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PM urges to curb unofficial trade routes to China
Hai Yen 12:10, 2021/12/30
He said Vietnam’s farm produces still relies on certain markets and lacks national brands of global reach.

In order to address the current congestion at the Vietnam-China border checkpoints, there should be a greater push for official trade activities between the two countries with high-quality products.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed the view at a year-end meeting held on December 29 by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD).

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the meeting. Photo: Nhat Bac 

This year, the agricultural sector contributed a significant part to Vietnam’s attainment of a record-high trade turnover of US$660 billion, but “key issues continue to remain and put the sector under great challenge for sustainable development,” he added.

Chinh referred to the fact that Vietnam’s farm produces still relies on certain markets and lacks national brands of global reach.

Referring to the current trade congestion with China, Chinh expected more substantial solutions to curb unofficial trade practices that are mainly conducted via people to people.

The prime minister said Government leaders have been working with the Chinese sides to facilitate cross-border trade, especially of farm produce and seasonal fruits, noting this is a key solution to ensure a bilateral balanced trade.

In the past years, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the MARD have been carrying out measures to boost trade relations with China, while authorities in border provinces/cities have been in frequent communication with their Chinese peers to adjust customs process in line with anti-Covid-19 measures, Chinh said.

Chinh called for a consistent set of measures to ensure greater efficiency in agricultural production, including planning, market study, mass production, science application, food safety, brand building, geographical indication, packaging, label, and capital access for farmers and businesses.

“There should be a joint effort from different parties to work on these issues, including international cooperation,” Chinh stated, adding Vietnam should gradually move away from unofficial trade practices and adopt a better approach with greater sustainability for the interests of the nation.

In this context, Chinh expected the agricultural sector to focus on diversifying markets and products, improving quality and competitiveness while taking advantage of 17 free trade agreements that Vietnam is a part of.

Chinh suggested the MARD sets a higher growth rate of at least 3% for next year to support overall economic growth.

“The agricultural sector should continue to aim for sustainable growth by improving labor productivity, which should be based on science-technology, innovation, and digital transformation,” Chinh said.

Chinh also stressed the necessity to boost the maritime economy, in which the short-term goal should be to convince the European Commission to lift the "yellow card" on Vietnam’s fishing industry.

A report from the MARD noted Vietnam’s agricultural sector posted a positive growth of 2.9% this year, with farm produce exports reaching a record high of $48.6 billion, up 15% year-on-year.

For 2022, the MARD sets the growth target of 2.8-2.9% and export turnover of $49 billion.

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