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"Belgian negotiations on pear export to Vietnam were ongoing before Russian export ban"

Belgium can export pears to Vietnam

As of next week the Belgian Conference pears will gain access to the Vietnamese market. In February 2013 the negotiations concerning this started between Belgium and Vietnam and on October 23 this year the negotiations were finalised on paper, says Philippe Appeltans of Verbond Belgisch Tuinbouwveilingen (V.B.T.). He says Belgian apples will soon go to the Asian country too.

Belgian pears allowed in Vietnam, Belgian apples to follow later.

Before Russian export ban
According to Philippe Appeltans there were negotiations between Belgium and Vietnam before the Russian export ban. A matter of proactive thinking, says Philippe. "It's important to think like this, to guarantee the future of this market," he continues. "I have heard that the first products are already on their way to Vietnam. The negotiations took four years in total, which is reasonably normal for countries like this. Negotiations with Vietnam over pears started in 2013, which is before Russia started their export ban."

Cultivation preparation
According to Philippe the auctions were already taking into account the opportunity to export to Vietnam this year. "There have to be pears to be exported," he says. "This is why certain pear growers in Belgium took this into account at the beginning of the season. I don't know exactly how many pears will go to Vietnam. Although the apples will be exported to Vietnam soon too, this won't happen this season. Negotiations still have to be finalised. There are also not enough apples, due to the frost. Hopefully, next year Belgium will be able to export apples to Vietnam."

No campaign yet
Although Belgium is fully investing in campaigns with India and China, Vietnam isn't there yet, according to Philippe. "There is market access now, and later we will see if a campaign is needed, which I expect it will be," he says. "As in India and China they will likely invest in tasting: letting consumers in the country try out the pear. It's not so strange: Mangos and kiwis used to be new products to us. By letting people taste the fruit, we introduced those fruits to people back in the day as well."

For more information:
Tiensevest 136 
B-3000 Leuven 
T: +32 (0) 16 20 00 80 
F: +32 (0) 16 20 30 35 

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