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Overseas Vietnamese is a great connector to promote Vietnamese agricultural products

Minister Le Minh Hoan takes photo with guests and delegates participating in the forum.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly convened the Forum Connecting Overseas Vietnamese Enterprises, Promoting Trade and Investment in Agriculture on February 14 under the chairmanship of MARD Minister Le Minh Hoan.

This is the first-ever agricultural forum bringing together over 300 abroad Vietnamese who are involved in domestic and international investments in a variety of industries, including agriculture and rural business.

The event gives tribute to expatriates' help and friendship in the agriculture industry throughout the years. Additionally, the Vietnamese community overseas is expected to continue acting as a connector, promoting the linkage of "One Commune One Product" items, which have enormous potential as regional specialties and the crystallization of rural culture and spirit.

The forum also envisions Vietnamese abroad serving as a bridge-builder in terms of knowledge transfer, technology transfer, and financial resource mobilization, transforming Vietnam into a powerhouse of ecological agriculture through the application of modern scientific and technological achievements that are green, sustainable, and progressive, as well as serving as a processing and logistics hub for the global agricultural value chain.

The agricultural forum brings together over 300 abroad Vietnamese who are involved in domestic and international investments in a variety of industries, including agriculture and rural business.

Over 5 million abroad Vietnamese live and work in 190 countries and territories, according to the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese (SCOV). Approximately 3,500 projects and companies have been developed or contributed to by abroad Vietnamese in Vietnam, totaling up to USD11 billion in registered capital, with many overseas Vietnamese investing in the agriculture sector.

The agricultural business continues to grow and develop extensively in all fields due to the efforts of the whole system. Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries exports climbed steadily from USD 4.2 billion in 2000 to USD 48.6 billion in 2021. Vietnam now exports six product groups worth more than USD 3 billion and ten agricultural, forestry, and aquatic items worth more than USD 1 billion.

Promoting Vietnamese products to international friends

Pham Quang Hieu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasized that while overseas Vietnamese distribution and promotion capabilities for domestic products are still limited, they have expanded into a number of countries and territories, assisting in the promotion of Vietnamese products to international friends.

Several Vietnamese trading centers and marketplaces have enormous potential for interconnection with domestic markets. Additionally, numerous overseas Vietnamese have returned to invest, conduct business, and promote high-tech agricultural goods, therefore increasing productivity, product quality, and creating additional jobs for local laborers...

MoFA will continue to promote and implement economic diplomacy and diplomacy for development effectively; collaborate with MARD, local governments, and domestic agencies to promote agricultural exports to rapidly recovering markets in order to capitalize on the global economy's growth momentum; and promote the role of companion and support in removing difficulties and obstacles associated with exporting agricultural products to key markets.

Mr. Le Ba Linh, director of Pacific Foods, stated that enterprises must use possibilities to export Vietnamese agricultural goods. He also proposed several ideas to assist businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, including lowering taxes and fees for agricultural businesses; coordinating government efforts to reduce electricity bills and address employment issues; developing a long-term strategy to deal with natural disasters and climate change; and establishing a mechanism for communicating to promote Vietnamese agricultural products, among others.

Vietnam gains from new-generation free trade agreements, however, the technical barrier will be raised as a result. Mr. Linh proposed that the parties reach a complete and timely agreement, taking into account new economic trends that would enable firms such as Pacific Foods to expand in the future.

Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Luan, CEO of Meet More Coffee, stated that Vietnam's agriculture industry is strong due to the availability of nutritious fruits that are high in vitamins and nutrients and are unique to the country. However, our country is still limited in its ability to convert such fruits into everyday drinks or other products.

The head of Meet More Coffee stated that in order to increase the value of Vietnamese agricultural goods, it is vital to boost deep processing. This is critical when developing a brand name for items in both the domestic and foreign markets.

Exchange of ideas to help Vietnamese products gain ground in international markets

Jolie Nguyen, CEO of LNS US LLC, highlighted her experiences bringing Vietnamese agricultural goods to the US market, as well as strategies for assisting domestic enterprises in assessing the market.

Accordingly, the US is a massive market, with a population of 333 million people. It sets strict requirements for imported items, foods, and pharmaceuticals that are regulated by the FDA. The US is the largest buyer of Vietnamese agricultural products, with a value of USD 11.9 billion, accounting for 27.5 percent of Vietnam's agricultural exports.

Overseas Vietnamese is a great connector to promote Vietnamese agricultural products

Vietnamese agricultural products boast a huge potential to be promoted in the US market. 

However, Vietnam faces stiff competition in the market from Thailand, Taiwan, and Mexico. Thus, in order for Vietnamese agricultural goods to expand their market share in the US, businesses must be aware with state and federal legislation, as well as industry-specific regulations. Prior to entering a new market, firms must thoroughly investigate it, particularly specialized markets, position themselves, and accurately estimate their goods' market potential to stabilize.

If developing the market with their own brand is not feasible, enterprises might join an existing distribution system and adhere to the distributor's criteria. Simultaneously, get knowledge about key partners, national agreements, and product lines eligible for advantageous tariffs and processes.

Dr. Hoang Manh Hue, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce in Europe, stated that Vietnam offers a varied array of agricultural and forestry goods with significant export potential to European countries. The Vietnamese population in Europe serves as a vital source of knowledge, readily available to supply accurate information to domestic firms and acting as a link between domestic enterprises and distribution units in Europe. However, the connection between the Vietnamese population in Europe and domestic firms remains tenuous, resulting in the loss of several commercial prospects.

To address this issue, it is vital to increase the role of domestic organizations and industrial associations in fortifying ties with Vietnamese organizations and enterprises in Europe via seminars and conferences dedicated to information exchange.

Vietnamese abroad is either 'forceful' or 'heartful'

We may interact and exchange ideas regardless of time and space constraints through the media and communication networks. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's slogan for 2022 is Open thinking – Rapid action – Real outcomes. MARD will convey the message to the Vietnamese community worldwide," Minister Le Minh Hoan stated.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan. 

According to the Minister, expatriates from all over the world possess a comprehensive awareness of the host country's culture, history, customs, needs, requirements, and standards. We must market the world's needs, not our own. MARD cannot gather knowledge on what and how the world needs without the assistance of the expatriate community worldwide.

Minister Le Minh Hoan, as commander of Vietnam's agriculture industry, recognizes the enormous duty of connecting expatriate elites and resources. The minister stated that Vietnamese people living abroad possess not only "power," but also "heart."

The Minister stated through comments and sharing that we need to do something new and stronger; it is critical to quickly integrate the enthusiastic opinions of the expatriate community into the forum, and it is critical to develop new perspectives on countries with modern agriculture by fusing country changes with the enthusiasm and aspirations of expatriates.

Authors: VAN's reporters

Translated by Linh Linh

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