Belgian potato exporters seek wider market in VN


HÀ NỘI — Belgian enterprises want to widen their network and increase their share in Việt Nam’s growing market for processed potato products.

They also want to raise awareness of Belgian fries in Việt Nam and the region. This was announced at a press conference in the capital city on Monday.

The event was part of a five-nation promotional campaign in Southeast Asia, co-ordinated by Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board and Belgapom, the association representing the Belgian potato trade and processing industry.

It saw the participation of five largest family-owned businesses in the industry in Belgium – Agristo, Bart’s Potato Company, Clarebout Potatoes, Ecofrost and Mydibel – offering a wide range of potato products and specialties that are exported to over 100 countries worldwide.

Romain Cools, General Secretary of Belgapom, expressed his delight at introducing Belgian potatoes in Việt Nam following the product’s debut in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

He hailed Southeast Asia as one of the fastest-growing regions riding on the back of middle-class growth, urbanisation and young population and added that Belgium’s frozen fries were ready to meet the market demand.

Cools said he believed that Belgian enterprises had many opportunities in Việt Nam even though they entered the market later than those from the United States and China.

Top priority should be better advertising of the image of Belgian potato in the Vietnamese market, following which Belgian firms could cooperate with local partners in setting up Belgian fry shops in Việt Nam as in many countries around the world, Cools said.

Belgium is the largest exporter of frozen fries in the world, with 90 per cent of its production exported to the global market.

In 2016, the export of Belgian fries rose by 14.3 per cent to 1.68 million tonnes compared to 2015, with an increasing quantity being exported to countries outside the European Union.