According to the country’s trade office based in Thailand, last year Thai fresh and processed fruit exports grossed approximately US$3.6 billion, while the country also imported over 3 billion tonnes of fresh fruit worth over US$1 billion and 850 million tonnes of vegetables worth US$600 million from other countries.
At present, Thailand is only allowing the import of Vietnamese dragon fruit, mango, longan, and lychee into its market.
Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said several Thai corporations have increased their respective investment in the country. This represents an advantage as firms strive to boost the export of farm produce to the Thai market.
The Central Group, working in collaboration with the Big C supermarket chain, co-operates with the Ministry of Industry and Trade annually to organise schemes to promote Vietnamese goods into Thailand, said Nguyen, adding that Central Group also imports fruit and vegetables from the nation to be put on sale at Thai supermarkets.
Nguyen noted that the quality of Vietnamese fruit has drastically improved while the export of processed products also contributes to increasing the export turnover of Vietnamese fruits to the Thai market.
Currently, the nation still has a trade deficit with Thailand due to the import of a variety of products, largely farm produce. However, Thailand also represents the country’s largest export market in the ASEAN region.
Most notably, Vietnam has shipped an array of agricultural products, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, to Thailand, with dragon fruit making up the majority of exports. Therefore, experts believe that we should consider Thailand as a trading partner rather than as a competitor.
Vietnamese fruits are now able to meet the various requirements set out by the most demanding of markets including, Thailand, said Paul Le, Vice President of Import-Export Division under the Central Group, noting that the firm is keen to promote the import of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables, especially lychee, into the neighbouring country.
Along with the involvement of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to facilitate the greater penetration of Vietnamese agricultural products into the Thai market, the Vietnam's trade office based in Thailand has stated that it will continue to promote support activities for Vietnamese enterprises as they strive to make further inroads into the potential market.