The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho will accelerate exports of eight major products in a bid to generate 1.45 billion USD in export revenue this year, according to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade.

The eight products in question are rice, aquatic products, processed agricultural goods, textiles and garments, pharmaceuticals, leathers, fine arts and handicrafts, with rice, aquatic products, and textiles and garments as the largest commodities.

To boost rice shipments, Can Tho plans to help businesses apply modern processing and packaging line technologies to improve rice quality and gain access to strict markets like the EU, Japan, and North America.

It will revamp processing firm operations and re-organise the rice purchasing, processing and preserving system. It will encourage companies to buy at least 700,000 tonnes of rice produced by local farmers and source rice from neighbouring provinces with the ultimate aim to export 850,000 tonnes in 2015, the department said.

The city will simultaneously work to tighten control over aquatic product quality, enhance trademark development, work directly with foreign partners without intermediaries, and expand production scale to minimise costs and meet foreign demand.

High-quality product manufacturing will be strengthened with additional focus on processing shrimp, especially global favourites black tiger shrimp, frozen fish, and instant packaged mollusc.

Assistance will also be provided for seafood processors in training personnel, improving communication skills in foreign trade relations, and expanding partnerships with firms in Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Belgium, the US, Australia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

The department added that Can Tho is now striving to raise the localisation rate of its apparel products by 5 percent to 55 percent, modernise the sector, and develop human resources both quantitatively and qualitatively, boosting competitiveness and integration capacity.

It will divide its markets into ‘strict’, including the EU and the US, and ‘less strict’ like the Republic of Korea, Angola, and India, to determine relevant product designs.

Promotional activities will be stepped up in Vietnam and internationally with the aim to sell 8 million apparel items in traditional markets such as the EU, the US, the Republic of Korea, and Japan, and 1 million items in new markets like India, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the Middle East.

In the first two months of 2015, the city earned 147 million USD in exports, down 5.8 percent annually, with several exports recording sharp revenue decreases such as handicrafts (down 64.7 percent), rice (13.2 percent), and seafood (11.2 percent).-VNA