Belgian port to be EU Vietnamese pangasius hub
A new contract between Belgium and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has established the Flemish port of Zeebrugge as the main E.U. port of entry for Vietnamese pangasius exports to Europe.
Officials signed a contract during a visit by Hilde Crevits, Flemish minister for mobility and public works to Vietnam and Singapore.
"The contacts and negotiations with the Vietnamese authorities and representatives of the ports have resulted in enhanced cooperation between Flanders and Vietnam," the minister said.
According to a statement from the Flemish government, Vietnam exports between 150,000 and 200,000 metric tons of pangasius to Europe, accounting for roughly a third of Vietnam's total production.
The port is already a major entry point for Vietnamese exports, but the agreement, expected to finally come into effect in the summer of 2014, will centralize European imports and distribution of pangasius at the Flemish port. The government also speculated that the agreement may one day expand to include shrimp imports from Vietnam as well.