11:22 | 12/10/2015 Society
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement whose negotiations recently concluded in Atlanta, the US, will provide a springboard for Vietnam’s agricultural development, a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) official has said.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan (Source: VNA)
At a press conference assessing the MARD’s nine-month performance and initiating tasks for October in Hanoi on October 6, MARD Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan said that the trade deal, once effective, will help Vietnam expand consumption markets for its farm produce and ease its dependence on traditional but fluctuant ones like China.
China, for example, is currently consuming 35 percent of rice, 48 percent of rubber, 64 percent of fruits and vegetables, and over 13.2 percent of timber, exported by Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnam imported 62.5 percent of materials from China in service of the country’s farming sector, according to the deputy minister.
But as one of Vietnam’s largest trade partners, China had policies that required Vietnam to be flexible in import-export activities, the official said.
The TPP will enable Vietnam to adjust its import-export market structure in the agriculture, Tuan noted.
Aquaculture and wood products will gain a lot of competitive advantages as taxes imposed on all agricultural products will be eliminated shortly after the accord is put in place, he stressed. Vietnam’s wood exports to the US and Japan – other TPP member countries – presently account for 39 percent and 19 percent of its total export value, respectively.
Besides, the country will also see huge advantages as compared with India and Thailand when shipping aquaculture products to the two major markets, the deputy minister said.
He added that with tax incentives stipulated in the pact, Vietnam is expected to welcome a significant flow of investments into the farming sector, thus speeding up the country’s agricultural restructuring.
However, the agricultural sector is forecast to face a spectrum of challenges, especially in product consumption, as it is mainly driven by household-based businesses with out-of-date technologies, Tuan said.
Vietnam will have chances to buy modern livestock rearing methods and good quality breeds from other TPP members, helping advance the country’s livestock sector, said Nguyen Xuan Duong, deputy head of the Department of Animal Husbandry./.