We have had the opportunity to hear the heartfelt sharing from Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe – General Secretary of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, about 20 years of development of Vietfish

Hosted by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) since 1998, VIETFISH is now a professional trading platform, an international trade destination where Vietnamese enterprises have established a strong foothold in order to confidently communicate and promote our products to the world while creating valuable opportunities for robust trading with clients from the largest importing countries in the world.

We have had the opportunity to hear the heartfelt sharing from Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe – General Secretary of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, about 20 years of development of Vietfish:

Back to the starting point, where is the ground for the establishment of VIETFISH exhibition?

In 1998, there were no internationally recognized specialized fairs and exhibitions in Vietnam, but only general and trade exhibitions. So we thought over specialized fairs and exhibitions, which are inevitable trends in the future. At that time, in 1999 our Association has cooperated with relevant ministries, branches to give birth to a seafood exhibition named Vietfish 99 with the participation of 100 domestic and foreign enterprises. Surprisingly, the exhibition attracted huge visitors to attend the opening day. Then one year later, Vietfish 99 seafood exhibition was renamed to Vietnam Fisheries International Exhibition – Vietfish 2000. VIETFISH's greatest success is to become an effective and efficient playground for businesses in the seafood sector, meeting social needs and international integration trends.

We know that it is the first step that costs. What are those difficulties in the early days?

In the early years we encountered many difficulties, VIETFISH did not grow to larger scale, so many people in the developing team were discouraged. We had to keep going persistently and patiently, even step by step. Over the years, VIETFISH's prestige has been affirmed; the number of registered stands and participating businesses has maintained a steady growth.

But saying that does not mean that no difficulties are present if we only look at the current scale of VIETFISH today. First of all, what we are most concerned about is the lacking of world-class professional exhibition centers with large exhibition area and wide range of services, etc. Exhibition space is limited, so we have no choice but to cancel the registration of 10 participating businesses. In addition, due to the monopoly status, the cost of exhibitor services has increased sharply every year, forcing us to increase the stand rental, which we did not want to cause difficulties for participating businesses. In addition, the trends of integration and online business boom will also have a profound impact on traditional specialized exhibitions if no effective marketing and PR strategies are in place.

Over 20 years, VIETFISH brand has evolved from a corporate brand into a National Brand. So, the destination of VIETFISH will be...?

In the future, the key objective is to drive VIETFISH into an internationally recognized trade exhibition with extensive reach to both international and domestic clients where product exchange and trading activities take place.

In addition, we sincerely wish that VIETFISH brand will become much more stronger so that when it comes to talk about VIETFISH, people will think of the exclusive international seafood exhibition in Vietnam, specializing in providing hygiene and quality seafood products from in the largest and most prestigious seafood enterprises in and outside the country.

In addition to seafood suppliers, we hope that VIETFISH will become a gathering place where participating enterprises to the seafood value chain will introduce their latest technologies, outstanding knowledge and key consumption trends into such event.

And the last question regarding the export of the seafood sector in 2018, whether the potential turnover can reach USD 10 billion as set out?

With an export target of 10 billion by the end of 2020, the figure now stands at USD 4 billion, up 10.5 percent from the same period last year. Considering this impressive growth, we have the right to hope and strive for the turnover of VND 9 billion by the end of 2018.