Earlier on January 5, a ceremony took place at the Hau River Industrial Park in Chau Thanh district, Hau Giang province to announce the export of its first batch of shrimp in 2021. The raw shrimp exports were produced by Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood JSC, including 160 tonnes of frozen shrimp exported to the US, Europe and Japan.
On January 8, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Seafood Processing Import - Export JSC (Baseafood) also exported its first eight containers of seafood worth approximately US$700,000 to Canada, the US, Australia and others.
These are the first positive signs in the areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries of in 2021.
The export of rice at high prices to Singapore and Malaysia is an important event for Vietnam as Malaysia and Singapore are two of the 10 largest importers of Vietnamese rice.
This is also a significant event with Vietnam having signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with nine ASEAN member countries and five other countries by association.
The export of first batches of seafood products is also a favourable step for the whole fishery sector in 2021, in addition to many opportunities arising from the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
Despite being severely affected by natural disasters and epidemics in 2020, Vietnam’s agricultural sector still attained remarkable achievements with a growth rate of 2.65%.
In particular, the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors posted total export revenue of US$41.25 billion – a record figure in the context of strong fluctuations in the global trade of agricultural products due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agricultural sector is forecast to face numerous challenges in 2021 because the ongoing pandemic will continue to have a negative impact on various areas. In addition, climate change is becoming more extreme, requiring the agricultural sector to respond promptly and develop a long-term strategy to promote production and exports.
Thus, the positive signals at the beginning of the year have created hope for the agricultural industry to successfully fulfill its target of reaching export turnover of US$42 billion in 2021.
Each sector will have their own specific tasks but the key tasks should be investment in resources, technological innovation, and the application of scientific and technical advances to production to help create high quality products with traceability of origin and the meeting of VietGAP and GlobalGap standards.
To take advantage of the opportunities from free trade agreements that have been signed, the agricultural sector needs to study carefully the technical barriers of each country and region regarding product quality standards, labour factors, the environment and other aspects to respond to these requirements in the fastest and most effective manner.