September 27, 2013
Vietnam expects lower duties on seafood exports to South Korea
With the free trade agreement (FTA) that is being negotiated with South Korea, exporters of Vietnam's seafood products expect the possibility of reduced export tariffs on their processed and value-added products.
An official release by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) stated that the agreement will also include shorter tariff reduction schedules for seafood in relation to other products. However, the FTA contemplates other less favourable aspects for Vietnamese seafood exporters, who have to face technical barriers such as harder regulations on seafood products and fish farms quarantine. Since 2008, Vietnam has been the most important seafood supplier to South Korea, having an export turnover of US$395.3 million in 2012.
Currently, 280 local seafood exporters are operating in the market. South Korea is one of the world's largest consumers of seafood, having bought around US$3,800 million worth of seafood in 2011. Figures have proven that South Korea's seafood demand is steadily rising. The country's demand for top quality is also increasing, with South Korean customers demanding top-quality products as good as those exported to Japan.
Although the country is also one of the most important exporters on seafood worldwide, its export value is being increasingly taken over by imports.
Shrimp constitutes one of the main products South Korea imports from Vietnam, constituting as much as 33% of Vietnam's total seafood export turnover.
The Vietnamese sector is hopeful that the FTA with South Korea will help it become more competitive in the high quality processed and ready to consume product market.