13:00 | 12/08/2020 Society
(VEN) - Vietnam’s agricultural sector will not change its growth targets for 2020 under the direction of the government.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, total export-import turnover of agro-forestry-fishery products reached an estimated US$39.5 billion in the first seven months of the year, including about US$22.3 billion in exports and around US$17.2 billion in imports, a drop of 2.8 percent and 4.6 percent compared to a year ago, respectively.
As a result, the sector recorded a trade surplus of nearly US$5.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 3.8 percent. In particular, Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery exports reached an estimated US$3.4 billion in July, an increase of 4.6 percent compared to the previous month. The forestry and fishery sectors continued to record recovery and regained their growth momentum. Major forestry exports reached US$1.1 billion in July, raising the total value in the first seven months of the year to US$6.5 billion, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to a year ago. The forestry sector is expected to reach US$12 billion in exports in 2020, up seven percent compared to the previous year.
Nguyen Quoc Tri, director-general of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, said that due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have implemented online selling and have received orders until the end of the year. The country exported US$780 million worth of aquatic products in July, raising the total value in the first seven months of the year to US$4.38 billion, a drop of 6.4 percent compared to a year ago.
Tran Dinh Luan, director-general of the Directorate of Fisheries, said the fishery sector would be active in farming and catching to be able to meet demand once countries reopen their markets. The sector is expected to reach more than US$9 billion in exports this year.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the best performers in the first seven months of the year included rice (US$1.9 billion, up 10.9 percent), vegetables (US$414 million, up 9.6 percent), cassava (US$107 million, up 101.8 percent), shrimp (nearly US$2 billion, up 12.1 percent), wood and wood products (US$4.5 billion, up nine percent), cinnamon (US$110 million, up 15.4 percent), and rattan (US$305 million, up 14.7 percent).
China remained the biggest importer of Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery products in the first seven months of the year, accounting for market share of 24.1 percent with total value of nearly US$5.4 billion, followed by the US with about US$5.2 billion, ASEAN countries with nearly US$2.3 billion, and the EU with around US$2.2 billion.
No change to export, growth targets
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the situation will continue to be complicated and unpredictable in the last months of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, trade policies and geopolitical tensions in some areas. Many farm produce importers will tighten their technical barriers, introduce trade remedy measures, require product traceability, issue export certificates and strengthen quality inspection at exporting countries.
In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected export-import activities, domestic production and consumption. However, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong affirmed that the agricultural sector would not change its targets for 2020 under the direction of the government.
Accordingly, the agricultural sector is expected to grow 2.6-3 percent and reach total export turnover of about US$41 billion in 2020. Agriculture is expected to increase by 2.85 percent, while forestry and fishery are forecast to increase by 2.57 percent and three percent, respectively.
To complete the goals, Cuong asked departments, agencies, associations, localities and businesses to make greater efforts, especially in tapping potential and strengths of agro-forestry-fishery products, such as rice, fruit and vegetables, and seafood.
The implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) opens up significant opportunities and
prospects for Vietnam’s farm produce exports.