The agricultural industry has promoted trade successfully despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, helping the country gain an impressive trade surplus of US$3.9 billion in the first seven months.
Among trade deals made by the agriculture industry in the period, the most notable was Vietnam’s lychee exports to Japan. With efforts in negotiation and commitments to comply with Japan’s regulations, Japan authorised Vietnam to supervise and approve Vietnamese quarantine treatment establishments.
According to Hoang Trung, director of the ministry’s Plant Protection Department, the department had to continuously work online with Japanese authorities, even implementing online inspection, which created favourable conditions for enterprises to successfully export lychees in 2021.
The department also negotiated with Malaysia on pesticide residues to restore chili exports. The department also broadly solved problems related to the export of fresh fruits and promoted the opening of Vietnam's agricultural products market to China, especially for lychees and sweet potatoes.
The ministry’s Department of Animal Health (DAH) also supported more factories to export milk and dairy products, feathers, fishmeal and fish oil to China. It has also completed procedures on exporting processed chicken products to Russia and has so far gained approval from the country.
In addition, the DAH has also exchanged and negotiated with countries such as the United States, China and Russia to open the market for animal products.
According to Nguyen Quoc Toan, director of the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development, relevant agencies have negotiated to open more export markets and remove technical barriers to promote the export of agricultural, forestry and seafood produce.
The agencies have also coordinated and exchanged with Vietnamese embassies and trade offices in other countries to have timely analysts and forecasts on agricultural product consumption in key export markets such as Japan, South Korea, the US, the EU and China during and after the pandemic.
Agencies have focused on solving problems on food safety barriers to ease agricultural exports. In the first half, they successfully organised online inspections, which helped 13 enterprises export catfish to the US besides adding 18 and 13 seafood processing establishments for export to Russia and South Korea respectively.
According to Toan, the industry will continue to negotiate to remove importing countries’ trade and technical barriers imposed on Vietnamese agricultural produce.
It will also expand the agricultural product market to economies with complementary product structures with Vietnam, such as Japan, South Korea, India, the European Union or the Middle East, as well as introducing suitable products in potential markets such as Russia, the Middle East, Africa and ASEAN.
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