Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) met with Mr. Geert Bourgeois in Hanoi on May 14 (Photo from vtv.vn)
Belgian potato companies are seeing the potential of the Vietnamese market.
by My Van
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A Belgian delegation led by Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President of Flanders, is in Vietnam from May 13-17 to explore business opportunities with Vietnamese enterprises.
As the world's largest exporter of potato chips, Belgian potato exporters are taking part in this trip to expand their market share in Vietnam.
Agristo, Bart's Potato Company, Clarabout Potatoes and Mydibel are the four largest family businesses in Belgium that specialize in the export of potato products and Belgian specialties. They export to over 100 different markets around the world.
As part of the expansion of export markets in South East Asia, Belgian fries were officially introduced in Vietnam after launches in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.
Belgian companies have assessed that the potential for export activities in Vietnam and Southeast Asia has not been fully exploited. It is the fastest growing region in the world and has a rising middle class. Belgian companies have expressed their desire to bring Belgian culinary products to these markets.
"The frozen French fries industry is ready to meet the needs of consumers,” said Romain Cools, secretary general of Belgapom.
According to Belgian companies, the consumption of potatoes in Vietnam is relatively low at only about 4 kg per person per year. This is far less than what European countries consume which is about 70-75 kg per person per year. However, that number is expected to increase. In the past year, Belgium's potato exports to Vietnam have increased by over 50 per cent. However, China is still the largest exporter of fresh potatoes to Vietnam.
Belgian companies will help consumers improve their understanding and recognition of their brand, thereby developing these products and increasing their production. As a result, Vietnam will reduce their dependence on imports from the Chinese market.