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CPTPP gives great chances for Vietnam’s tra fish exports

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is opening the door wide for Vietnamese tra fish, a major foreign currency earner, to enter the markets of 10 other members of the deal.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the 10 countries are importing Vietnamese tra fish with the turnover ranging from over 1 million USD to about 100 million USD.

Mexico is currently the biggest purchaser, importing more than 99.4 million USD worth of tra fish from Vietnam in 2018. It is followed by Canada (48.04 million USD), Australia (46.84 million USD), Singapore (45.98 million USD), Malaysia (38.33 million USD) and Japan (32.2 million USD).

Last year, Vietnam’s tra fish exports to the CPTPP members totalled 328.3 million USD, up 17.3 percent year on year. The shipments to most of these markets enjoyed strong growth, particularly Malaysia up 72.2 percent, Australia 34.4 percent, Singapore 20.7 percent, and Canada 19.5 percent.

Under the agreement, import tariffs on most of aquatic products, including tra fish, will be eliminated. Therefore, businesses believe that this is a chance for Vietnam to bolster tra fish exports to both traditional and potential markets in the CPTPP bloc.

Among the CPTPP members, Mexico is the most important market of Vietnamese tra fish because it is not only the biggest importer in the grouping but also ranks first in Latin America and fifth in the world in this regard.

Although the tra fish shipment to Mexico fell 4.65 percent in 2018, it has been rising sharply this year, reaching 40.8 million USD in the first four months – up 31.5 percent year on year.

Meanwhile, Japan has yet to be a major market of the Vietnamese product, but exports to it have reported impressive growth in recent years. The tra fish export value to Japan soared 37.6 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.

The revenue continued to surge 38.6 percent to 8.58 million USD between January and April of 2019, making Japan one of the top 10 markets of Vietnamese tra fish in the first quarter.

Though Chile is still is a small purchaser, good growth has also been seen in tra fish exports to this market, 15 – 24.3 percent between 2016 and 2018.

Despite the modest turnover, Vietnam has become the biggest supplier of white flesh fish for this country.

Insiders believe that there remain much potential for the Southeast Asian nation to expand its tra fish market share in Chile. Additionally, with the CPTPP, Chile has great potential to become a bridge helping Vietnamese tra fish enter 33 markets in Latin America.