Promoting trade and investment in the Middle East market (20-04-2022)

From February 15 - 19, 2022, Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam led a delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to attend a series of trade and investment promotion activities in the agricultural sector in the UAE.
Promoting trade and investment in the Middle East market

During a working visit to the UAE, on the afternoon of February 16, the delegation of MARD held a forum on trade promotion and investment attraction in the agricultural sector within the framework of the Glufood Fair and visited Vietnamese booths at the fair. On February 17, 2022, the delegation worked with the Vice President of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, also made a visit and worked with Lu Lu Multinational Group.

The visit of the Deputy Minister, in spite of the purpose of organizing a trade promotion forum and calling for investment for agriculture, forestry and fishery, is also to interact with importers and potential investors at the Fair of Gulfood Dubai International Food and Beverage 2022 (From February 13 – 17, 2022). Leaders of the MARD also want to listen to opinions from the UAE, to promote trade and investment cooperation in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fishery, and remove arising market barriers. Identifying that this is an opportunity for Vietnamese agricultural enterprises to approach and find partners to bring Vietnamese agricultural products to the Middle East market, especially Halal products. Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam directed the relevant agencies under the MARD to increase their research for solutions to connect businesses between the two countries, in order to enhance trade in agricultural products.

The main achievements of Vietnam's agriculture in recent years, the goals of sustainable agricultural development by category were also presented at the meeting. Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam's visit is part of the Strategy for Market Development and Trade Promotion in the first quarter of 2022 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Accordingly, the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries are emerging as potential export markets for Vietnam's agricultural and aquatic products, with a large population (about 250 million people) and also with a high standard of living. On the other hand, due to the unfavorable natural and soil conditions for agricultural development, most countries in the Middle East region currently cannot meet the requirement of people’s foods. Statistics show that these countries have to import about 80% of food items, equivalent to about $40 billion per year. By 2035, the total import value of food and foodstuffs of Middle Eastern countries is expected to increase to $70 billion per year.

Imports from the Middle East region include: cereals, meat (and also meat products), vegetables, fruits, seafood, coffee, tea, and dairy products, which were Vietnam’s strong products. Another advantage when exporting to the Middle East, is the import tax rate of only 0 - 5% for goods imported from outside the bloc.

Speaking at the Forum on Trade Promotion and Investment in Vietnam's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on February 16, 2022, Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam said that Vietnam's agriculture has been affected by the Covid-19 epidemic for more than two years, but has always been the backbone of the economy, ensuring the supply of food and essential goods for domestic consumption and export.

At the forum, the Deputy Minister introduced a number of achievements of Vietnam's agricultural industry in 2021 such as: the value of the entire agricultural industry is estimated to increase by 2.9%; export turnover reached $48.6 billion; maintaining 10 groups of products with export turnover of over $1 billion, of which 6 items have a turnover of over $3 billion (wood and wood products, shrimp, vegetables, cashew nuts, rice, rubber); industry-wide trade surplus of $6.44 billion.

In addition to impressive growth, Vietnam's agricultural industry also cooperates extensively with the international community. According to the Deputy Minister, Vietnamese agricultural products are increasingly asserting their position by quality, meeting the requirements of fastidious markets. Besides, the force of export enterprises and associations has also become more experienced, and the level of negotiation is increasingly professional.

To conclude that global trade in general and trade in agricultural products in particular have seen positive recovery steps to better serve the demand for food around the world, Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam expressed his hope, Forum participants will get an overall picture of Vietnam's agriculture. "We hope you can see your own opportunities when participating in investment and commercial cooperation with Vietnamese businesses, with the same goal of ensuring food supply and drinks distribution, which will meet the world's needs," Mr. Tran Thanh Nam said.

Continuing to promote agricultural trade and call for investment in the Middle East market, according to Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam, is essential, especially in the current Covid-19 context. Therefore, he is committed to providing all information to create favorable conditions for partners to cooperate with Vietnam in agricultural product trade and investment.

On February 17, 2022, the delegation of MARD worked with the Vietnamese Embassy in Dubai. Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam expressed his desire to promote cooperation in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fishery in order to open up the UAE market more, and at the same time offer a variety of products in both types and designs, which will meet the demand for Halal products in this country. "It is proposed to promote the use of Dubai as a transit place to bring Vietnamese agricultural products to the Middle East market and through the African market," Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam said.

Through the working sessions, the partners paid special attention to policies and opportunities when coming to Vietnam to invest. In addition, Middle Eastern businesses are also interested in Vietnam's labor resources in the future, about human training policies, and about the ability to meet high-quality labor sources for FDI enterprises, especially the development policies of Vietnam's agricultural sector when formulating the Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in the 2021 - 2030 period. Some of Vietnam's strong agricultural products such as coffee, rice, fresh fruit, aquatic products, fingerlings as well as ways of transportation and quality assurance when exporting to the Middle East market are also being discussed.

On February 18, 2022, Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam attended the Expo 2022 Dubai event and cut the ribbon to open the Vietnam Agricultural Products Week at the Vietnam Exhibition House within the framework of Expo 2022 Dubai. A leader of MARD assessed that this is the place to introduce, promote and connect the culture, trade and economy of countries around the world. At the same time, the Deputy Minister introduced about the potential of Vietnam's agricultural products that have been ranked top in the world.

At the event, Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam invited leaders of UAE management agencies, as well as corporations and businesses to arrange time to visit Vietnam, and attend upcoming major events of the agricultural industry such as: Forum on logistics in the Mekong Delta, Forum connecting trade and investment in agricultural products in Vietnam...

Nam Anh (according to

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