06:00 | 15/06/2020 Trade
(VEN)- Effective solutions devised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade have helped stabilize export turnover of agricultural products amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Tran Quoc Toan, deputy director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, talked about agricultural exports in an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Hanh.
How has Covid-19 affected Vietnam’s agricultural exports?
According to statistics compiled by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, export turnover of agricultural products declined by 4.3 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to a year ago.
As the Ministry of Industry and Trade has implemented many measures to support businesses in promoting exports, Vietnam only saw a slight decline in export turnover of agricultural products.
Has Covid-19 affected Vietnam’s exports of fruit and vegetables? What are your recommendations to limit the impact of Covid-19 on exports of fruit and vegetables?
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s General Statistics Office of Vietnam, export turnover of fruit and vegetables reached US$890 million in the first quarter of the year, a drop of 5.2 percent compared to a year ago.
China is Vietnam’s largest fruit and vegetable export market, accounting for about 60 percent of export turnover. However, fruit and vegetable exports to China dropped by more than 22 percent in the first quarter of the year due to the temporary closure of border gates. Although other markets saw an increase in export turnover, they could not compensate for the decline from this traditional market.
To overcome difficulties facing exports of agricultural products in general and fruit and vegetables in particular, the two sides have made greater efforts to resume trade activities. In addition, businesses must obtain updated information about the developments of the pandemic to make adjustments.
What are the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s solutions to promote exports?
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to create favorable conditions for exports of agricultural products through border gates. In particular, the ministry will regularly update the information on the Chinese market and other markets on its portal.
Regarding litchi exports, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed that Japan consider special and creative solutions after the Japanese side announced that it could not send experts to Vietnam to inspect the disinfection treatment of fresh litchi exported from Vietnam due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry has provided Vietnamese trade offices abroad with a list of target markets and goods with high export potential compiled by localities and commodity associations. Those offices will then provide market information for importers and distributors in foreign countries.
The ministry has also directed the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency in coordination with Vietnamese trade offices and commercial counselors abroad to utilize export opportunities and propose suitable trade promotions.
In addition to exporting fresh agricultural products, the ministry has recommended that businesses promote processed items.
The ministry has also strengthened connections between domestic businesses and purchasers from overseas distribution chains such as Aeon, Lotte Mart and MM Mega Market in order to promote exports.