The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) today [January 13] held a ceremony marking the export of Vietnam’s first batch of rice in 2021 at Trung An Hi-tech Farming Company, located in the southern city of Can Tho.
|Overview of the ceremony.|
This special shipment with volume of 1,600 tons will be delivered to Malaysia and Singapore, those among Vietnam’s top 10 rice buyers.
Deputy Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said the event marks an important milestone as Vietnam has just recently signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on November 15, 2020, consisting of 10 ASEAN members and five countries having a free trade deal with the bloc (China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand).
“Over the years, Vietnam has been pushing for a comprehensive global economic integration, which have resulted in the signing of 15 free trade agreements, and two under negotiation,” noted Mr. Doanh.
“Among those, the commitment for tariff reduction in the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and RCEP are of the highest level among next-generation trade deals that Vietnam is a part of,” he said.
According to Mr. Doanh, the signing of these trade deals will provide opportunities for Vietnam’s agricultural products, including rice, to further penetrate international markets.
To ensure the realization of Vietnam’s commitments in FTAs, the MARD has revised a number of legal documents to ensure their compatibility with international practice, including in agricultural trade.
Mr. Doanh referred to Decree No.103/2020/ND-CP dated September 4, 2020 on certification of fragrant rice varieties exported to the EU, or Vietnam’s standards for white rice, fragrant rice and glutinous rice.
“The MARD fully supports enterprises and provinces/cities in forming production chains to ensure safe and high-quality products,” he added, requesting local firms to continue focusing on organic farm produce with high economic value and environmental-friendly.
“There should be a higher level of processing to create greater added value and grasp opportunities from preferential treatment in FTAs for agricultural products,” Mr. Doanh concluded.
General Director of Trung An Hi-tech Farming Pham Thai Binh said many local rice producers have recently signed major contracts with not only their traditional partners in Asia, but also in Europe.
“This is a welcome news and signal a good year for Vietnam’s rice exports,” Mr. Binh suggested.
Secretary General of Vietnam Food Association (VFA) Nguyen Trung Kien said despite a lower export volume, 2020 marked a successful year for Vietnamese rice with a surge in value, showcasing the rise of Vietnamese rice on the global stage.
In 2020, Vietnam exported 6.15 million tons of rice worth US$3 billion, down 3.5% year-on-year in volume but up 9.3% in value.