The Ministry of Industry and Trade held a conference in Hanoi on May 4 to discuss a number of possible solutions for difficulties faced by the agro-fishery sector.

According to a report from the Ministry, the sector’s export revenue totalled 8.5 billion USD within the first four months, a 5.1 percent reduction from 2014.

During the conference, agro-fishery associations complained about the inadequate market information feedback from overseas representative offices which negatively affected the operation of domestic enterprises.

Vice General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers Nguyen Hoai Nam proposed that trade promotion, whose public budget has shrunk, receive a boost through improved methods.

The sector needs to become a national priority during negotiation rounds for trade pacts between Vietnam and other countries across the world, he said.

Agreeing with Nam, General Secretary of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association Nguyen Viet Vinh suggested increasing international visits and market research surveys of business delegations supported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Taking the participants’ comments into account, Deputy Minister Tran Tuan Anh confirmed his agency will focus on seeking new markets and consolidating the consultation role of domestic businesses in several trade negotiations.

The Ministry will assess the competitiveness of local firms and consider adjusting production costs, he noted, saying the agency will work with the Ministry of Finance to devise related incentives.-VNA