Accurate and detailed information about the production and trade of Vietnam’s tra fish was provided to the Spanish press at a press conference held in the Vietnamese Embassy in Spain on May 25.

Chairing the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung noted that recently, some media reports in Europe painted a distorted picture about Vietnam’s tra fish, thus affecting the product’s prestige and consumers’ trust.

The Deputy Minister stressed that in order to export tra fish to the EU, Vietnamese producers and exporters have to pass multiple inspections of the union. The list of eligible exporters is reviewed by the EU every year, and every batch of Vietnamese tra fish exported to the EU has to undergo inspections of EU-approved centres.

He told the conference that Vietnam’s tra fish are shipped to over 160 countries and territories worldwide with export turnover reaching about 1.66 billion USD a year.

He affirmed that Tra fish breeding has become one of the means for Vietnamese farmers to escape from poverty and ease adverse impacts of globalisation.

At the press conference, representatives from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (VASEP) and Vietnamese tra fish exporters also presented detailed information on the situation of Vietnam’s tra fish sector.

In January this year, Spanish commercial television channel Cuatro broadcast a report with incorrect and defamatory information on tra fish breeing in the Mekong River.

As a result, Carrefour Group stopped selling Vietnamese tra fish at its supermarkets and stores in Spain, Belgium and France. A number of schools in Spain also refused to buy Vietnamese tra fish.

Spain is an important market in Europe for Vietnam. The two countries have recorded increasing trade, with two-way trade hitting 2.9 billion USD in 2016 and 835 million USD in the first four months of this year. They aim to bring bilateral trade turnover to 5 billion EUR by 2020.

Vietnam mainly exports aquatic products, coffee, textiles, rice and footwear to Spain, while importing chemicals, machines, pharmaceuticals, milk, electronics and spare parts.

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