Thailand to expand the list of fruits for importing from Vietnam, he recommended.
Businesses are advised to study the market thoroughly while proactively seeking customers and expanding trade links.
According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Thailand, Thailand spends over 1 billion USD annually to import fresh fruits and 600 million USD to buy vegetables. In the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand is the biggest importer of farm produce, especially Vietnamese fresh fruits and vegetables.
“We should consider Thailand a trade partner instead of a competitive opponent,” said Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Thailand Tran Thi Thanh My.
Vietnam has exported a large amount of farm produce to the market, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, she said. She cited statistics from Thai Customs as saying that Vietnam makes up 90 percent of Thailand’s dragon fruit imports. So far, Thailand has only allowed imports of Vietnamese dragon fruit, mango, longan, and lychee. There are still enormous opportunities for Vietnam to increase exports of other farm produce, she added.
Meanwhile, Vice President of Thailand’s Central Retail Paul Le said Vietnam has a lot of tasty fruits. The company wants to boost imports of Vietnamese fresh fruits and vegetables, especially lychees. The Vietnamese goods week is held in Thailand annually to help Vietnamese firms to study the market and local customers’ demand, he said. He added that the large overseas Vietnamese community in Thailand is also an advantage Vietnam can use to penetrate the market./.
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