Gia Lai (VNA) - The first batch of Vietnamese coffee destined for the EU under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was exported on September 16.
Fourteen containers with 296 tonnes were shipped to Belgium and Germany by the Vinh Hiep Co. Ltd, based in Pleiku city in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.
When the EVFTA came into force on August 1, tariffs on all coffee products from Vietnam, including unroasted, roasted, and processed coffee, were immediately slashed to zero percent. The EU has also committed to protecting geographical indications of Vietnamese coffee.
Addressing a ceremony marking the exports, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said coffee is one of Vietnam’s 13 key agricultural products, and the industry contributes 3 percent to GDP and provides stable incomes for over 600,000 farming households nationwide, mostly in the Central Highlands.
Vietnam has long been the world’s second-largest coffee exporter, with annual export revenue topping 3 billion USD. Its coffee is now found in more than 80 countries and territories, and the EU is the largest importer, accounting for 40 percent and 38 percent of total export volume and value, respectively.
Noting the initial positive outcomes from the EVFTA, Doanh said coffee shipments to the EU approximated 76 million USD in August, up 34.7 percent month-on-month.
The coffee industry will work harder to meet EU requirements, especially those relating to quality and sustainable development, to turn Vietnam - the world’s largest Robusta coffee grower - into a reference point for global Robusta production, the deputy minister added./.