Agricultural exports set target of over US$42 billion by 2021
Closing a relatively successful year of 2020 in the context of difficulties, the entire agriculture, forestry and fishery sector is "ramping up" in 2021 towards a target of over US$42 billion.
Promoting deep processing and clearing markets are important factors to promote the export of agricultural and aquatic products in the future. Photo: N. Thanh
Impressive exports in 2020
According to information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, for the whole of 2020, the total export turnover of agriculture, forestry and fisheries will reach US$41.2 billion, up by 2.5% compared to 2019. The trade surplus of the whole industry is US$10.4 billion, up by 6.5% compared to 2019.
Looking at the above figures, Mr. Dao The Anh, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences was surprised, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son, Chairman of Vietnam Poultry Association, said that US$41.2 billion is an impressive number. The year is full of difficulties and challenges, but Vietnam's agricultural industry has two special highlights, which are the efforts in production in difficult times and a breakthrough in exports.
Mr. Hoang Van Tu, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Vietnam, said that Vietnam increased the export turnover of agriculture, forestry and fishery while many other countries decreased, even some countries decreased by 30%. This is because Vietnam has controlled the Covid-19 pandemic, and at the same time it has a chance to occupy a market gap left by other countries.
“Vietnam can dominate and expand the export of agricultural, forestry and aquatic products to the world market. According to the FAO, while the whole world is in crisis and the supply chain is broken, Vietnam still maintains the export of essential agricultural products to the world, especially to Africa, China, Philippines and poor countries,” Mr. Tu said.
Responding to the question of why Vietnamese agriculture can achieve such impressive export results, according to Mr. Son, the Government, ministries and sectors, especially the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has timely guidance on crops, especially to promote deep processing. In addition, Vietnam has done a good job to remove market difficulties. A typical example is that in 2020, honey exports reached nearly US$58.2 million, this is an impressive number, although the export turnover of the livestock industry decreased by more than 48%.
“Another important factor, in 2020, Vietnam signed the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). For the first time, we have exported shipments to the EU market that is difficult to enjoy preferential treatment in the EVFTA. The EVFTA has opened many export opportunities for Vietnam's agriculture, forestry and fishery sector,” Mr. Son said.
Get momentum to reach the export turnover of more than US$42 billion
In 2021, Vietnam's agricultural, forestry and fishery exports have many opportunities, especially when Vietnam is increasingly participating in FTAs.
However, the difficulties and challenges are not small. That is the impact of diseases on humans, crops and animals, especially the Covid-19 pandemic. African swine fever takes a long time to handle and affects production and export as well as domestic consumption; climate change is becoming more a challenge, while unpredictable natural disasters, drought and saltwater intrusion are forecast to continue to have negative impacts on production. All of these factors require the whole industry to have timely responses and a long-term strategy to develop production and minimize damage.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has determined that by 2021, the GDP growth rate of the whole sector will be 2.7-3%; the growth rate of production value of agriculture, forestry and fishery is 2.8 – 3.1%; the total export turnover of agriculture, forestry and fishery is over US$42 billion.
The whole industry will make efforts to make good use of FTAs, especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EVFTA to promote the export of key agricultural products; negotiate to open the formal market for fresh fruit, vegetables and aquatic products to markets with high quality requirements.
“Maintain and sustainably develop the Chinese market; expand agricultural markets to additional structured economies with Vietnam such as Japan, South Korea, India, the EU, the Middle East, and Argentina; choose to bring suitable products to potential markets such as Russia, the Middle East, Africa, and ASEAN is also an important solution in terms of export markets in the coming year,” the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said.
In order to be able to move towards the sustainable development of agricultural, forestry and fishery exports, according to Mr. Hoang Van Tu, one of the key points is product diversification and market diversification. Where there is a market, there will be consumers.
"In the long run, it is necessary to build the image and brand for Vietnamese agriculture towards sustainability, values and responsibility. If all agricultural products follow this direction, it will increasingly enhance the image and brand name on the world market,” Mr. Tu said.
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