Illustrative image (Source: VNA) In the first seven months of 2018, China was still the largest market of Vietnamese vegetable and fruits with consumption worth US$1.7 billion, accounting for 74% of Vietnam’s sales, up 12.1% year on year. Strong growth was seen in many other markets, including Thailand with 38.6%, the US 19.3%, and the Republic of Korea 18.7%. In the January-August period, Vietnam imported US$224 million worth of vegetable and fruits, raising the total imports of the goods in eight months to US$1.15 billion, a rise of 13.4% over the same time in 2017. According to the Agro-product Processing and Market Development Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the export of Vietnam’s vegetable and fruits is showing signs of a slowdown, but the sector is still forecast to earn US$4 billion in the whole year. Besides, domestic businesses have faced fierce competition as well as protectionism measures through technical barriers in import markets. Therefore, the department advised exporters to focus on dealing with problems in food safety, packaging and labeling. It predicted that in the rest of the year, vegetable and fruit export will encounter more difficulties in supply due to the coming stormy season. At the same time, the department also underlined the need for more promotion activities to boost the sale of fruits currently in harvest such as longan and custard apple.