ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
January 8, 2008
The agricultural sector is targeting $US15 billion in export value by 2010, according to a report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The sector aims to achieve a growth rate of 4-4.5 per cent a year in agricultural production, a 3.5 per cent contribution to the country's GDP, and an 8 per cent growth rate in the rural economy.
Export revenue from agro-forestry products and seafood this year reached $US12 billion.
Five top export items with exports earnings of more than $US1 billion included seafood, rice, coffee, rubber and wooden products. Aside from traditional markets, almost all export staples found new outlets in the past year.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that seafood exports had never been as bright as in 2007, with a value of $US3.75 billion, which is $US400 million more than last year, with the number of enterprises qualified to export products to the EU, the US and Japan doubling.
The fisheries sector has constantly diversified its products to meet the increasing demands of those markets.
Rubber latex, mainly exported to China for many years, decreased by 41 per cent in 2007.
Meanwhile, rubber exports to the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Germany saw remarkable increases.
Rubber exported to Malaysia tripled 2006 volumes and the market was considered strategic for Vietnamese rubber.
In an effort to take advantage of Viet Nam s integration into the global economy, the agricultural sector will focus on promoting export farm produce, improving product quality and complying with food safety and sanitation requirements set by World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said that in 2008 the sector would step up quality control, safety and sanitation for agricultural and forestry products, as well as seafood and agricultural materials.
According to the ministry, the agricultural sector will also pay special attention to production and export of products with high value, such as coffee, rice and wood products.
The sector will continue upgrading technology while expanding export markets for products that use locally available materials such as rubber products and processed foods.
Application of bio-technology in agricultural production and increased automation would also be given priority investment, the ministry added.
In another effort to develop agriculture, the ministry will issue an incentive policy involving tax and land to encourage both domestic and foreign investment.
The ministry admitted that though foreign direct investment flows into the country increased sharply, reaching $US20.3 billion in 2007, foreign investment in agriculture was still modest, making up just 10.6 per cent in the number of projects and 6.5 per cent in capital.
It aims to attract foreign direct investment and Official Development Assistance to build agricultural facilities that can help to create high-yield crop and animal hybrids, and to upgrade processing and post-harvest technology.