The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Wednesday signed a protocol on the official export of bird’s nests to neighboring China.
According to the ministry, Vietnam is now home to over 22,000 swiftlet houses with a total output of some 120 metric tons valued at US$450 million.
The Vietnamese bird’s nest sector has multiple development opportunities and high profitability.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said the export of swiftlet nests to China will open up ample opportunities for the Vietnamese bird’s nest sector, ensure the consumption of the product, bring great economic benefits, and motivate the development of swiftlet farming and swiftlet nest processing.
Bird’s nest has high economic value and export potential. Therefore, since 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has negotiated with its Chinese counterpart and sent the General Administration of Customs of China dossiers on the exportation of bird’s nests through official channels to China.
In addition, Vietnam and China share a long border, which is favorable for Vietnam’s trade, transport, and supply of bird’s nests to its northern neighbor. This is an advantage for Vietnamese bird’s nests compared with other countries.
Hoan said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will hold a conference to popularize the content of the protocol on the export of bird’s nests to China to all relevant associations and enterprises so that they can take the initiative in preparing their products and meeting export requirements.
Bird’s nest processing firms need to carefully learn about and seriously comply with China’s requirements stated in the protocol, such as those on managing swiftlet farms and bird’s nest processors to ensure food safety and the origin traceability.
Associations and enterprises should closely coordinate with specialized agencies and localities to quickly draw up and implement a plan on the surveillance of bird flu and Newcastle disease viruses on swiftlets and a proposal to ensure the safety of bird’s nests.
“In the long term, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will come up with strategies and plans to develop the Vietnamese bird’s nest sector in a responsible and sustainable manner to preserve Vietnamese bird’s nest brands and meet the requirements of China and other potential markets,” Hoan said.
To date, Vietnam has exported 13 agricultural products to China via official channels, including bird’s nests, sweet potatoes, dragon fruits, longans, rambutans, mangoes, jackfruits, watermelons, bananas, mangosteens, lychees, passion fruits, and durians.