30.06.2020, 10:24

Seminar on finding solutions to promote export agricultural products and seafood: well-prepared for Vietnam’s agricultural product to conquer demandin

Seminar on finding solutions to promote export agricultural products and seafood: well-prepared for Vietnam’s agricultural product to conquer demandin
Deputy Director General Mai Xuan Thanh made a speech at the seminar. Photo: N.Huế

Find solutions for Vietnamese agricultural products to go beyond

Speaking at the opening seminar, Editor-in-chief of Customs News Vu Thi Anh Hong said that according to the statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, by the end of June, Vietnam’s agricultural products were present in more than 180 countries and territories, including many export items of more than $1 billion, such as coffee, rice, vegetables, shrimp and shutchi catfish. Exports not only stimulate economic growth and increase national income but also help to create jobs and stable incomes for millions of workers.

In 2020, Vietnam’s agricultural sector set an objective to reach more than $43 billion of export turnover. By the end of May, the export turnover of agriculture, forestry and seafood products hit $15.49 billion, down 4.1% over the same period in 2019.

Hong said the reason for this decline was that Vietnamese exported agricultural were harmed by the Covid-19 pandemic spreading in consuming countries such as China, the US, Japan and European nations from the beginning of the year. Many orders were canceled or delayed, causing a huge impact on production and trade activities of Vietnamese agricultural enterprises.

In terms of subjective aspects, besides the results achieved in recent years, there are still a number of shortcomings in Vietnam’s agricultural and seafood, such as the export of raw products and border trade; export turnover to high-end markets still being small and the rearing and harvesting process does not meet the standard.

Editor-in-chief of Customs News Vu Thi Anh Hong made a speech for openning the seminar. Photo: N.Huế

According to Hong, to overcome difficulties, as well as to boost exports of agricultural products to traditional trading partners of Vietnam and countries of the EU when the EVFTA comes into effect, in this seminar, speakers, associations and enterprises would identify the current situation of the market, procedures and policies. From that, suggesting constitutional plans and existing solutions to promote Vietnam’s agricultural products and seafood exports to dominate the world market, achieving objectives set by the agricultural sector in 2020.

Important turning point for exporting agricultural products

At the seminar, Deputy Director General of Vietnam Customs Mai Xuan Thanh said that export activities of Vietnam’s agricultural products were at an important turning point when the new generation of free trade agreements took effect such as the CPTPP effect in early 2019 and the EVFTA from August 2020. If domestic enterprises could integrate and meet the increasing demands of markets, especially demanding markets, the role and position of Vietnamese agricultural enterprises would be confirmed. This would bring great value to an enterprise, but also ensure sustainable production for the agricultural industry.

Scene of the seminar.

The Deputy Director General also pointed out some issues from the Customs perspective when implementing the EVFTA. For Vietnam’s exports, as soon as the agreement comes into effect, the EU will eliminate import duties on about 85.6% of tariff lines, equal to 70.3% of Vietnam’s export turnover to the EU. After seven years from the date of entry into force of the agreement, the EU will eliminate import duties on 99.2% of tariff lines, equivalent to 99.7% of Vietnam’s export turnover. For the remaining 0.3% of export turnover, the EU will commit to give Vietnam a tariff quota with an import duty of 0% in the quota.

For export goods of EU, Vietnam committed to eliminating tariffs right after the agreement comes into effect with 48.5% of tariff lines (accounting for 64.5% of import turnover). Then, after seven years, 91.8% of tariff lines, equivalent to 97.1% of export turnover of EU will be exempt from import duty by Vietnam. After 10 years, the tariff elimination rate would be about 98.3% of tariff lines (accounting for 99.8% of import turnover). For about 1.7% of the remaining EU tariff lines, Vietnam will apply the roadmap to eliminate import duties longer than 10 years or apply tariff quotas in accordance with WTO commitments.

Vietnam and the EU also agreed on contents related to customs procedures, SPS, TBT, trade remedies, etc., creating a legal framework for the two sides to cooperate, facilitating exports and imports.

Deputy General Director Mai Xuan Thanh also said that in recent years, the Customs sector has improved administrative reform and customs modernisation to facilitate trade and import and export activities, including agricultural products.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs will continue to implement solutions of administrative reform, supporting enterprises in imports and exports. Most recently, the Director General of Vietnam Customs signed Decision No. 1616/QD-TCHQ promulgating an Action Plan to accelerate administrative reforms, supporting businesses importing and exporting goods during and after the pandemic. The General Department of Vietnam Customs will create favourable conditions for businesses when carrying out administrative procedures related to the customs field, take the initiative and implement solutions to remove difficulties and problems for organisations and individuals in carrying out customs procedures based on ensuring publicity, transparency and objectivity in accordance with the law.

“The seminar of finding solutions to promote export of agricultural products and seafoods of Vietnam” was also one of the activities to support enterprises of the Customs sector. The General Department of Vietnam Customs assigned Customs News to organise a seminar to support businesses to overcome difficulties when the Covid-19 pandemic was still occurring in many countries, and at the same time preparing “the mind” to conquer the EU market with 500 million people when EVFTA took effect,” the Deputy Director General emphasised.

By Hiền – Huế/Thanh Thuy