Vietnam facing China farm threat


VIETNAM’S fish farmers and seafood exporters have been warned they face a growing competitive threat from near neighbours China.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said some Chinese enterprises are now investing heavily in pangasius farming, which until recently had been considered as a largely Vietnamese domain.
The association said the development was mainly the result of the recent US-China trade war, which had led to heavy losses in tilapia exports from China to the United Atates.
As a result, Chinese companies are now investing in pangasius production. Currently, China is one of the most important export destinations for Vietnamese pangasius, buying, in value terms, 23 per cent of total output.
Vietnam is also the third largest supplier, after Russia and Norway, to China of white fish in general.
VASEP is recommending that fish farmers, and pangasius producers in particular, put in place suitable business plans to meet this new commercial threat, pointing out that the quality of Vietnamese pangasius is far superior to that of the Chinese offering.
This year, the Vietnamese seafood sector is expected to start work on building a national brand for pangasius and farmed shrimp in an effort to strengthen its presence in the global market place.
This will also include work developing new high quality products and on improving export efficiency.
VASEP expected Vietnam to have earned about US$3.8 billion from seafood exports in 2018, including $2.2 billion from pangasius alone.
Meanwhile, Vietnam is working to persuade the European Union to remove a ‘yellow card’ warning on its seafood.
Later this month, European inspectors will return to Vietnam to assess the situation on the country’s efforts to fight illegal fishing and the country hopes it has done enough to convince them.


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