10:39 | 05/04/2016 Trade
(VEN) - Agro, forestry and fishery exports witnessed a good recovery in the first two months of the year and are expected to flourish.
Seafood exports are expected to strongly increase this year
Signs of recovery
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the first two months of this year, agro, forestry and fishery exports reached an estimated US$2.95 billion, an increase of 9.7 percent compared to the same period last year, accounting for 12.5 percent of total export turnover. The volume of products recorded an increase, with the exception of cassava.
Many key products saw a good recovery during the beginning months of the year. Rice exports reached an estimated 1.01 million tonnes valued at US$445 million, a nearly two-fold increase in volume and value compared to a year ago. According to forecasts, rice exports would flourish this year thanks to an increase in the global demand due to a fall in production caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon. In the first two months of the year, seafood exports reached nearly US$1.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 8.2 percent with Vietnam’s key export markets including the US, Japan and China.
Opportunities for exports from the sector will also be opened thanks to an increase in demand, improved export structure, application of high technology and investment in agriculture. In particular, the implementation of a series of free trade agreements will create a breakthrough for these products. Agro, forestry and fishery exports to the US are expected to strongly develop this year.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that demand for products remained stable in any context. The US and Germany are seen as stable markets for Vietnamese shrimp, Tra fish and rice. However additional management policies are needed in order to help domestic businesses exploit export markets and make the most of the opportunities provided by free trade agreements.
Improving product quality
In addition to opportunities, domestic businesses will face competitive pressure from other countries such as China, Thailand and Indonesia. Moreover, technical barriers, rules of origin and quality, food safety and hygiene requirements will create difficulties for domestic businesses. They will also face huge competition at home after a large volume of foreign products entering the market.
To make the most of opportunities posed during the integration process, strengthening trade promotion activities is a top priority. Enhancing cooperation between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, especially heightening the role of Vietnamese trade offices and trade counselors abroad is needed. Businesses are also recommended to improve product quality in order to meet stricter standards and higher requirements by importers.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that to complete the target of agro, forestry and fishery exports of US$39-40 billion this year, renewing the sector growth model and improving production efficiency following long-term and sustainable ways were necessary. In particular, changing the structure to bring greater added value to exports remained an indispensable requirement. This policy is a central part of the export strategy by 2020 with a vision to 2025.
“We have witnessed many successful models in the agricultural sector implemented by large corporations such as TH Food Chain Joint Stock Company, Vingroup and Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group. These models need to be expanded to improve competitiveness of agro, forestry and fishery products,” Tran Tuan Anh said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will issue flexible mechanisms in order to provide the best business environment for businesses. Promoting links with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in guiding the implementation of state policies, building central material areas and creating favorable conditions for businesses investing in agriculture; strengthening high-tech application to increase labor productivity and improve product quality; and building brands for agro, forestry and fishery products are mentioned.
The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community and the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will open up opportunities for domestic businesses. To actually benefit from these opportunities, Vietnam is making greater efforts to improve product quality and production scale to meet market requirements. In addition, businesses are attempting to improve their production through newer technologies to improve their position in the domestic market and increase exports.