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Vietnam aims at the Chinese market and makes new policies to catch up with Thailand

Release Date:2022-11-30Views:12

Vietnam and Thailand are both major fruit exporters in Southeast Asia, both focusing on tropical fruits. The fruit categories planted by them, such as durian, mangosteen, jackfruit, have been widely welcomed in the international market in recent years. Because of geographical proximity and similar climate, the export categories of the two countries are also very similar. However, it is quite surprising that Thailand's fruit exports in recent years far exceed Vietnam's. In terms of output, Thailand is undoubtedly in a "weak position". The annual fruit output is about 5.43 million tons, while Vietnam's is between 12 million and 13 million tons. However, on the export side, Thailand's fruit export volume in 2022 is expected to reach US $8.53 billion, while Vietnam's is expected to be less than US $3.2 billion.

Vietnam's exports of fruits and vegetables reached a peak of 3.7 billion US dollars in 2019, even exceeding the export of rice in the same period. In the next two years, the figure declined, to 3.26 billion US dollars in 2020 and 3.55 billion US dollars in 2021. At the same time, Thailand's exports of fruits and vegetables rose steadily, from 3.76 billion dollars in 2019 to more than 4.2 billion dollars in 2020, and then to 5.3 billion dollars in 2021. As the market share has been gradually eroded by Thailand, Vietnamese fruit and vegetable industry practitioners are under great pressure and begin to think about the reasons behind and future countermeasures.

It is reported that Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is conducting research on this trend and formulating new policies to revive the country's fruit and vegetable export strength.

At present, Vietnam exports fruits to 60 countries including China. In the past three years, China's strict epidemic prevention policy has had a significant impact on Vietnam's fruit and vegetable trade. Vietnam had to pay more attention to other overseas markets, and its exports to the United States, the European Union and Japan increased significantly. However, China is still the world's largest fruit importer and one of Vietnam's most important export markets. So far, 11 Vietnamese fruits have officially entered the Chinese market, including mango, pitaya, banana, longan, lychee, watermelon, rambutan, jackfruit, mangosteen, passion fruit and durian.

Fruit Marketing and Branding

As we all know, Chinese consumers will choose goods according to their brands. For example, the Chinese market is more familiar with durian in Thailand and Malaysia. For Vietnam Durian, which has just obtained access qualification recently, it is particularly important to establish its own brand. To this end, industry experts advised that Vietnam should set up trade promotion agencies in China to help build the brand of its agricultural products.

Integrity management

China is no longer an easily accessible market. As early as many years ago, China began to implement high standard management on imported fruits. For example, in 2018, the Chinese customs authorities took the planting area and packaging facility code displayed on the plant quarantine certificate as one of the necessary conditions for export. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, after four years of evaluation and review, Vietnamese durian was officially allowed to enter the Chinese market. This year, the department severely warned some enterprises that similar cases involving Vietnam Mango in 2020 should not be repeated. At that time, Vietnamese mango enterprises used error codes in violation of regulations to achieve export and were seized by the Chinese side. Durian exports should learn from relevant experiences and lessons, and strictly implement the requirements of China. In addition, Vietnamese officials also stressed the importance of ensuring long-term transparency in export activities.

Market research and business education

Liming Huan, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam, said that many Vietnamese fruit producers lack understanding of market trends and sell their products passively without understanding the real demand of the market. He compared the fruit dealers in Vietnam and Thailand: when the wholesale market in Beijing opened in the morning, Thai traders were often able to quickly grasp the price and effectively promote their products, while Vietnamese traders were always slow to move because they did not have a clear understanding of the product price and market demand.

Minister Li also pointed out that Thailand has made a lot of investment in market research and development, and many Thai universities and research institutions focus on long-term strategies. In his view, Vietnam should also set about establishing its own think tank to determine the development goals in the next few years or even decades.

In addition, Vietnam also needs to build a new agricultural model that is closely connected among producers and can obtain the latest market information. Improving the competitiveness of fruit enterprises should be one of the core objectives of the agricultural industry.

In addition to the above measures, attention should also be paid to upgrading production technology. The current post harvest equipment in Vietnam can only store durian for three to four days, which limits the transportation options, thus excluding the sea transportation with cost advantages.

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