Belgian start-up keen on Vietnamese coconut products

2021-08-13 09:35:10

Cocoxim canned coconut water produced by Ben Tre Import-Export Joint Stock Company (Betrimex) has recently become hugely popular among Belgian consumers, with the product imported to Europe via Belgian start-up firm South Export Alliance.

The local item has been directly imported by the firm in recent times and distributed throughout several European markets such as Belgium, France, and the Czech Republic.

François Colonval, director of South Export Alliance Company, said his company has imported the product from Vietnam for the past six years, primarily to sell to Asian restaurants and stores, as well as supermarkets, in Belgium.

Colonval told Vietnam News Agency that his scheme to establish the start-up originated during an internship he did at a Belgian-invested company in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.

During this period he had the opportunity to conduct several trips to the southern province of Ben Tre, the nation’s major hub for coconut plantations. He was able to gain a great insight into the production process of this beverage through Betrimex Company.

At present, the company mainly imports a container filled with 25 tonnes of products from Betrimex every few months, with the firm becoming the exclusive distributor of Cocoxim coconut juice for all Asian restaurants and some supermarkets in Belgium.  

Most notably, the recently enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) featuring preferential tax rates for Vietnamese agricultural products has created a wealth of opportunities for his firm to import the product from the Vietnamese market.

Currently, Colonval is working alongside Belgian distributors to import other Vietnamese food and beverage products, including Hanoi and Saigon beer, to serve local consumers.