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ECONOMYTRADE - SERVICE

Korean market in favor of Vietnamese agricultural products

Updated at Tuesday, 03 Oct 2017, 19:19
The Hanoitimes - Consistent quality, food safety and attractive packaging are key factors, of which Vietnamese enterprises should focus on to increase its agricultural products to Korean market.
Over 20 years, the bilateral trade between Vietnam and Korean has increased 87 times, from 0.5 billion USD in 1992 to 43.4 billion USD in 2016. In particular, agricultural products and fisheries have significant increased, specifically, in the first 6 months of 2017, seafood has increased 28% with value of 328 million USD, while the percentage increase of vegetable is 12%. Despite export of agricultural and fisheries products from Vietnam to Korea has increased significant, but it is still a small part compared to the demand for these products in Korea (each year, Korea imports agricultural and fisheries products with value of 33 billion USD).
 
Vietnamese agricultural products at Lotte Mart.
Vietnamese agricultural products at Lotte Mart Vietnam.
Director for product strategy of Lotte Mart Vietnam Yoon Buyngsoo said: at present, the company is putting up effort to bring more Vietnamese goods to the Korean market. In 2016, Lotte Mart Vietnam has exported the Vietnamese goods with value of 1,3 trillion VND to Korea, it is expected that in 2017, this number will increase to 2 trillion VND. At present, Koreans are in favor of tropical fruits, which this country cannot grow and is the advantage of Vietnam’s agriculture such as dragon fruit, mango, banana.

Not only in export, Vietnam agricultural products also attract attention from Korean tourists. Chief representative of Korean Tourism Organization in Vietnam Jung Chang Wook said, at present, the number of Korean tourists to Vietnam is 2 million, only after China. When travelling to Vietnam, Korean tourists often look for agricultural products such as dried mango, coffee, coconut. Besides, cashew and peanut are also one of Korean tourists’ favorite foods. “This shows Korean market has large potential for Vietnamese goods” – Jung Chang Wook said.

Despite the large potential of the Korean market for Vietnamese agricultural products, in order to access this market, Vietnamese enterprises have to improve their shortcomings on the product quality, packaging to meet the customers’ requirements. Evidently, weaknesses of Vietnamese goods are the inconsistency in products’ size, taste, color and quality. Besides, enterprises are still not aware of requirements and conditions for goods to be imported in Korean market.

Representative of CJ Freshway, one of the biggest food distributor in Korean said, Korean enterprises are very interested in fresh fruits from Vietnam, but with strictly conditions in storage. Besides, the packaging of Vietnamese agricultural products are not up to requirements and less attractive compared to the similar products from Thailand and China. Vice Chairman of the Vietnam High-tech Agriculture Nguyen Hoang Anh said, at present, Vietnam agricultural products for export are lack of orientation with specific and clear master plan, as well as detailed criteria and commitment between distributors and farmers.

As such, in order to overcome these challenges, administrative agencies need to cooperate with Korean partners to understand the market, distributors, in turn creates condition for enterprises exporting products to Korean market sustainably. Besides, enterprises need to pay attention in quality control, maintaining the products quality during the transaction process. The government need to develop the quality checking process of international standard, which strictly control the production process and ensure products with clear origins before being sold in the market. 
Nguyen Tung - Thu Huong
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