How to help pangasius maintain the increase in export?

( After a series of consecutive declines due to epidemics, Vietnam's pangasius export has recently recovered. However, the road ahead of pangasius still has many challenges to solve. Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe - General Secretary of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) discussed with reporters of the Vietnam Economic News around this issue.
How to help pangasius maintain the increase in export
Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe
General Secretary of VASEP

Recently, pangasius exports have had a positive growth again after 9 months of decline, what is the cause, Sir?

According to the data that we have, pangasius exports in the first month of this year reached 214 million USD, up by 1.7% compared to the same period last year. Thus, after many months of decline, the export of pangasius has recovered showing that importers as well as our pangasius businesses are gradually adapting to the epidemic situation. In addition, enterprises boosting exports to markets with free trade agreements (FTAs) to get tax incentives, increase competitiveness and expand exports to new markets also partly help pangasius turnover to recover.

Specifically, pangasius shipment to countries in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has a turnover only less than that of exports to the US market and even surpasses China and Hong Kong. This is a good sign when pangasius exporting enterprises gradually reduce their dependence on the Chinese market, creating a balance in export activities to major markets.

With the above improvement, how do you evaluate the pangasius export market trend this year?

According to our assessment, due to the impact of travel restriction to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, customers of enterprises in FTA countries cannot come to Vietnam to speed up the buying process.

If the epidemic is controlled, the global economy, trade and consumer spending will strongly recover, which will have a positive impact on the recovery and growth rate of Vietnam's seafood industry in general and pangasius sector in particular. From there we forecast that this year pangasius will recover with an increase of 5%, reaching about 1.6 billion USD.

However, the recovery and development of the industry will depend heavily on the successful implementation of Covid-19 vaccination programs in other countries. Along with the rapid and widespread vaccine deployment, countries’ governments will also soon promote policies to recover and develop economy.

I think the road ahead is brighter than last year, but there are obviously many challenges that need to be solved, such as: Anti-dumping tax barriers in the US market having no signs of being ended in the next 5 years.; The Chinese market having an increasing demand for seafood imports, but at the same time tightening inspection of imported seafood, especially after the Covid epidemic occurs; import markets increasingly paying attention to quality and higher requirements for products with traceability, sustainable production processes …

So what will the pangasius sector do to deal with these challenges, Sir?

To solve these challenges, we recommend that besides focusing on developing traditional markets such as the US, EU, China, ASEAN ... pangasius businesses need to look for new markets such as India. In addition, we will coordinate with relevant agencies to continue promoting C/O propaganda and in-depth dissemination at international commitments to which Vietnam is a party; disseminating knowledge about FTAs, especially CPTPP Agreement, Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) ... in many forms to help businesses to have access to and take advantage of incentives in export activities.

At the same time, we also encourage businesses to implement activities to promote domestic consumption of pangasius, in order to limit the risks and damages of the decline of the export market. Accordingly, in the coming time, businesses need to connect with the system of restaurants, resorts, kitchens in schools, industrial zones, the military ... associated with product branding, good quality management and guaranteed traceability.

According to our assessment, so far, the pangasius business has been active in bringing products into the domestic market through a system of large supermarkets, with diversified items to meet the needs of consumers. However, frozen products still account for the majority, so some businesses are promoting distribution through e-commerce sites such as Shopee, Tiki ... We assess that, in the long term, the development of domestic market will not only helps businesses sell products but also contribute to building the image of Vietnamese pangasius products. Thereby, the pangasius industry can develop more sustainably.

Refer to Vietnamese source:

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