The CPTPP will create a good chance for Vietnamese shrimp exporters to capitalise on the Canadian market, even though the Southeast Asian nation is already the top shrimp supplier there.
|Workers process shrimps for export at a factory in Ninh Thuan province
Aquatic exports brought home 2.4 billion USD in the first four months of 2019, equivalent to the figure during the same period last year. That included 1.8 billion USD between January and March, and the shrimp sector contributed 617.6 million USD to this sum, down 20 percent year on year.
Boosting the shipment of shrimp products to potential markets like Canada is critical to help achieve the goal of 4.2 billion USD in aquatic exports this year, and making use of preferential treatments under the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) is an important measure, according to the Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times).
As of March 15, Vietnam had shipped 23.8 million USD worth of shrimp products to Canada, up 7.5 percent from a year earlier. The revenue has increased in recent years, from 122.5 million USD in 2016 to 161.6 million USD last year.
Canada is currently the sixth biggest market for Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for almost 5 percent of total shrimp exports.
Data of the International Trade Centre show that shrimp imports by the North American country reached 513.3 million USD in 2018, down 5 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, Vietnam is the biggest shrimp provider for this market with a market share of 30.3 percent.
The Canadian government is diversifying markets to reduce the dependence on imports from the US, and Vietnam is one of the countries Canadian businesses want to boost trade with.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said the CPTPP, taking effect in Vietnam on January 14, will create good opportunities for the country’s shrimp exporters to make use of the Canadian market as rivals like India, Thailand and Indonesia are not members of this deal.
Echoing this view, the Ministry of Industry and Trade noted Canada is one of the CPTPP members with the highest market-opening commitments. It will cut tariffs on 95 percent of imports down to zero, and that covers 78 percent of Vietnam’s total exports to this market.
In addition, Canada is also one of the three CPTPP members that Vietnam lacks a bilateral trade agreement with. The two sides’ export structures do not compete but are complementary.
Therefore, if businesses can grab opportunities, the CPTPP will open the door for many key products of Vietnam like textile-garment, footwear, wood and aquatic products, according to the ministry.