Vietnam’s exports to Belgium have sharply increased in recent years, hitting a record high of US$1.44 billion in 2012.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade and Industry Information Centre (TIIC), shipments to Belgium totaled US$637.94 million in the first half of this year, up 9.5% on the same period last year.
Vietnam primarily exports seafood, footwear, garments, leather products, ceramics, gemstones, plastics and rubber products.
Footwear led the country’s export commodities with US$250 million in revenue (accounting for 39.2% of total export value), followed by garments (US$75.7 million or 11% of the total) and coffee (9.3% of the total).
The TIIC said Belgium, as a regional distribution centre, is a useful European Union market entry point for Vietnamese goods.
Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Bruno Angelet recently worked with Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh on building a distribution and auction centre for Vietnamese seafood products at Belgium’s Zeebrugge Port.
Angelet said the initiative is a joint proposal from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) and the Belgian Embassy. The centre would guarantee a reliable supply of exported tra (Pangasius) fish to EU markets.
If plans are realised, Vietnamese tra fish export businesses can expect reductions in transport expenses and opportunities to cut out costly intermediaries when supplying major supermarket chains and retailers.
The EU is currently one of Vietnam’s three largest seafood importers, behind the US and Japan.