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Trade deal to boost exports of farm produce to Japan   2010-02-03 - Viet Nam News

Vietnamese agricultural and seafood produce will find entry into the Japanese market easier thanks to the Viet Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, according to the Viet Nam Trade Office in Japan.

Under the agreement that took effect last October, 784 out of 2,020 agricultural products and 64 out of 330 seafood items that Viet Nam exports to Japan will enjoy tariff exemption.

The rates on the remaining items will be gradually reduced over the next few years.

Japan is Viet Nam's major market for frozen shrimp with yearly revenues estimated at almost US$400 million, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

Nguyen Van Kich, general director of the HCM City-based Cafatex Corporation, said Vietnamese shrimp products used to be less competitive than that of other ASEAN member countries on the Japanese market since those countries had signed agreements with Japan earlier.

"We are very optimistic about the news that Vietnamese farm produce exported to Japan will enjoy tax exemption," Kich said, adding "exports to Japan will surely increase."

Nguyen Anh Tuan, deputy director of Tho Quang Seafood Processing and Export Company in central Da Nang City, said orders from Japanese customers have increased by 15 per cent since the agreement took effect.

The tariff exemption provides Vietnamese firms a big opportunity to boost exports, especially in the context of the economic downturn, Huynh Quang Dau, general director of the An Giang Agricultural Technology Service Company, said.

But to sustain their exports, food hygiene and safety must be assigned top priority by exporters, Le Quang Lan, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Multilateral Trade Policy Department, said.

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