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TPP, AEC seek increased growth in farming exports

Update: November, 30/2015 - 08:31

Workers process frozen shrimps in Minh Hai Seafood Joint Stock Company in southern Bac Lieu Province. — VNA/VNS Vu Sinh

HA NOI (VNS) — Exports of Vietnamese agricultural, forestry and fishery products would be aided by the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the enactment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

According to experts speaking at a seminar on the impact of free trade agreements on Viet Nam's agricultural sector, the TPP would bring advantages in abolishing import tariff barriers for agricultural, forestry and fishery products. Further, the agreements would expand exports by applying Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) for trading local farming, forestry and seafood products, Nguyen Thuy Linh from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's International Cooperation Department said at the November 27 seminar held by the Department of Processing for Agro, Forestry, Fisheries Products and Salt Production and the Institute for Policy and Strategy of Agricultural and Rural Development in Ha Noi.

Also, trade barriers are to be eliminated when TPP allows certification and self electronic-certification.

Linh said all enterprises among the 12 TPP member countries have the right of self-certification and must assume responsibility in assuring quality standards and that brand regulations are met.

If companies are found to commit violations, they will be barred from further trading. Therefore, enterprises must build trust in the business community and improve their quality standards and brands.

For trade of farming products between Viet Nam and ASEAN countries, Dang Kim Khoi from the Institute on Policy and Strategy of Agricultural and Rural Development said Viet Nam has had trade surpluses in farming exports with ASEAN countries. Many key export farming products have been shipped to AEC member countries, including rice, seafood, rubber, coffee, vegetable, fruits, wood and wooden products, and cashews.

Vietnamese rice has accounted for a large market share in large markets in the ASEAN region, including 77 per cent of the Philippines' market and 30 per cent of Malaysia's market.

For coffee exports, Viet Nam has made up 67 per cent of the Philippines' market and 73 per cent of Thailand's market.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese pepper has accounted for 45 per cent of the Singaporean market.

According to the institute, Malaysia, a TPP member, would, in the future, have more demands for rubber from Viet Nam so they might exploit advantages from TPP agreements for exporting to the US.

However, Khoi said Viet Nam would face many challenges in importing wooden materials from ASEAN countries, because most of the material had not been properly identified according to its origins. That would open opportunities for Viet Nam's enterprises in increasing imports of wooden material from Malaysia, a TPP member country.

Khoi noted that local enterprises and producers in the agricultural sector should improve their knowledge about integration and its impact on the domestic agricultural sector.

Further, Viet Nam should build standard systems meeting requirements from member countries of TPP, AEC and other free trade agreements to reduce poor quality imports.

The nation should also enhance trade and investment promotional activities between investors of TPP countries and Viet Nam to seek cooperation and set up global value chains for key Vietnamese farming products.

Viet Nam needs to promote the restructuring of its agricultural sector to increase its competitive ability, expand export markets and gain growth in production and business, Linh said. — VNS



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