Vietnamese trade officials are taking steps to bring the country’s litchi to Singapore in a bid to diversify outlets for the produce, rather than only rely on the Chinese market, an official said Friday.
The Ministries of Industry and Trade and Agriculture and Rural Development have developed plans to find alternative markets for litchi and other Vietnamese-grown produce to reduce the dependence on China, Hoang Minh Tuan, head of the department that manages trade in border and mountainous areas, told VnExpress newspaper.
Tuan said Vietnamese litchi has recently been introduced in Singapore, paving the way for the produce to enter this market.
“Out trade officials are working hard with Singaporean partners, and Vietnamese litchi has been on display at fruit exhibitions and fairs there,” he said.
Tuan noted that these initial steps will not produce good results immediately, but gradually.
“What’s important is that businesses have begun seeking new markets when their traditional ones get stuck,” he commented.
Finding alternative markets for litchi has emerged as an urgent issue as farmers in the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Hai Duong are struggling to find outlets for their abundant crops.
China used to import most of the produce from these localities, which are the country’s largest litchi-growing areas, but exports have slowed down since early May, when China placed its illegal oil rig within Vietnamese waters.
Vietnam is also exerting efforts to have its produce exported into new markets such as Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India.
Tuan said his officials have also worked with traders in the Chinese localities that border Vietnam to encourage them to resume imports of Vietnamese litchis.
“They remained hesitant at first, but after realizing that Vietnam still creates a condition for them to buy litchis, some traders have resumed transactions,” he said.