Nguyen Phuc Khoa, Vice Chairman of the Food and Foodstuff Association of HCM City, speaks at the event. (Photo: VNA)
A business matching event was held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 15 to help Vietnamese enterprises seek partners and opportunities for export to Japan.
Quyen Thi Thuy Ha, head of the Osaka branch of Vietnam’s Trade Office in Japan, said the Northeast Asian nation is seeking alternatives to many products it has long imported from China, and it is targeting Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam.
This market has demand for relatively diverse products such as processed food, agricultural products, and fruits. It is also seeking new supply sources of handicrafts, food containers, and products for sale at grocery stores.
Many agricultural and processed food products of Vietnam have been exported to Japan, but they serve mainly the Vietnamese community there and have yet to reach big distribution channels like supermarkets to access Japanese consumers. Besides, consumer goods from Vietnam are also facing price competition in this market, Ha pointed out.
She said if exporters target only Vietnamese buyers in Japan, it will be hard for them to improve export value. Besides, Japan also has very strict quality standards for imports.
To help enterprises increase exports, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s Trade Office in Japan, and the office’s branches there will step up trade promotion and further introduce Vietnamese products to the distribution channels for Japanese people, she added.
Nguyen Phuc Khoa, Vice Chairman of the Food and Foodstuff Association of HCM City, said food trading between Vietnam, including HCM City, and Japan remains modest since Japan has stringent quality requirements and technical standards that very few Vietnamese businesses can satisfy, and its importers prioritise products imported or distributed under Japanese brands.
He noted Vietnam’s strength is still fruits, vegetable, and aquatic products. To bolster the export of other commodities, businesses should improve their capabilities of meeting the market’s standards, build strong brands, and proactively seek suitable clients.
A dried fruit and vegetable producer held that if enterprises manage to meet export standards to Japan, they can easily access other demanding markets and more export opportunities will come.
Japan is currently the fourth largest trading partner of Vietnam. Bilateral trade stood at 42.7 billion USD in 2021, up 7.8% year on year. The figure rose 15% to 35.69 billion USD in the first nine months of 2022, including 17.84 billion USD of Vietnam’s exports - up 21.6% from a year earlier./.