VietNamNet Bridge - It can take many years to reclaim a new market for Vietnam’s farm produce, but even when the markets open, fruit producers still struggle because of trade barriers. 


Answering NA inquiries last week, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said it takes three to seven years to clear the way for Vietnam’s farm produce to enter a market because of technical barriers and administrative procedures.

To open new markets, Vietnam has to deal with two major issues – tariffs and technical barriers and administrative procedures. The former is not a problem as Vietnam can enjoy preferential tariffs, including a zero percent tariff, when exporting products to many markets thanks to 12 free trade agreements (FTAs). 

But coping with technical barriers and administrative procedures of import countries is always a challenge.

To open new markets, Vietnam has to deal with two major issues – tariffs and technical barriers and administrative procedures. 

To clear the way for Vietnam’s pork to enter the Chinese market, ministries have sent four delegations of officials to China since 2016 for negotiation rounds.

A senior official said it is difficult to open choosy markets like the US and Japan. 

Since there are many exporters which want to sell products to markets, all of them have to ‘queue up’ and wait.

“In many cases, import countries don’t accept Vietnam’s application and just give general explanations: that the documents are not good enough, figures are not reliable, or experiments are not carried out in the right way,” he said.  

“As such, we have to spend time to find out the reasons and try to settle the problems, which is a very time-consuming process,” he said.

It is now the peak litchi season in Vietnam. However, Nguyen Dinh Tung, director of Vina T&T, the leading business in fruit exports to the US market, said it is highly possible that the company won’t export litchi to the US this year because of high prices of materials.

“We will have to go to Hai Duong province in the north to buy litchis, then carry them to Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi and then fly to HCMC to have litchis radiated. The costs will be high and the products uncompetitive,” he said.

The US has opened its market to Vietnam’s star apples. However, Vietnam cannot export the products because it doesn’t have good preservation technology.

“State agencies want to introduce Vietnam’s specialty fruits to the world market, but they don’t think about economic efficiency,” Tung said.

“Vietnam should give priority to introduce fruits which can be preserved for many days and can be competitive in price to optimize profits,” he said.