Vietnam's agricultural sector keeps close eye on changes of export markets amid COVID-19
Vietnam's agricultural export is facing difficulties because many countries have suspended customs clearance or intensified quarantine rules due to COVID-19.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has closely worked with businesses to update market changes and look for alternative outputs for farm produce.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first quarter of this year, Vietnam’s agriculture import-export value stood at US$15.3 billion, of which US$9 billion were from export.
In face of unpredictable developments of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Ministry intends to remove technical barriers and expand markets to countries in the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union, the US, and Brazil. The Ministry has also prepared for an increase of farm produce exports when the epidemic in China is over.
The provinces bordering China including Lang Son, Quang Ninh, Lao Cai, and Bac Giang have strengthened import and export activities at border crossings, accelerated administrative procedure reform, and arranged trucks at logistic parks and along highways to facilitate the flow of import-export goods.
Duong Thanh Tung, Director of Bac Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, urged businesses to adjust their export plans to avoid the congestion at border gates.
“The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will closely monitor the development of the disease to make prompt instructions helping businesses to increase their exports to China,” said Tung.
The Ministry has implemented many solutions to support the consumption of agricultural products. It has helped localities to restructure their crops, and contacted the Vietnamese Embassy in China to help businesses expand their markets when the epidemic is over.
Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said, “Businesses should closely follow the epidemic changes and prepare plans for production and trading for short, medium and long term. It’s necessary to encourage businesses to purchase farm produce, especially vegetables, fruits, and aquatic products to serve the domestic market.”
Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said while many countries are challenged by COVID-19, Vietnam has taken the initiative in food production to ensure food security and at the same time fulfill targets set for this year.
“If we make careful preparations, we can achieve the ‘dual goal’ of having sufficient essential goods to meet the demand of 100 million people and increasing exports. We need to accelerate production and overcome difficulties caused by climate change and the epidemic to ensure sufficient food supply for the domestic market in any circumstances,” he noted.
The global COVID-19 pandemic is hurting economies around the world, but it also gives an opportunity for the Vietnamese agricultural sector to review its weaknesses and find new prompt development strategies.
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