As the markets are affected by economic fluctuations, many Vietnamese seafood enterprises have flexibly changed their strategy and boosted exports to niche markets.
Vietnam’s seafood exports reached a record $11 billion in 2022, up 24 per cent on-year and 22 per cent higher than the year's target of $9 billion. Besides traditional markets such as the US, Europe, and China, Vietnam’s seafood exporters have been entering other potential markets.
Notably, seafood exports to Australia grew impressively in 2022 with an increase of 42.64 per cent after 11 months compared to the same period in 2021, reaching a turnover of more than $331 million. In particular, the position of Vietnamese shrimp products in this market has been confirmed.
According to a representative of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), as of December 2022, shrimp exports to Australia reached nearly $214 million, up an impressive 62 per cent over the same period in 2021.
The Philippines is another potential market for the seafood industry with more than 100 Vietnamese enterprises exporting seafood products there. Currently, the Philippines has risen to become the 13th largest single import market for Vietnamese seafood, up 10 places compared to 2020.
Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP said, “Currently, Vietnamese seafood has been exported to 160 markets around the world and it has a strong reputation. Seafood exporters are in a ready-to-supply position.”
However, Hoe also warned, "Seafood exporters need to regularly follow the market and capture information to adapt to the changing needs. It is necessary for Vietnam’s exporters to exchange information and expand their networks, ensuring they grasp the requirements and standards of any new markets and ensure product quality.”
In the long term, export enterprises need to build specific strategies and suitable solutions to adapt to harsh conditions and sudden changes in the market.
Hoe pointed out three main areas where seafood exporters need to prepare well. The first is to maintain stable financial resources and allocate reasonable capital sources to operations. The second is to ensure jobs for employees and build human resources well. Thirdly, enterprises in the seafood sector need to pay attention to producers' livelihoods, because without them, there are no raw materials to sell.
Nguyen Xuan Thang, head of the Import-Export Management Department under Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, said that in order to expand exports, businesses need to continue to strengthen the available markets and diversify, especially eyeing those with free trade agreements. Enterprises also need to fully participate in the global value chain to improve their production and export capacity.
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