A European Commission delegation visited Vietnam and Singapore last week in a bid to revive business relations, including trades in the fruit and vegetable sector. The delegation, led by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Czesław Wojciechowski, also included Gianluca Bagnara, agribusiness expert, vice president of the FAO’s International Soil Biodiversity Network and representative of Assoavi and Aife.
“The purpose of the Commission’s visit was to revive and reconnect relations, intensified with the 2019 agreements and then loosened because of the pandemic,” said Bagnara. “Vietnam is growing a lot. I envision it as the China of 15 years ago, with a low average age and low incomes. However, there is an affluent 10 percent of the population, about 10 million people, who are looking for Italian products and have high spending power.”
The situation in Singapore is very different.
“The residents here, about 5.5 million, have an income twice that of Western countries like Italy. They import 90 percent of food resources and have high regard for Italy. Our productions are seen as high quality and secure in terms of health, thanks to our strict controls,” said Bagnara. During the visit to Singapore, “I realised that high-quality fruits and vegetables and food products cost 4-5 times more than ours. To them, exotic fruit is Italian fruit, since what is exotic to us is local to them. A different perspective.”