CAN THO – The Finnish government wants to help local enterprises in the Mekong Delta boost agro-aqua exports to Finland as part of a project for facilitating shipments of such products to Nordic nations.
Finnish ambassador to Vietnam Kimmo Lähdevirta told the Daily on the sidelines of a ceremony for launching the project in Can Tho City last week that Vietnam exports a variety of commodities to Europe, especially agro-aqua products. However, their revenues remain insignificant due to low added value.
Nguyen Phuong Lam, deputy director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Can Tho, said trade ties between Finland and Vietnam have made progress but remained modest.
The two countries’ bilateral trade totaled a mere US$228 million last year while Finland has only eight projects worth a combined US$336 million in Vietnam.
As for agro-aqua goods, local firms in the Mekong Delta mostly shipped tuna and tra fish to Finland but with limited value.
However, Vietnam holds potential to step up agro-aqua exports to Nordic markets.
To do that, local companies should enhance product quality, conduct market research and improve packaging and labeling. In addition, they have to get updates about new criteria and regulations required by Nordic nations, secure worker health and upgrade equipment, the ambassador suggested.
Nguyen Tuan Hai, director of the project, said it is necessary to help local enterprises get access to export-related standards and requirements imposed by Nordic countries with the assistance from the project.
The management board of the project is expected to organize a fact-finding trip for local firms to meet with Nordic importers and distributors in late 2015 or early 2016.
The Finnish government’s financial aid for the project is estimated at nearly VND3 billion, which goes to training local enterprises and holding seminars to inform them of necessary tips and requirements of Nordic markets.