By Benjamin Hoogeveen
In the last few years, Vietnam has expanded its fruit and vegetable exports tremendously. The demand of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits is growing in Europe, Australia, the U.S. and Japan. In 2017, the total export of vegetables and fruit will grow to approximately $3.7 billion, 8.4 times higher than in 2010. The total import of fruits and vegetables will approximately be $1 billion in 2017.
Vietnam is a great resource of tropic vegetables and fruits, but at the same time a growing market for western fruits and vegetables. Recently, Belgium and Vietnam have formed a deal to export Belgium pears to Vietnam. It is not known how many pears are going to be exported to Vietnam, but it is known that the Vietnamese market is going to be accessible for Belgium apples as well.
The Vietnamese market for fruit and vegetables is growing and becoming more accessible for Europe’s suppliers. How is the Free Trade Agreement between Europe and Vietnam going to affect these developments? Is the fruit and vegetable market tariff-free and completely liberated from the start of this agreement?
The answer to the former question is: yes, 94% of all tariffs will disappear when the FTA starts. This, however, covers unprocessed vegetables and fruits. Some processed products, like fruit jam and processed cucumber are going to be fully liberalized, but this is not the case with all processed fruits and vegetables.
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