Export to the Korean market: The door is wide but hard to slip


Exporting to the Korean market: The door is wide but difficult to slip
The Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) takes effect in December 2015. South Korea pledged to cut 95.4% of tariff lines. In return, Vietnam committed to reduce tariffs by 89.9% of tariff lines.

Vietnamese businesses have been very much expected to boost exports as tariffs decrease. But in fact, with Korea’s tightening of technical barriers, Vietnamese goods have added difficulty in penetrating this market.

Difficult to import standards
According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, despite the preferential tariffs, Vietnam agricultural products are always the most stringent inspection. Therefore, Vietnam’s agricultural products are imported in Korea in very limited quantity and only some kinds such as dragon fruit, coconut, mango, guava, banana, carrot, broccoli, cabbage …
For processed vegetables and fruits, the supplying plant needs to meet the criteria under the export license issued by Korea after they have inspected the production line, the production schedule from the garden to the sewing. harvesting, preserving at the warehouse, processing machinery, processing and storage methods.
Mr. Hong Won Sik, representative of Lotte Group, commented that Vietnam’s agricultural products are relatively cheap compared to Thailand and China, but the quality is not guaranteed.
Some weaknesses that Vietnam’s agricultural products often suffer is the lack of uniformity in terms of size, flavor, color, poor packaging and poorly selected products (many broken products). , many objects (soil, hair, leaves …).
Of these, the two most common objections to Korean importers’ behavior are the presence of foreign objects or broken products.While Korea’s import standards are tightening, so far, some units in Vietnam are still rather vague about the export conditions to the Korean market.
This leads to low export turnover and Vietnam remains a net importer from Korea. Share with us, Mr. Tran Vinh Quang, representative of Khue Nhat An Food Company, said his company has 6 hectares of agricultural land in Binh Thuan, is planning to grow chili, but do not know need to meet. What criteria can the variety, the amount of pesticide … can export to Korea?
Similarly, the Nam Roi Pomelo Cooperative (Vinh Hoa district, Vinh Long) also wondered whether their establishments are producing Nam Roi pomelos under VietGAP standards, but for export to Korea, what criteria should be added? Is it For example, the area code, the list of pesticides to restrict what kind of process, how to process …
Overcoming technical barriers with quality
Obviously, many Vietnamese businesses are still embarrassed when they want to put their goods into Korea. Talking about this situation, Nguyen Quang Phuc, Import-Export Department – Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that while the business and industry associations of Korea has carefully prepared the conditions for preferential treatment from Before the VKFTA came into force, many Vietnamese companies still did not know the information and benefits that VKFTA brought about, leading to “forgotten” the privileges that should have been enjoyed.
According to Mr. Phuc, the only way to boost exports to Korea is that enterprises must quickly approach the regulations on quality, food safety and hygiene, technological innovation and compliance with processing procedures. , produced to overcome technical barriers.
Enterprises should note, South Korea is tightening than other countries: the sub-standard shipments not only returned but also penalties for breach of contract.
Mr. Chu Thang Trung, Vietnam Trade Counselor in Korea, also said that in recent years, in Korea, imported agricultural products (such as vegetables, roots, fruits …) have been imported from China.
However, in recent times, South Korea has tended to seek other sources of supply in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. In 2016, Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery products exported to South Korea are more than $ 1.4 billion, accounting for 4% of South Korea’s import demand (about $ 33 billion per year for South Korea). , Seafood).
This figure is quite modest compared to the potential of Vietnamese enterprises – which are strong in agricultural products and food. There are many opportunities for agricultural products and foodstuffs of Vietnam in the Korean market if enterprises take advantage of VKFTA.
Typical in it is processed vegetables, pepper, cashew nuts, coffee, shrimp, squid processing … Mr. Trung noted, when exporting to Korea, enterprises should pay attention to the taste of people. Consumers here to adjust to suit tastes.
Vietnamese exporters should visit Korea to survey the market to reach consumers and participate in fairs held here. If the implementation of such issues as food safety and hygiene, uniform quality, eye-catching packaging and differences, will have the effect of attracting many Korean partners and consumers to with Vietnamese goods.
The use of rules of origin (C / O) to enjoy preferential tariffs when exporting to member markets participating in FTAs ​​is one of the factors that help businesses enhance their competitive advantage.
However, most Vietnamese companies only use C / O to enjoy preferential tariffs at the request of the importer, but have not actively applied for C / O prior to shipment.
Minh Hai
Source: SGGP