Export of agricultural products accelerates from the beginning of the year

VCN - After achieving impressive results with an export value of more than US$41.2 billion in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in 2020, the agricultural sector is finally promoting exports from the beginning of the year to aim at a rather high export target of US$44 billion in 2021. In addition to exports, the whole industry attaches special importance to promoting the domestic market.
Export of agricultural products accelerates from the beginning of the year
Export of agricultural, forestry and aquatic products "aims" for US$44 billion in 2021. Photo: N.Thanh

Good opening

At 10:00am on January 5, a ceremony for the first batch of shrimp export took place in Hau Giang. With eight cargo containers, each container holds about 20 tons of cargo, more than 160 tons of shrimp processed by Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Joint Stock Company has opened the door for seafood exports to other countries.

This is not only the first seafood export shipment in 2021, but also the first attempt to gain momentum, opening the export of agriculture, forestry and fishery goods in general for the whole year.

Talking to Customs News about this event, a representative of the Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said this is a direct move from the agricultural sector, confirming the determination to increase exports. From the beginning of the year, aiming at the export target of US$44 billion which Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc set for the whole industry when speaking at the conference on summarizing the agricultural sector in 2020.

According to the reporter, on the last day of 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also issued a plan for market development and agricultural trade promotion for the whole of 2021. Up to now, Vietnam has been negotiating, signing and implementing a series of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). This not only gives opportunities for agricultural products to penetrate some difficult markets such as the US, Japan, and the EU, and join new value chains in the region, but also creates challenges in their competitiveness with strict requirements on quality standards, food safety and the degree of product positioning in the international market.

MARD has analyzed the challenges posed in key export markets. For example, with China, the Chinese side now strengthens the inspection of many imported consignments to control potential risks of disease, quality control, and at the same time, China requests the Vietnamese side to urge the specialized competent agencies to strengthen quality management of exported agricultural and aquatic products. This reduces the efficiency of customs clearance and increases pressure on disease prevention.

With the EU, the issue of utilizing the Vietnam-EU FTA (EVFTA) is clearly laid out.

Specifically, the EVFTA was officially implemented in early August 2020, but the export turnover of Vietnam's agricultural, forestry and fishery products to the EU has not yet made significant progress. Vietnam's export enterprises have initially taken advantage of incentives to export to the EU market but they have not increased with agricultural, forestry and aquatic products.

In the US market, the concern is that the United States continues to increase protection measures through the imposition of anti-dumping duties, the enhancement of strict quality standards, which adversely has influence on the export of large groups of goods to the US market such as, seafood, pepper, wood and wood products.

For the ASEAN market, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the inherent challenge for many years is that agricultural products are relatively similar; competing with agricultural products of countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Promote domestic consumption

With opportunities and challenges for agricultural, forestry and fishery exports this year, the agricultural sector is determined to concentrate on promoting market opening, so trade promotion is one of the important solutions.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan, concrete action to be promoted is to organize activities to connect export and support trade in border provinces in the country to promote the export of agricultural products forestry and aquatic products to the Chinese market; continue to negotiate, remove difficulties, trade barriers and open markets for Vietnamese agricultural products for official export (fruits, aquatic products, livestock products).

Notably, in calculating consumption of agricultural products this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development pays special attention to the domestic market.

Recently, the domestic agricultural market has been assessed for impressive growth. Economic growth and urbanization have boosted the domestic demand for agricultural products to increase significantly. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic also created new awareness, with a shifting trend in consumer tastes and commercial transactions on the principle of limited exposure created a change in demand, bringing about new market opportunities for businesses.

"This context continues to create very good opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products in expanding markets, promoting exports and developing domestic markets," said Deputy Minister Le Minh Hoan.

In order to develop the consumption of agricultural products in the domestic market, the specific solution that has been planned from the beginning of the year is to organize fairs and exhibitions weekly to implement the campaign "Vietnamese people give priority to using Vietnamese goods" and promote and introduce key agricultural products, specialties of localities, enterprises and cooperatives directly to consumers in big cities; at the same time promoting the connection of production and consumption of agricultural products in the regions.

By Thanh Nguyễn/Bui Diep

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