||Asean Affairs 10 July 2013
Vietnam seafood exporters face challenges to achieve export target
Aqua-culture enterprises should co-ordinate their efforts, Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers told Hai Quan Cuoi tuan (Customs Weekend newspaper).
What are the chances of Vietnamese seafood enterprises exporting their target of US$6.5 billion of goods this year?
The biggest advantage enjoyed by seafood firms is the Government's decision to lower lending interest rates. And the US Congress has decided not to inspect Viet Nam's catfish. Meanwhile, Japan has lifted its checks on the chemical Trifluralin in Vietnamese catfish.
The biggest challenge facing seafood exporters is the eighth administrative review (POR8) of the anti-dumping duty on pangasius fillets from the US Department of Commerce from August 2010 to July 2011. Accordingly, the product from 14 Vietnamese companies will be subject to a duty rate many times higher than the POR7. In addition, there is a big shortage of raw materials in Viet Nam.
These two factors will have impacts on exporters. It is too early to say if the target will be achieved as it depends on many volatile factors.
However, in my opinion, the biggest obstacle is the world economic condition and the US Department of Commerce's final decision on August 13 on anti-subsidy duty on Vietnamese shrimps exported to the US.
What should seafood exporters do to overcome these challenges?
They should develop sustainable raw-material regions so they can be in a positive situation no matter what happens.
VASEP has created good links with fish farmers. So my advice to exporters is to invest more on aqua-culture areas. As far as I know, catfish processing companies have invested in rearing between 60-70 per cent of raw materials. Companies rearing shrimps have worked hard to expand production areas using technological standards.
What's more important is that all seafood exporters should co-ordinate closely.
Do you think Viet Nam should come up with a floor price for its shrimps and pangasius fillets to reduce risks on allegations of subsidy and dumping?
It is natural for other countries to use their laws to protect their domestic industry. This is a tool to protect their fish farmers against foreign low-cost products. We must be pro-active to solve any problems that arise. I don't agree with the proposal that Viet Nam should come up with the floor price. We operate in a free market, so let each firm make its own decision.
Does VASEP think the Government should support seafood enterprises to overcome their challenges?
Recently, VASEP signed a memorandum of understanding with the Viet Nam General Department of Customs (GDC), under which it will provide regular information on the volume of Vietnamese seafood exported to the US.
Electronic customs procedures is a big help for firms.
With active support from the GDC, seafood exporters will achieve the $6.5 billion goal in export turnover for 2013. The sum should reach $10 billion by 2020