In the first four months of this year, Vietnam earned nearly US$2.5 billion from seafood export to 139 markets, up 14% year-on-year. The top four markets are the US, Japan each accounting for 15%, and Europe and China each with 14%.
Notably, China could become the largest importer of Vietnamese aquatic products from the second quarter this year considering the growth of 37% in the first four months. Last year, China was the fourth largest importer of Vietnam’s seafood with a turnover of US$1.28 billion, accounting for 15% of the total.
VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said Vietnamese seafood exporters will continue facing difficulties such as anti-dumping tax, technical barriers, the EU’s yellow card warning and problems related to raw materials such as instable supply and prices, and origin.
Aquatic products export is estimated at US$10 billion this year, up 20% annually.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam lauded VASEP and the seafood industry for pushing seafood export from US$1 billion in 2000 to over US$8.3 billion last year.
However, the growth in export of tra fish and shrimp is instable and unsustainable, he said, citing examples of negative impacts on tra fish shipments caused by foreign media, or those on shrimp caused by recent surges in world supply.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has directed the Directorate of Fisheries, the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency to review projects on building national trademarks for Vietnamese tra fish and shrimp.
The VASEP General Secretary said the association and the business community have taken measures to promote the country’s two key aquatic products.
After a Spanish television channel with distorted information about tra fish farming on Mekong River in 2017, VASEP and the domestic business community immediately built a scheme to popularise the image of Vietnamese tra fish in the EU.
VASEP also signed a contract with an EU media outlet to market tra fish in the bloc from March-December 2017. As a result, the website youreverydayfish.com was born, becoming a multilingual portal introducing Vietnamese tra fish sector and rapidly responding to distorted and negative information in English, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch languages.
Hoe said VASEP will accelerate trade promotion, market expansion and popularise the image of Vietnam’s fishery products. The association will also work to restore the market development fund to cope with arising problems regarding prestige and trademarks in export markets.