Addressing an April 18 seminar in HCM City, Tran Quang Huy, a senior official of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), revealed Middle East countries have a high import demand for food, agricultural products, seafood and consumer goods, creating a great chance for Vietnamese businesses.
Huy, who is head of the Africa, West Asia and South Asia Department under the MoIT, said the MoIT and State management agencies always provide maximum support for domestic businesses to access this lucrative market.
Middle East countries have huge potential in oil& gas and financial resources. Due to extreme weather, they have high demands for dairy products, pepper, cashew nuts and rice, which are Vietnam’s key export items.
|Processing shrimp according to Halal standards to export to Middle East
Turkey, Israel, Iran and Iraq are promising markets for Vietnamese businesses, Huy said, adding entering markets of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), businesses even enjoy low import tariffs of between 0 and 5%.
However, they impose strict requirements on imported food, for example Halal certificate.
To obtain such certificate, businesses must follow regulations on food processing. For instance, meat must not be pork or related products, and it must be slaughtered by Muslim people. Wine and other alcohol products are never granted Halal certificate.
Local businesses can apply for Halal certificate at relevant agencies in Vietnam. If they meet all requirements, they will be issued the certificate which is valid for one year.
Last year, Vietnam’s exports to the Middle East reached nearly US$6.7 billion, including US$184 million from milk and dairy products, US$96 million from pepper and US$78 million from cashew nuts.