Preventing a slowdown in agricultural exports

Tuesday, 2016-02-23 17:14:59
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The agricultural export market looks strong for 2016 and years ahead.
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NDO – The downward trend in Vietnam’s agro-forestry and fisheries exports has yet to show signs of stopping. After declining 2.6% last year, export revenues of the agricultural sector continued to see a year-on-year decrease of 3.1% in the first month of 2016, with fisheries export value down 8.8% at US$455 million, and the export value of key wood items estimated at US$520 million, down 15.1%. 

A number of reasons have been cited as explanation for these declines. However, it is necessary to review the issue in a serious manner so that the sector and relevant agencies can take drastic action from the beginning of the year in order to prevent the slowdown as well as promote the high growth again.

Looking at the situation, there remains hope for new transformations as alongside several items facing difficulties, some others are enjoying opportunities for greater export growth than last year. For example, despite a fall in export values of forestry and fisheries products, export values of major farming products have been estimated at US$1.6 billion since early this year, up 2.8% year on year. Notably, rice exports hit 495,000 tonnes and US$218 million, up 56.7% in volume and 46% in value compared to the same period of 2015.

The agricultural export market looks strong for 2016 and years ahead, because these items always see stability regarding market demand. Especially in 2016 as Vietnam’s free trade agreements (FTAs) signed with others take effect, the country’s farming products will enjoy big incentives in terms of tax, thereby having their competitiveness strengthened compared to products of the same type from other countries.

In order to turn opportunities into reality, besides expanding export markets and boosting trade promotion, attention should also be paid to supporting entrepreneurs operating in the fields of trade and exports, in terms of essential issues, including providing information on integration so that the business community has better access to integration commitments and frameworks, as well as get a timely and thorough understanding of the government’s macroeconomic policies to devise relevant business strategies.

As FTAs take effect, there will be more technical barriers to trade established by countries, which could possibly get Vietnamese enterprises involved in trade lawsuits. Providing legal support to solve disputes in lawsuits, anti-dumping and trade remedy measures of other countries also works to enhance the competitiveness of Vietnamese enterprises in the international market. It is also necessary to maintain a stable business environment for enterprises through publicising and simplifying administrative procedures and boosting the update of information on markets and partners, as well as create a connection between local enterprises with foreign markets via trade deals to fully tap export opportunities.

If these measures are implemented drastically from the beginning of the year, plus with efforts by each enterprise, Vietnam’s agricultural exports will be able to achieve the envisaged goal (reaching about US$31 billion) and run the opportunity to create breakthroughs.