Conference looks for ways to boost exports of herbal productsSunday, October 1,2023
AsemconnectVietnam - Amidst the increasing demand for raw materials in the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries, and Vietnam’s participation in various free trade agreements, the country’s herbal products, particularly cinnamon and star anise, are well-positioned to capitalise on the opportunity for development, heard a conference in Hanoi on September 28.
Addressing the event, Vu Ba Phu, Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade stressed that with a diverse and abundant source of medicinal herbs, Vietnam boasts great potential and advantages to develop this field into an economic industry.
The cinnamon cultivation area in Vietnam stands at about 150,000 ha, accounting for 17% of the global cinnamon area. Vietnam is the third largest producer and exporter of cinnamon in the world in terms of output, after Indonesia and China. Meanwhile, very few countries have star anise – the plant is widely grown in Vietnam and China.
The export markets for items and products from cinnamon, star anise, and medicinal plants have been increasingly expanded due to changes in consumer awareness.
Vietnam's farming and processing of cinnamon and medicinal plants have gradually moved to a sustainable development stage in the direction of gradually reducing raw products and traditional farming, increasing intensively processed and competitive products, and promoting value chain-based production.
This is an advantage that can help add value to Vietnamese cinnamon products and medicinal plants in the future, helping Vietnam become an important supplier of cinnamon and medicinal herbs in the global market, participants said.
Regarding the market, Vietnamese cinnamon and star anise products are heavily consumed in many countries in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan), the Middle East (the United Arab Emirates (UAE), East Asia (Japan, Taiwan (China), the Republic of Korea), the US and those in Europe.
Vietnam's export value of cinnamon and star anise has continuously increased over the years, reaching about 276 million USD in 2022. However, the figure remains modest compared to the market of medicinal herbs worldwide.
Bui Trung Thuong, Trade Counselor at the Vietnam Trade Office in India, said India imports around 11-12 million tonnes of spices annually. In the fiscal year 2022-2023, Vietnam exported 32,650 tonnes of cinnamon, accounting for 85% of India's cinnamon imports.
He advised businesses to strengthen their connection with Indian partners to learn from and apply the cinnamon processing technology from India, towards producing high value-added products.
According to Do Ngoc Hung, Trade Counselor at the Vietnam Trade Office in the US, Vietnam’s cinnamon export to the market reached about 50 million USD in 2022, accounting for 35% of the total cinnamon import turnover of the US.
Participants said that to compete in the global pharmaceutical market, synchronous investment is needed, from expanding scale and developing medicinal growing areas to applying science and technology to ensure quality standards and diversify products.
The Vietnam Trade Office in Canada recommended cinnamon and medicinal businesses consider participating in the 21st SIAL Canada – the largest food innovation trade show in North America - to be held in Montreal in mid-May 2024, and the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA)’s nutritional food fair in early April, 2024 in Vancouver.
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