A worker carries a rice sack at a warehouse of the Hau Giang Food Joint Stock Company (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The Ministry of Industry and Trade is drafting a decree to remove bottlenecks for rice export businesses, especially small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The decree, replacing Decree 109/2010/ND-CP on rice export and business is expected to take effect from January 1, 2018, after which businesses will enjoy free trade of rice without quantitative restrictions.

In early June 2017, the ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on rice trading with Bangladesh, which is valid until 2022.

Under the MoU, Vietnam will export one million tonnes of rice to Bangladesh annually.

This offers a huge opportunity for Vietnam to boost exports of this key staple, build a rice brand and connect with farmers.

The Vietnam Food Association authorised the Vietnam Northern Food Corporation and the Southern Food Corporation to export the rice as under Decree 109.

Director General of Trung An Co. Ltd. in the Mekong Delta province of Can Tho Pham Thai Binh said some articles in the old decree hindered the development of rice export firms.

The involvement of the Government in seeking contracts is good for Vietnamese agriculture, but all businesses should be able to join this activity to promote trade in foreign markets.

Vo Minh Khai, Director General of Vien Phu Organic – Healthy Food Company from the southernmost province of Ca Mai said revising the old decree will create a level playing-field for small rice export firms to proactively access the global market.

The new document will also enable businesses to invest in producing high-quality products to compete with rivals from Thailand and Cambodia, he added.

Vietnam has exported rice for nearly 30 years, with the first amount of 1.4 million tonnes in 1989, grossing 310 million USD in turnover.

The country earned 2.1 billion USD from selling 4.9 million tonnes of rice abroad in 2016.-VNA