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Vietnamese durian has been in the spotlight in supermarkets across New South Wales during Vietnam Durian Week, which is currently ongoing and runs until 31 July.

The Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia and New South Wales-based ASEAN company co-organised the event, which aims to promote the consumption of durian - a specialty fruit of Vietnam’s southern delta region - in Australia.

According to a report by Vietnam News, Australian customs clearance procedures were completed for seven tonnes of frozen Vietnamese durian imported by ASEAN company.

According to Nguyễn Phú Hòa, head of the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia, after the successful durian promotion programme held in Australia last year, the office’s survey found there was significant potential for sales of durian in the Australian market.

He said durian was permitted to enter Australia without having to wait for market opening negotiations like other fresh fruits.

Gifts and prizes have been on offer during the durian week, and the event has also aimed to introduce other high-quality farming products to consumers in Australia.

Following the Durian week, the trade office plans to continue working with another partner in Perth, Western Australia to launch a promotion programme for a batch of Vietnamese durian branded AAA, which is expected to arrive in Western Australia early August.

Frozen durian is gaining increasing interest from consumers in Australia, which mainly imports durian from Thailand and Malaysia.

Hòa urged Vietnamese businesses to launch campaigns and enhance product quality to expand in the Australian market.

Vietnam’s durian production has expanded rapidly over the past decade, from 17,500ha with an output of 93,000 tonnes in 2008, to 47,300ha with 478,600 tonnes in 2018.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s statistics showed that Vietnam durian export was estimated at US$18m in the first five months of 2020, a drop of 87.5 per cent against the same period last year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which caused difficulties exporting to its main market, China.