Ample room remains for Vietnam's exports to China hinh anh 1Preliminary processing of lychees for export at Ameii Vietnam JSC in Thanh Xa commune, Thanh Ha district, Hai Duong province. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam shipped approximately 2.2 billion USD worth of durians overseas in 2023, of which exports to China alone accounted for 2.1 billion USD with nearly 500,000 tonnes.

Last year, Vietnam saw 12 groups of goods exported to the Chinese market with value of more than 1 billion USD each. Among them, phones and components took the lead with earnings of 16.87 billion USD, followed by computers, electronic products and components with 13 billion USD. The above-mentioned items contributed to more than 62 billion USD in Vietnam's export turnover to China and nearly 172 billion USD in bilateral trade in 2023.

Two-way trade turnover reached over 42 billion USD in the first quarter of this year. Of which, Vietnam's exports to China topped 12.68 billion USD, an increase of 5.2% while imports from the neighbouring country reached 29.4 billion USD, up 24.4% from the same period last year.

With this result, growth in exports to China remained a bright spot in the country's trade activities in the first quarter and is expected to retain its momentum for the whole year.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo, in 2023, given a complex external environment, the economies of China and Vietnam faced many challenges, but still maintained a growth rate of over 5%, which was a very remarkable achievement.

Vietnam and China have had many bilateral cooperation agreements, as well as multilateral agreements, such as the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). Besides, China is also hastening its negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). These free trade agreements will promote trade between the two countries as they cut many tax lines on imported and exported goods and facilitates trade.

Currently, Vietnam has 14 agricultural products exported to China via the official channel. In the future, this figure is expected to increase when China opens its market for other farm products such as fresh coconuts, frozen vegetables and citrus fruits.

China's demand for imported goods is constantly increasing, but it is no longer an accommodating market, insiders said.

According to Dong Giao Food Export Joint Stock Company (Doveco), which owns a closed, large-scale fruit and vegetable production chain with a processing factory system that meets the standards from choosy markets, Chinese consumers are as demanding as those of the European Union and the US, therefore, it is necessary to avoid shipments of agricultural and aquatic products that violate food safety regulations.

It cited 30 batches of Vietnamese durian exported to China containing cadmium, a heavy metal, exceeding the regulated food safety limit that had received a warning from the China General Administration of Customs.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that the ministry has assigned the Plant Protection Department to review the whole process from production to harvest and export, figure out the causes and set forth solutions to meet the requirements of China as well as other markets.

China is opening up its market to many types of agricultural products from Vietnam, however, to effectively exploit this billion-people market, the domestic agricultural production industry needs to standardise processes to meet the needs of importers, he added./.VNS