Vietnamese businesses are encouraged to explore the promising potential of seafood exports to Switzerland, a key trade official has emphasized.
Nguyen Duc Thuong, the Commercial Counsellor at Vietnam Trade Office in Switzerland, highlighted the significant opportunity for Vietnamese seafood exporters in Switzerland, a landlocked country heavily reliant on seafood imports. Vietnam currently stands as the fourth-largest seafood provider to Switzerland, following Norway, France, and the Netherlands.
Switzerland's annual consumption of seafood hovers around 75,000-80,000 tonnes, with expectations of a 4.6% increase in import demand this year. The evolving trend toward organic products in Switzerland provides an avenue for Vietnamese businesses to invest in processing seafood and exporting organic goods. Strengthening ties with existing partners is also vital to maximize this consumption opportunity.
Quality remains a top priority for exporters targeting the Swiss market. Switzerland enforces stringent import licensing regulations to ensure compliance with health, food hygiene, and safety standards. Meeting European and Swiss food labeling regulations is imperative, with Swiss consumers exhibiting a keen interest in eco-labels, willing to pay extra for products meeting health and environmental criteria.
The Swiss market places particular emphasis on the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard. Switzerland leads global consumption of MSC-labeled seafood products. The demand for MSC-certified seafood is on the rise, with Swiss companies trading various seafood varieties obtaining Chain of Safety Certification (COC) and prominently featuring the MSC label on their products.
In the first nine months of 2023, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Switzerland experienced a modest 2% increase, reaching over $1.85 billion. Vietnamese exports contributed over $1.42 billion to the total, reflecting a 2% year-on-year decrease.