A farmer works at his dragon fruit farm in Thoi Lai district, Can Tho province, Vietnam, Jan. 26, 2022. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
Vietnamese enterprises are further tapping opportunities from RCEP and the vigorous Chinese market. They are confident that the free-trade agreement will bring about more trade and investment opportunities.
HANOI, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Nearly three months after the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) came into force, many Vietnamese enterprises said they have benefited from the world's largest trade deal that involves the Chinese gigantic market.
"Since RCEP took effect on Jan. 1, there have been several benefits for Vietnamese exporters like our company," Ta Ngoc Hung, chief executive officer (CEO) at the Vietnamese agricultural manufacturer and exporter Vinapro, told Xinhua recently.
First, the export procedures to RCEP members have been simplified. For example, now exporters just need to complete the electronic Certificate of Origin (CO) instead of a hard copy like before.
"This is very convenient for both exporters and buyers, since the CO procedures used to be time-consuming," the businessman said, adding that Vietnamese enterprises can make full use of e-commerce to reach RCEP countries.
Workers process fish for export at a factory in An Giang province, Vietnam, March 14, 2022. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
Second, along with favorable tariffs for exporters, buyers or importers now can also be offered more incentives under the agreement. This helps lower products' selling prices, meaning that goods from countries like Vietnam become cheaper for Chinese customers right in China.
"Also, with awareness about RCEP, local customers tend to give it a try, or even prioritize products from member countries of the agreement, so it does mean better market access for companies like us," Hung said.
To grasp various opportunities from RCEP, Vinapro is further promoting export of such items as cashew nuts, pepper, and cinnamon to China, a giant market with over 1.4 billion consumers, especially through official channels.
At the same time, Vinapro is strengthening participation in fairs in China and South Korea, he said, noting that it has registered for the China International Import Expo (CIIE) and the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in 2022 and is waiting for an update from the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency.
File photo taken on Dec. 14, 2021 shows vehicles waiting to pass the port of the Mong Cai International Border Gate on the China-Vietnam border in Mong Cai city, Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
According to an official at the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, which is facilitating Vietnamese enterprises' participation in the upcoming CAEXPO, the local businesses want to further tap China's vigorous and resilient economy. The giant economy has played an active role in stabilizing regional and global industrial and supply chains and promoting world economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the official said.
Like Vinapro, many other Vietnamese enterprises, including Luong Gia Food Technology Corporation in Ho Chi Minh City, Rang Dong Agricultural Product Import-Export Company in the southern province of Long An, and Viet Hieu Nghia Company in Ho Chi Minh City, are further tapping opportunities from RCEP and in the Chinese market, their directors told Xinhua recently.
"Our dried fruit products, now branded Ohla, are selling well in China although this huge market with over 1.4 billion consumers seems to prefer fresh fruits," said Luong Thanh Thuy, general director of Luong Gia Food Technology Corporation.
Assuming that Chinese consumers prefer fresh fruits, Rang Dong Agricultural Product Import-Export Company hopes to export more fresh and processed dragon fruits to China, especially after RCEP came into effect. The company's fruit export to the Chinese market has gone smoothly in recent years, with its export turnovers growing, on average, 30 percent per year.
People work in an orchid garden in Binh Chanh district, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 16, 2022. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
"As far as I know, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is finalizing a draft plan on developing the local fruit and vegetable processing industry to bring Vietnam to the world's top five countries in the field. More Chinese people will enjoy not only Vietnamese fresh dragon fruits but also various products made from Vietnamese fruits such as cakes, juices and wine," said Nguyen Tat Quyen, director of Rang Dong Agricultural Product Import-Export Company.
According to Quyen, besides the gigantic size, the Chinese market has another big advantage, being close to Vietnam, and convenient for road, sea and air transport. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, costs of transporting Vietnamese goods, including fruits, to China have recently increased only 0.3 times, compared with 10 times to Europe and 13 times to the United States, he said.
Quyen's remarks were echoed by Vo The Trang, director of Viet Hieu Nghia Company whose strength is exploiting and processing seafood.
Farmers harvest rice crop on the paddy field in Vi Thuy district, Mekong Delta's Hau Giang province, Vietnam, March 25, 2022. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)
"China is a powerful market which consumes a huge volume of various seafood, including tuna. Vietnam is China's 10th biggest tuna supplier and we are proud to be always on Vietnam's Top Three among two dozens of local tuna exporters that sell the fish to the huge market," Trang said.
Vietnamese entrepreneurs said they are confident that RCEP will bring about more trade and investment opportunities for firms inside and outside RCEP countries. ■