Agricultural products ahead of CPTPP hinh anh 1Thao Xuan Sung, Chairman of the Vietnam Farmers' Association (Photo: Vietnam+)

Hanoi (VNA) - In recent years, the export values of Vietnam’s agricultural and aquatic products have always stood at a high level. Many of these items have been on the world’s top list.

On the other hand, deeper integration into the world also poses many challenges for Vietnamese products when they must meet stricter requirements and standards.

These were also the main contents discussed at the workshop: "CPTPP: Opportunities and challenges for Vietnamese agricultural products" organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in collaboration with the Vietnam Farmers' Association and Rural Today Newspaper held in Hanoi on July 2.

Raw exports remain high

According to Chairman of the Vietnam Farmers' Association Thao Xuan Sung, over the past time, Vietnam's agriculture, farmers and rural areas have achieved significant improvements.

For example, Vietnam's total export turnover of agricultural and aquatic products reached 26.59 billion USD in 2018, accounting for 10.9% of the country’s total export turnover. Particularly in the first five months of 2019, Vietnam's agricultural products export reached 10.2 billion USD.

Worthy of note, many Vietnam’s exported agro products are topping the world, such as rice, pepper, cashew nuts, fruits and vegetables and have gained firm foothold in the world within the framework of FTAs.

However, many shortcomings of the agricultural sector have not been thoroughly solved. 

The most obvious thing is that the export rate of raw agricultural products is still high. Besides, the way of organizing agricultural production in the value chain is still sketchy, there are still a lot of barriers between domestic market and the world.

Thao Xuan Sung said that the reality is hindering the increase in the number of Vietnamese agricultural products shipped abroad, especially to big markets with demanding requirements.

Meanwhile, Director of the Asian and African Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hoang Oanh said that the group of agricultural and seafood products for export is always one of the most important groups in the overall Vietnam’s export structure.

The key export markets for agricultural and aquatic products in Vietnam include China, the US, EU, ASEAN, Japan and the Republic of Korea ... of which China is currently Vietnam’s number one export market, accounting for 27%.3%, while the US market, 13.8% and the EU, 15.4%.

Some major export markets for Vietnam's agricultural and aquatic products:

Agricultural products ahead of CPTPP hinh anh 2

However, traditional and easy markets such as China have started to tighten regulations for Vietnam's agricultural imports. Therefore, according to Oanh, in the first 5 months, exports of agricultural products and seafood to China reached only 2.78 billion USD, down 10.2% compared to the same period last year.

According to General Secretary of the Korean Business Association in Vietnam Hong Sun, although Vietnam has many advantages in many agro-forestry products, it failed to meet the Republic of Korean partners’ demands and requirements.

He said Korean partners wants Vietnam will continue to invest in processing technology to produce fresher and more sustainable products.

Taking competitive pressure as motivation

The Comprehensive Partnership and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) has officially come into force for Vietnam from January 14, 2019. It is a new generation, high-standard agreement with a wide scope of commitment and a deeper level of commitment than those when Vietnam joined the WTO and other FTAs that Vietnam is a signatory. 

Therefore, to take full advantage brought by the agreement, Deputy Director of Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade Pham Quynh Mai said that businesses need to change economic perspective in the new context, taking competition pressure the driving force for innovation and development.

According to Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, changing the model of agricultural production, especially the application of technology, will be a key factor to help the agricultural sector increase labor productivity and product quality while ensuring  high technical requirements according to the technical barrier of the markets in CPTPP./.