NA deputies questioned on agriculture, commercial issues

November 07, 2019 - 08:23

NA deputies yesterday asked about measures to remove the European Commission (EC)’s ‘yellow card’ warning on Việt Nam’s fisheries sector during the question & answer (Q&A) session to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường, as part of the 14th NA’s ongoing eighth session.


A fisherwoman in the central coastal province of Bình Định checks tuna before selling it to a local company at Tam Quan Bắc Fishing Port in Hoài Nhơn District. The province has more than 3,990 fishing vessels with a capacity of more than 90-CV for offshore fishing. In the first nine months this year, the total production of fishery products exceeded 200,700 tonnes, up 4.5 per cent over the same period last year, of which tuna output reached 9,100 tonnes. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh

HÀ NỘI — NA deputies yesterday asked about measures to remove the European Commission (EC)’s ‘yellow card’ warning on Việt Nam’s fisheries sector during the question & answer (Q&A) session to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường, as part of the 14th NA’s ongoing eighth session.
According to Cường, in October 2017, the EC issued the warning to Việt Nam due to the country’s failure to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Việt Nam has focused on promoting efforts and implementing action programmes to remove the “yellow card”, he stressed. 
Cường said after two years implementing many measures, Việt Nam is recognised as no longer violating illegal fishing acts in Pacific and island nations. 

On November 6, the Eurpepan Union (EU) sent a delegation to Việt Nam for the second inspection of the implementation of the EC's recommendations to combat IUU violations. 

Regarding ways to attract businesses to invest in agricultural production and rural development from a question posed by Deputy Phạm Thu Trang from Quảng Ngãi Province, the minister said co-operation between businesses and farmers played a very important role in large-scale production.

“For the last three years, the number of enterprises investing in agricultural production has more than tripled, from 3,000 to over 11,000 across the country from producing to processing and consumption,” Cường told the NA.

“Many large-scale businesses have been attracted by the increasing value of agricultural production,” the minister said.

However, the number of businesses investing in the field was still behind expectations, he admitted.

The ministry planned to develop measures to improve the situation, Cường said.

Deputy Nguyễn Ngọc Phương from the central province of Quảng Bình asked about the impacts of climate change on rural development.

The minister said that over the last ten years, the new rural development programme had made progress but had yet to meet the requirements of creating an environment for large-scale and co-operative production, re-structuring and advanced technological applications.

These issues would be reviewed in order to find answers, he said.

Referring to the impacts of climate change, Cường said that Việt Nam was one of the countries most vulnerable to the global phenomenon.

“In the past three years, mountainous regions have been hit by flash floods and landslides,” he said, so sustainable investment to respond to climate change was a priority.

The minister said the country had focused on restructuring the agricultural sector. 

“With total cultivation covering 10 million hectares, the country had produced 4.5 million tonnes of food, 5.5 million tonnes of meat and 8 million tonnes of fish,” he said.

However, the biggest shortcoming was processing and consumption.

“If this is not fixed, the problem of ‘bumper crops and low prices’ will continue,” he said.

Pepper was an example. In recent years, in Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) provinces, crops have been overproduced.

Việt Nam produces 350,000 tonnes of pepper every year, accounting for 60 per cent of the global output.

"That was too much," Cường said, adding that in the future, solutions were needed to re-organise production in terms of production chains and enhancement of processing and consumption.

Commercial issues

Minister of Industry and Commerce during his Q&A session at the National Assembly yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn

In the afternoon, Minister of Industry and Commerce Trần Tuấn Anh answered questions raised by deputies.

Opening the session, Bắc Cạn Province Deputy Phương Thị Thanh asked the minister to explain the slow progress of a power project and measures to improve the situation.

Minister Trần Tuấn Anh admitted the slow progress.

The project was initially costed at VNĐ30 trillion (US$1.3 billion) funded by the World Bank and the European Union. In late 2017 and early 2018, that money dried up due to the high rate of public debt in the country, Anh said.

About 18 per cent of the capital had been disbursed so far, he said.

To resolve the issue, the minister they were looking for other sources of funding.

Deputy Phạm Văn Hoà from Đồng Tháp Province raised concerns about the manufacturing of fake and low-quality products, especially those made in China and disguised as Vietnamese goods.

On the other hand, Việt Nam’s products exported to the EU and US markets were in danger of being charged with origin fraud and tax evasion, the deputy said.

“Where does the responsibility lie?” the deputy asked.

According to the minister, the Government had big plans for trade defence and origin fraud control, as well as illegal export activities in Việt Nam.

“We have informed the Ministry of Finance and customs officials about the risks,” Anh said.

Bilateral and multilateral trade agreements had helped increase competitiveness, but some products were being sneaked under the radar to avoid tariff barriers.

Products such as aluminum, electronic devices, textiles and garments, footwear and wooden products were all under surveillance, he said.

Responding to Hoà’s question about the ministry’s responsibility to censor products from China featuring the illegal nine-dash line in the East Sea, the minister said the ministry had decided to confiscate a luxury car installed with a GPS displaying the line.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Việt Nam Customs, Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and Ministry of Information and Telecommunications would review the incident and prevent anything else from happening in the future, he said.

The minister will continue his Q&A session today. — VNS