Farm sector pushes Japanese trade

A delegation led by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ho Xuan Hung visited Japan last week to promote Vietnamese agricultural and seafood produce.

The businesses represented on the delegation showcased their products at the giant International Food and Beverage Exhibition (Foodex Japan 2011) in Chiba Province, east of Tokyo.

On its sidelines, the delegation, with assistance from the Vietnamese embassy in Japan, organised a conference on bilateral trade ties in the agricultural and aquacultural sectors.

The seminar attracted nearly 300 delegates and provided Vietnamese policy makers and businesses a good opportunity to listen to and understand more about the Japanese market, where there is a constant demand for quality goods.

Speaking at the conference, Hung said in recent years Viet Nam’s farm, forestry, and aquatic industries developed strongly and used environmentally friendly methods that meet international quality and food hygiene standards.

They had been exporting their products to more than 160 countries and territories, he said.

Last year their exports were worth more than US$19.5 billion, nearly 25 per cent up year on year.

Exports of Vietnamese agricultural and seafood products to Japan have increased in recent years but their share of the Japanese market remained modest, he said, also noting that bilateral trade remained well below potential.

Hung called on Japanese businesses to import more agricultural and seafood items from Viet Nam and assist Vietnamese companies in marketing their products. Market analyst Nobuo Kato of the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Policy Research Institute said Viet Nam’s agricultural sector had great potential to develop but has some weakness like its small scale of production and poor processing technologies.

As a result, the country mainly exported raw products, he said.

“Japan can co-operate with Viet Nam to help improve the country’s agricultural sector,” he added.

The Vietnamese delegation also met officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and business executives to discuss measures to strengthen co-operation and boost exports of farm and seafood produce to Japan.

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