Seafood export in 2019: Take advantage of breakthrough opportunities (28-01-2019)

In 2019, along with the increasing demand of the market, the effect of many new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) is seen as a driving force for Vietnam' seafood export industry in the international market.
Seafood export in 2019: Take advantage of breakthrough opportunities

According to Secretary General of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Truong Dinh Hoe, in addition to the expected growth, the positioning of Vietnamese seafood in the world market has changed positively. Vietnamese seafood products are increasingly appreciated by world consumers because of stable supply and good food safety level. For example, the European market in the past year has experienced a significant growth thanks to enterprises can adapt the requirements of antibiotic residues as well as food safety and hygiene requirements.

However, in addition to the positive results, the fisheries sector also faces many difficulties when the market changes in the direction of protectionism. Countries tend to increase supply and trade barriers. Specifically, for shrimp products, the increasing growth of supply of Indonesia and India has caused a fierce competition to Vietnamese shrimp. Or for seafood industry, the yellow card warning of EC caused a significant decline in Vietnamese seafood export.

Assessing the prospects of the industry in 2019, Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe said, the opportunity to open up the fisheries industry is huge when the world consumption of seafood will increase strongly. It is expected that by 2020, consumption will increase to 98.6 million tons in developing countries and reach 29.2 million tons in developed countries, while supply only reached 78.6 million tons. This is considered a great opportunity for Vietnam's seafood industry to meet the quality criteria of the world market.

In addition, new FTA with the European market and especially the Comprehensive and Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Agreement are going to be in effect. Meanwhile, tariff barriers will be lifted and businesses will benefit greatly from the current tax rates.

In addition to the above opportunity, in the Chinese market, Vietnam's seafood export is also gradually stabilized because the two countries' governments have signed bilateral agreements to facilitate the export of agricultural and fishery products. At the same time, in the markets of Korea and ASEAN, import demand may increase quite well in 2019 when businesses have met the standards from import partners in these countries. “From the above prospects, we forecast that in 2019, the seafood industry will export to around US $ 10 billion, growing 10-15% compared to 2018” – Mr. Hoe said.

Regarding solutions to help the fisheries industry achieve targeted export value in 2019, leaders of VASEP said that the industry will focus on developing some important markets such as EU, USA, Japan, Korea, etc. In particular, with the US market, due to the pressure of anti-dumping, catfish regulations, etc. so VASEP has recommended businesses to be proactive in quality issues instead of competing with cheap prices.

With shrimp products, in order to increase the competitiveness and keep market share, Mr. Le Van Quang - Vice Chairman of VASEP - said that in 2019, there is not only shrimp products but other items need to be timely adjusted. Our products must focus on quality control issues to increase value of the product and should not see the low price as an advantage. Particularly for seafood products, VASEP is cooperating with relevant agencies to implement measures to reform the artisanal fisheries into modern, responsible and sustainable fisheries to remove the yellow card.

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