The Chinese Government said that this country will open its borders and completely remove Covid-19 quarantine measures from January 8, 2023.  The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade think that this is an opportunity to re-promote Vietnam’s agricultural, forestry and seafood exports to China and we will certainly get benefits in the coming time. 

In 2022, China’s pursuit of a “Zero Covid” policy, tightening Covid-19 prevention and control in the border-gate area negatively affected Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports. Although in the last months of the year, fruit and vegetable exports to the Chinese market have been less difficult, overall, in 11 months of 2022, the export of fruit and vegetable to this market reached only 1.4 billion USD, down 21.7% compared to the same period in 2021.  

This opening will help to reduce the time of customs clearance of goods at border gates and seaports. In addition, the reopening will create opportunities for businesses and partners on both sides of the border to exchange and interact face-to-face. Thereby, the reliability also greatly increases compared to online contact only. Besides, for items that have signed the protocol, Vietnam will soon open additional planting area codes and packing establishment codes.

It is expected that by 2023, fruit and vegetable exports to China will reach 2.5-3 billion  USD, of which durian and dragon fruit have the highest turnover. (Photo: T. Dan)

Currently, China has issued 113 planting area codes and packing establishment codes, ans 300 planting area codes and packing establishment codes are being considered The opening of borders makes the inspection and practice in planting areas and packing establishments more convenient. Up to now, Vietnam has 5 plant-based products exported to China in the form of signing the protocol including mangosteen, black jelly, durian, bananas, and sweet potatoes. At the same time, there are 07 traditional fruit for export allowed: mango, dragon fruit, longan, lychee, watermelon, rambutan, and jackfruit. In addition, Vietnam is temporarily exporting passion fruit and chili to the neighboring market. Along with that, some items are still under negotiation to open the market such as grapefruit, soursop, coconut, plum, lime, etc.

Thanks to China opening its borders, and the signed Protocols on banana, lime, and durian exports, fruit exports to China in the coming time are forecast to grow. It is expected in 2023, fruit and vegetable exports to China will reach 2.5-3 billion USD, of which durian and dragon fruit have the highest turnover. 

Seafood exports including catfish are forecast to grow in the coming time in the Chinese market. (Photo: Internet)

In addition, according to experts from the VASEP, the opening of the border by China will be a great opportunity for the Vietnamese seafood sector to offset the decline from the market of G7 countries such as the US, EU, UK, Italy, Japan, etc. According to VASEP, China is a large, and important market for Vietnamese seafood. In 11 months of 2022, China was Vietnam’s third-largest seafood export market with a turnover of nearly 1.5 billion USD. In 2022, despite being severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s catfish exports to China continued to grow over the months, even doubling in some months compared to the same period last year.

By the end of November 2022, catfish exports to the Chinese market reached 636 million USD, up 81% over the same period. Vietnam has 160 enterprises exporting catfish to China. In addition, in 11 months of 2022, the value of Vietnam’s shrimp exports to China reached 616 million USD, up 63% compared to the same period last year.  

China is a market of billions of people so when this country reopens services, the demand for goods including seafood is huge. It is forecast that seafood export orders to China after the opening of borders will explode in the same way as in the EU and US markets after Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021./.