The RoK’s pear exports to Vietnam surged by 9,440 times in the 2011-2016 period, from 52,000 USD in 2011 to 4.96 million USD last year.
Its apple exports to Vietnam also went up by 928.8 percent in the period, from 66,000 USD to 679,000 USD.
Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on November 24, Cao ThiQuynh Giao, director of Lam Khai Hoan Co. Ltd, said her company imports about two to five containers (each container having a loading capacity of 600kg) of pears and apples from the RoK to distribute to supermarkets in Vietnam.
“Many Vietnamese consumers are fond of Korean pears due to its good quality and reasonable prices,” she said.
Her company plans to import more pears and Fuji apples from the RoK, kiwi from Australia and gala apple from the US, she said.
Taa Minh Thanh, deputy director of Tưu Son Supermarket in Chau Doc, An Giang province, said the supermarket started to sell Korean pears and apples two and a half years ago, with sales of pear very good.
“We are here to meet Korean firms as we want to find suppliers of apple/pear gift boxes to serve customers on the occasion of Lunar New Year holiday,” he said.
Lee Soon Nyung, managing director of Hyun Jin Corporation, said the RoK exports about 25,000 tonnes of pears a year, with the US (10,000 tonnes), Taiwan (10,000 tonnes) and Vietnam (2,000 tonnes) being three biggest export markets.
It exports about 3,400 tonnes of apples a year, of which 2,000 tonnes is exported to Taiwan and 300 tonnes to Việt Nam.
As Vietnam does not cultivate pears and apples, many businesses have imported them from other countries to supply in the market. Vietnamese people are fond of Korean fruits, especially apples and pears, he said.
“Vietnam is a very potential market. We want to export more apples and pears as well as other kinds of fruits into Vietnam.”
“The business meeting today will help us understand more about requirements of our Vietnamese partners so as we can satisfy their demand.”
Lee Sun Hyung from Gyeong Buk Corporation, said "Vietnam is an emerging market for Korean fruits".
Many Korean companies as well as his company have prepared high-grade pear and apple gift boxes with nice design, hoping that the products will be consumed well in Vietnam in the future, he said.
Organised by the Korea Agriculture Food Trade Association and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Vietnam-RoK business seminar attracted seven Korean fresh fruits exporting firms and 15 Vietnamese enterprises.
The two sides exchanged information on import-export situation, prices, and quality of products as well as difficulties accounted during the import process. Korean firms talked about ways to improve the problems and propose ways to increase exports in the future.
The association said it plans to invite Vietnamese fruit importers to visit South Korea to understand more about the production process of the fruits as well as discuss business opportunities.
Vietnam imported vegetables and fruits worth 1.02 billion USD in the first eight months of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 94 percent. Of which, the import value of vegetables was around 200 million USD, while fruits imports were more than 800 million USD, double the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.