Vietnam exported record volumes of dragon fruit to the US and elsewhere in 2010 as global demand for the fruit soars.
Vietnam's ministry of agriculture and rural development told Viet Nam Net that dragon fruit exports to the US topped 500 tonnes in the first 10 months of 2010, and were likely to hit 800 tonnes by the year end - an eight-fold increase over 2009.
Meanwhile, exports to Japan were expected to reach 400 tonnes by the end of 2010 - a year which saw South Korea and Chile begin importing heat-treated Vietnamese dragon fruit, Viet Nam Net said.
Vietnam, which exports most of its dragon fruit crop to neighbouring China, is also eyeing Australia and New Zealand as potential new export markets.
In a separate development, South Korean retailer Lotte Mart will open its third shopping mall in Vietnam as part of its strategy to expand its network in this market.
Lotte Mart Binh Dong is due to open for business in 2013, according to Viet Nam Net. The US$7m mall will sell a range of products, including food.