Product quality and market expansion are vital to boost sales of agro-forestry-fishery products, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh told the Vietnam Economic News.

*We have recently talked much of the agro-forestry-fishery exporters’ difficulties. Can you tell us what measures has the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) taken to remove those difficulties?

Despite growth in the export volumes of agro-forestry-fishery products in early months of this year, the export revenue still fell. The main reason was low demand of these products caused by sluggish world economy.

To support agro-forestry-fishery exports, MOIT has focused on several solutions including restructuring production to bring higher value-added to products; applying technological innovation to enhance competitiveness of enterprises; training human resources, accessing low-interest loans to serve production and export; diversifying export markets and further strengthening trade promotion activities overseas.

In addition, MOIT also actively coordinated with related agencies to remove difficulties for agro-forestry-fishery exports. For example, in early June of this year, MOIT signed with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development a joint-action programme to boost exports of agro-forestry-fishery products.

*The poor quality is seen as one of the barriers that has impact on the agro-forestry-fishery exports. How will this problem be solved in the coming time?

There was a question why Vietnam had to depend on some certain markets rather than diversifying its export markets. This is partly because the product quality is not 100 percent guaranteed. In the current integration process, we must care about the product quality issue. This is also a vital factor for the integration and development of the economy.

*The lesson from recent litchi consumption showed that we should promote domestic market for consumption of agro-forestry-fishery products. So how should we develop the distribution network in the domestic market?

I have to admit that the domestic market has great potential with 90 million people. Therefore, along with boosting exports, the MOIT is also looking for solutions to promote distribution network in the domestic market especially in rural and remote areas. According to MOIT, in the first half of 2014, the export revenue of agro-forestry-fishery products was estimated at 10.78 billion USD, a 13.6 percent increase year on year and accounting for 15.2 percent of the total export revenue.-VNA