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EU meats to pose quality challenge for Vietnam products: industry union

Saturday, September 12, 2015, 12:15 GMT+7
EU meats to pose quality challenge for Vietnam products: industry union

European meat traders are expected to increase exports to Vietnam thanks to planned tax cuts under a free trade commitment, and will challenge their local counterparts with quality rather than price, an industry union has said.

The import tariffs levied on meat shipments from the EU to Vietnam will be lowered gradually to zero percent under a trade pact whose negotiations were concluded in August, Agnieszka Rozanska, managing director of the Union of Producers and Employers of Meat Industry (UPEMI), said at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.

This will pave the way for European traders of beef, pork, and chicken to increase exports to the Southeast Asian country, Rozanska added.

The Vietnam-EU free trade agreement is now pending ratification from participating countries, and could become effective in 2017.

The duties on frozen pork imports from the EU will be cut to zero percent in seven years after the trade pact officially takes effect, according to the free trade agreement.

The time for the duties on beef and chicken imports to be exempted is three years and ten years, respectively.

The lower tariffs will enable EU meats to be sold at cheaper prices, but the imports will compete with their local counterparts in terms of quality rather than price, Rozanska underlined.

Vietnam has so far licensed meat imports from 43 European traders, among which those from Poland have emerged as very strong players.

Last year Poland shipped 836 metric tons of pork, worth 705,000 euros, to Vietnam, a seven-fold increase in volume compared to 2012, The Saigon Times Online said, citing data from the EU’s Market Access Database.

Vietnam imported nearly 800 metric tons of Polish pork in the first half of this year.

While Polish pork and chicken have long been available in Vietnam, beef traders from Poland have only been licensed to sell their products to the Southeast Asian country recently.

Polish traders are confident that they can win over Vietnamese consumers with their high-quality pork and beef.

The Polish meat industry will be able to gain a foothold in Vietnam, a market with 92 million consumers, Rozanska added.

The UPEMI is a trade organization operating in Poland since December 2005, with a goal to represent the Polish meat sector.

In July 2013, the UPEMI launched a 36-month campaign, called “Tradition and Quality of European Meat,” to promote Polish meat products in three target markets, including the U.S., South Korea, and Vietnam.

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