A high-level delegation of 42 agri-food businesses from the Eu
ropean Union (EU) led by Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan are in Vietnam to promote their products in a market of 92 million people, with half of them set to become middle-income earners by 2020.
The companies come from 15 countries and six associations in Europe, and operate in the dairy, beverage, meat, vegetable and fruit fields. The notable names include the Scotch Whisky Association, Belgian Fruit Valley, Pernod Ricard, Doux S.A., and the Italy Association of Apple Production.
Annual revenue of the 42 firms reaches a combined 170 billion euros, said Commissioner Hogan at a press meeting in Hanoi on November 3.
Vietnam is the first leg of the delegation’s tour to three ASEAN
countries that also include Singapore and Indonesia. The businesses aim to promote quality and diversity of European food and beverages, and diversify markets after Russia banned the import of agricultural products from the EU in 2014.
In addition, the delegation is to increase links between the EU and Vietnam in the area of agri-food trade, on the back of the recent conclusion of negotiations for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
“We are very confident that Vietnamese consumers will be impressed by the quality and diversity of our products,” said the commissioner.
Vietnam will play role as in intermediate country for the distribution of EU-made goods to regional countries. Meanwhile, Europe will serve as a springboard for Vietnam to add products to their production stairs, added Mr. Hogan.
In response to BizLIVE
’s question about European firms’ interest in investing in Vietnam’s agriculture, Mr. Hogan said that they are particularly keen on the dairy, food and beverage industries.
However, the firms need stability and certainty of regulations, he said, hoping that Vietnam will adopt policies that facilitate European companies’ investments.
Trade between Vietnam and the EU reached 38.4 billion euros in 2015, with Vietnam shipping 29.9 billion euros worth of goods to the EU. In 2015, Vietnam ranked 21st among the EU’s trade partner while the EU as Vietnam’s second-largest trade partner.
In the agricultural field, two-way trade hit nearly four billion euros last year, with Vietnam exporting 2.3 billion euros in goods to the 28-nation bloc.