Statistics showed that in 2019, Russia spent over US$5 billion on importing fresh fruits, along with US$1.3-US$1.5 billion on processed vegetable, fruits and nuts, more than US$2 billion on meat, over US$2.4 billion on fisheries.
Many Vietnamese products are Russians’ favourite, especially wooden furniture and farm produce. The market also has high demand for tropical vegetables and fruit.
In the first two months of 2020, Vietnam earned US$8.2 million from exporting vegetables and fruit to Russia, up 246.1% year on year, including US$6.7 million of processed products, a rise of 293.5% over the same period last year.
At the same time, Vietnam is Russia’s top supplier of coffee in 2019, with US$154.3 million, making up 24.5% of the country’s total spending on the product.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the first two months of 2020, export revenue of Vietnam’s afro-forestry-fisheries products to Russia reached US$68.5 million, up 0.3% year on year, with sharp a rise seen in exports of vegetables, fruit, rice, and peppercorn.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien advised businesses to focus more on the Russian market to make full use of the market potential and the sound strategic partnership between the two countries.
He said that the ministry has directed relevant agencies to guide and support enterprises in administrative procedures in line with requirements of importers.
However, he pointed out that exports to Russia only account for about 1.6 percent of Vietnam’ total exports of agricultural products. He noted that although many Vietnamese products meet requirements of the Russian market, but they face barriers in export procedures.
Specifically, Vietnamese products have been charged with high tax rate in the market, and high logistics cost has also impacted competitiveness of the products. Technical barriers, currency exchange and low level of products’ processing have also been obstacles of Vietnam.
Experts held that in order to increase exports to Russia, Vietnam should promote the processing industry. Meanwhile, State agencies and businesses should work more closely together, with more support from the State in policy.
They advised businesses to stay active in giving proposals and voicing their needs to State agencies.