However, the agricultural sector should develop methodical steps and specific roadmaps to reach the export target of US$42 billion in 2021 and move towards the greater goals of increasing the export value of agricultural products to US$50-51 billion by 2025 and US$60-62 billion by 2030 as well as continuing to improve the position of Vietnamese agricultural products in the international market.
Focusing resources on agricultural processing
According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD), the export value of agricultural products reached US$10.61 billion in the first quarter of this year, up 19.7% over the same period last year. Notably, the volume of agricultural products exported to markets with high potential increased sharply, including 45.8% to the US market, 39.5% to China, 9.5% to the ROK and 3.4% to Japan.
Director of the Department of Agro-Processing and Market Development Nguyen Quoc Toan said Vietnam's agricultural exports are on the right track by focusing on improving quality and looking into market segments with high potential to raise export value. However, it is crucial to have more specific steps and roadmaps to take advantage of the economic benefits worthy of the inherent potential of Vietnamese agricultural products.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said Vietnamese agricultural products should be exported to many major markets with remote geographical conditions and high requirements of quality. Therefore, enterprises need to focus on developing modern and efficient preservation and processing technologies according to standards from large import markets. In addition, it is essential to form a sustainable market block in many countries, avoiding heavy dependence on traditional markets.
Sharing the same viewpoint that processing is a key issue in enhancing the value of Vietnamese agricultural products in the international market, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Intimex Group, Do Ha Nam, noted that Intimex has constructed an instant coffee factory and focused on coffee processing to improve its value. The factory is operating at 70% capacity, producing 200 tonnes of finished product per month. With the production technology connected to modern information technology, its import partners can monitor the products’ quality remotely.
In addition to the application of technology and investment in deep processing and the preservation of products, many agricultural experts say that in the current context of economic integration, enterprises and producers also need to proactively access information and requirements of markets, take advantage of new generation free trade agreements to expand their market.
Improving quality and expanding market
General Director of Vina T&T Import Export Services Co., Ltd Nguyen Dinh Tung proposed the State should support enterprises in trade promotion and the development of quality standards according to the criteria of the import market, especially exports of orders under new-generation free trade agreements. For production, regional planning and construction of standard raw material areas are key issues for the export of Vietnamese agricultural products.
Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan said that in order to help Vietnamese agricultural products maximise their economic profit and match their export potential as well as effectively implement the Project on enhancing the competitiveness of Vietnam's export products until 2025, with a vision to 2030, the MoARD will coordinate with ministries and agencies to review and perfect institutions and policies as well as simplify procedures related to the export of agricultural products and regulations on quarantine, food safety and customs procedures.
In the immediate future, the Ministry will give priority to supporting the development of the value chains of exported agro-forestry-fishery products; boosting measures to encourage investment in processing and preservation in association with the consumption market; assisting enterprises in establishing and protecting their intellectual property rights in export markets ; and conducting activities to promote the image and brand of their products via media both within the country and abroad.
In fact, production is still a key decisive stage. According to Director of the Bac Giang provincial Agriculture and Rural Development. Duong Thanh Tung, the province will reorganise production based on its comparative advantages and focus on the development of high-quality products; developing businesses in agriculture as well as enhancing connections among farmers, state agencies, enterprises, banks, scientists and coordinators with the core of the linkage between farmers and enterprises.
In addition, support is needed for businesses to apply the Good Aquaculture Practices (GAP), traceability and an advanced quality management system in processing to strengthen the quality management of products in all stages, from farming to cultivation, transport, processing and exports.
In this regard, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Tran Quoc Khanh said that in order to support businesses to boost their exports, the MoIT will coordinate with the MoARD to develop a plan for negotiations on the market opening, remove trade barriers and settle international disputes. The ministries will host and cooperate with relevant agencies and enterprises to conduct research activities and market forecasts as well as assessing the competitiveness of the key agro-forestry-fishery products of Vietnam in the world market.