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Agreement Aids Vietnams Seafood Exports to Japan

Economics +1 more

VIET NAM Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) will create huge opportunities for the penetration of Vietnams aquatic exports to penetrate Japans market when it officially comes into force, say aquaculture experts.

They estimate that 86 per cent of agricultural, aquatic and forestry exports from Vietnam to Japan will enjoy tax incentives within 10 years after the VJEPA comes into effect.

Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the East Asian country will be exempt from duty immediately while its octopus exports will be eligible for this privilege five years later.

Japan is the largest import market for Vietnam’s frozen shrimp, which had, by the end of June, earned nearly US$200 million from Japan-bound exports, making up 32 per cent of the country’s total aquatic export value.

To ensure a smooth entry into Japan’s market, aquaculture sector analysts have recommended that Vietnamese exporters pay more attention to the quality of their aquaculture exports, create strategies on aquatic processing, brand name awareness and trade promotions.

They added that in the near future, Japan will support Vietnam to build an aquaculture processing centre up to international standards and the two countries will set up a joint committee to overcome any obstacles relating to quality, hygiene and the safety of products.

The negotiations on the VJEPA started in January 2007, shortly after the accession of Vietnam to the World Trade Organisation. After nine official talks and a number of unofficial talks, the two nations reached an agreement in principle in September, last year and officially signed the accord on December 25, 2008.

The VJEPA is Japan’s 10th free trade agreement and the first bilateral free trade agreement for Vietnam since it entered the WTO.