CAN THO — The Ministry of Industry and Trade has vowed to tighten control of foreign traders' purchases of agricultural products to limit possible violations and help farmers avoid being swindled.
"All violations on purchases of agricultural products will be strictly punished," said director of the ministry's Domestic Market Department Vo Van Quyen at a conference on the dissemination of legal documents related to activities of foreign traders in Viet Nam in the Mekong province of Can Tho yesterday.
He said that the ministry would actively co-ordinate with relevant sectors to enhance inspection and controls to punish violations as well as increase the dissemination of related laws to people.
The ministry would also speed up the building of legal frameworks relating to rights of imports and exports of foreign traders who do not have trade representatives in Viet Nam, together with a database of foreign-invested enterprises for post-checking, he added.
A report from Quyen's department shows that the purchases of foreign traders had helped to create outlets for certain agricultural products, especially those with high productivity and short cultivation times, as well as increase employment and income for locals.
However, the report also said that there were many cases of foreign traders visiting Viet Nam under a tourist visa and operating illegal purchases, which had affected raw-material zones and the processing industry, and resulted in a volatile market, loss in tax collection and economic sustainability.
Since May last year, there have been reports about foreign traders coming to Viet Nam and operating a series of mass purchases of agricultural products, resulting in complicated developments. It's reported that the purchases are made without consideration of quality, size and quantity. Many traders are said to have made deals with farmers in short time frames and at any cost, leading to losses for farmers.
The trade ministry viewed the increasing demand for Viet Nam's agricultural products as the reason for the phenomena and claimed that there was a group of domestic traders supporting the illegal purchases for private benefit. Some farmers had also sold products directly to foreign traders for short-term benefit without realising the illegality of the practice, the ministry's report said.
Also, the dissemination and education of related laws was said to be insufficient and unsuitable for different cases.
Speaking at the conference yesterday, some delegates from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region urged the ministry to increase the dissemination of the related laws to all people, especially farmers and traders, to improve their understanding of trade activity regulations and to help them consider the pros and cons of purchase contracts. — VNS