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August 9, 2008

Jan-July seafood exports hit $2.34bn, up 18%

Vietnam exported $2.34 billion worth of seafood products in the first seven months of this year, an increase of 17.7 percent over the same period last year,
state-run Vietnam News Agency reported, quoting data from the General Statistics Office.

In July alone, seafood exports netted $430 million, the office said. The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) said, this year,
seafood exports were expected to reach $4.2 billion, including $1.5 billion from shrimp exports alone.

VASEP spokesman Nguyen Minh Tam, said in the first six months of this year, $1.9 billion was made from seafood exports, 16 percent higher than the same
period last year.

Seafood exports to Russia have increased in recent months and Vietnam has become the fourth largest seafood exporter to the market, after Norway, China
and Denmark, said Tam, adding that in the first half of this year, Vietnam exported 47,384 tonnes of seafood, earning $85.14 million.

She said, Seafood export volumes doubled, on a year-on-year basis, and the value increased 15 percent.

Tra and basa catfish were key exports to Russia reaching 9,132 tonnes in volume and $14.35 million in value, Tam said. Tam said, the increase was due to
high demand for tra catfish fillet in Russia, and demand is expected to rise further.

So far, 38 seafood exporters have been permitted to ship product to Russia. In June, VASEP signed a five-year agreement with the Russian Association of
Seafood Traders and Processors.

A VASEP report stated that the agreement aims to develop business strategies between the associations, and links between seafood enterprises of both
countries, adding that the two associations would co-operate to improve the quality of seafood exports to meet international standards.

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