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.

Nguyen Phuc Khoa, Vice Chairman of the Food and Foodstuff Association of Ho Chi Minh City, speaks at the event.

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 Ho Chi Minh City, said food trading between Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City, and Japan remains modest since Japan has stringent quality requirements and technical standards that very few Vietnamese businesses can satisfy, and its importers prioritize 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 USD 42.7 billion in 2021, up 7.8% year on year. The figure rose 15% to USD 35.69 billion in the first nine months of 2022, including USD 17.84 billion of Vietnam’s exports - up 21.6% from a year earlier.

Source: VNA