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Paving the way for black heather to be exported to China

20:06 | 11/12/2020

VCN - On December 8, leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Agriculture and Rural Development) and the General Department of Customs of China signed a protocol on Vietnam's black heather export to China at an online meeting between both sides. Hoang Trung, Director of the Plant Protection Department (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) said with the opening of the Chinese market, Vietnam's “hundred billion VND” tree export will be better, bringing higher income for people.

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Hoang Trung, Director of Plant Protection Department (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development)

This year, Vietnam's agricultural exports to China have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In that context, how has Vietnam managed to sign the protocol on export of black heather to China?

- Before the Covid-19 pandemic, not to stop and increase agricultural products exported to China, under the direction of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, specialised agencies such as the Plant Protection Department continued to negotiate on the technical side withChinese bodies. Following the results achieved before, in 2020, the Plant Protection Department together with China will handle technical stages, especially the records, the results of pest risk analysis; completed the protocol on exporting Vietnamese black heatherto the Chinese market.

Due to Covid-19, it was impossible to have direct talks to sign, so the Vietnamese side repeatedly asked China to have a flexible form of signing, to soon open the door for black heather. At first the Chinese side agreed to be able to sign through diplomacy. Later after going through a series of procedures they offered to sign online. With any form of signing, the Vietnamese side will adapt to export black heather for official export to China.

In your opinion, will the signing of this protocol open up opportunities for this kind of “hundred billion VND” tree of Vietnam?

- For black heather, Vietnam has more advantages than before proposing to do the remaining procedures to sign this protocol, the Chinese side has directly come to Lang Son to check from production and packaging areas as well as measures to preserve them in Lang Son.

Lang Son is the largest black heather -growing province in the country with an area of ​​ more than 2,000 hectares, the total output of more than 10,000 tonnes/year. With that output, the income of people in the whole locality for this item is about 200-250 billion VND/year. In addition to Lang Son, there are also Cao Bang and some southern provinces that plant black heather. Hopefully, with the opening of the Chinese market, black heather export will be better and bring higher income for people.

Immediately after black heather, durian and sweet potato are the two items Vietnam proposed to sign a protocol to export to China. Could you share more about this?

Durian and sweet potatoes are Vietnamese commodities with potential and advantages in terms of quality and annual output. This is also a product that was previously very popular with the Chinese side, and then there are changes related to the transition from unofficial export to official export. Vietnam must comply with the regulations of China, which is also international practice in general.

Currently, dossiers related to durian and sweet potatoes have been sent to China, the Vietnamese side has also repeatedly directly negotiated on and discussed this issue. Related technical stages from completing documents, supplementing data for records that China requires,drafting of the types of phytosanitary objects that the Chinese side is interested in, together with the technical measures to check and control these types of phytosanitary objects have also been completed.

A very important step before finalising the draft protocol to conclude is to have a team of experts to come to the technical assessment of the growing area, packaging facilities and the issue of inspection and control of plantquarantine before exporting this item to the Chinese market. This is the following secure request must be done.

Up to now, we are asking the Chinese side to apply an online form to handle the problem. Specifically, the two sides of quarantine agencies conduct online negotiations, plus the packaging facilities have an additional online video bridge to monitor together, shorten the negotiation time and open the Chinese market for durian and sweet potatoes.

Hopefully, the Chinese side agrees with such an inspection method andit will sign the protocol for the official export of durian and sweet potatoes to China as soon as possible.

By Thanh Nguyen/ HuuTuc