17 Sep 2020
Vietnam has begun exporting its agricultural products to European markets, in line with a trade agreement signed with the European Union.
According to the Vietnamese Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, the exports include dragon fruit, coffee, coconut, grapefruit and passion fruit.
The EU will lift tariffs on 86.5% of Vietnam’s seafood exports over the next three years, under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), 90.3% in the next five years and on all seafood exports within the next seven years.
Vietnamese exporters have exploited the lifting of tariffs by increasing their seafood shipments by roughly 10% since the beginning of August.
The European market is the largest for Vietnamese coffee, making up 38% of the country’s total exports.
Annual average exports to the bloc have been valued at around $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion over the past five years.
“Vietnam’s agricultural sector would be one of the beneficiaries from the EVFTA as the reduction in tariffs would boost exports to the European market,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement.
Deputy chair of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vo Tan Thanh said that farmers must switch from traditional cultivation to sustainable cultivation in order to benefit fully from the trade agreement.
“The government must also improve food safety management and attract more investment in agriculture,” he said.
EU data reveals that agricultural products make up 11.75% of trade between Vietnam and the bloc.