With a population of 1.4 billion, China has been an important markets for many of Vietnam’s agricultural commodities such as rubber, fruit and vegetables, rice, cassava, cashew nuts, seafood, tea and coffee, said Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Head of the MARD’s Export Department.
He noted that with the advantages of geographical proximity, product diversity and tariff cuts from the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, there remains much room for Vietnam to increase its agricultural exports to China.
According to MOIT Minister Tran Tuan Anh, Vietnam is facing a number of challenges when exporting agricultural goods to China since Vietnam mainly relies on unofficial channels.
He stated that Vietnam’s farming products have yet to meet China’s technical barriers and are therefore unable to penetrate further inland.
Sharing this view, MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong warned that if Vietnam cannot identify changes in the Chinese market, exports will be very low.
He noted that China has changed its policy to allow imports through official channels only, which Cuong said is reasonable since all consumers have the right to demand higher quality of imported products.
The agricultural minister underlined the need for Vietnam’s management agencies to catch up with such changes in order to support exports.