Vietnam seeks foothold in Singapore agro-fisheries market

Update: 4/11/2014

(VOV) - Vietnamese agriculture, forestry and seafood products have barely scratched the surface of the Singaporean market said Le An Hai, Deputy Head of the Asia-Pacific Market Department, at a trade exchange in Singapore on October 9.

Currently they account for less than 4% of total market share and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) hopes to get a firm foothold in the market over the next few years and double or even triple the trade turnover, Hai said.

The trade exchange attracted representatives from nearly 16 Vietnamese and 40 Singaporean businesses and comes on the second visit by a delegation of MoIT officials and business leaders to Singapore this year.

Hai said during the visit from October 7-9, the delegation worked with relevant agencies in Singapore discussing ways to promote exports and attract investment.  They also discussed expanding bilateral cooperation in animal and plant quarantine.

Nguyen Viet Chi, Vietnam’s trade councillor in Singapore said the agro-fisheries export turnover with Singapore has increased by nearly 20% on average per year, increasing from SGD279 million in 2011 and to nearly SGD400 million in 2013.

Vietnam is now the third largest rice exporter to Singapore, after India and Thailand with a turnover hitting nearly SGD79 million in 2013, making up nearly 30% of total market share of rice imports.

Vietnam is also the third largest supplier of seafood products to Singapore and ranks eighth in  fruit and vegetable exports to the market.

Addressing the trade exchange, Goh Kah Meng, President of Singapore Seafood Industries Association Singapore said every month, the country imports 8,000-10,000 tonnes of frozen seafood products from 27 nations, 30% of which come from Vietnam.

Lee Boon Cheow, President of Singapore Fish Merchants General Association said Vietnamese frozen fish have become very popular in Singapore due to reasonable prices and good taste. Lee said low transport costs is also a favourable condition to import a large volume of frozen fish from Vietnam as Singapore is very near Vietnam.

In the future, the association will increase the import of dried fish from Vietnam, he added.

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