Processing farm produce for exports (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Optimising advantages in the markets signing free trade agreements (FTA) with Vietnam is expected to contribute to boosting Vietnam’s export revenue.

In the first five months of this year, agro-forestry-fishery exports hit 15.6 billion USD, a rise of 9.9 percent over the same period last year. Four leading markets of the products were the US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

But many experts worried that the dependence on some major markets will pose high risks to not only agro-forestry-fishery products but others produced by Vietnam when fluctuation happens in these markets.

In the January-May period, Vietnam earned 1.45 billion USD from rice export, up 13.9 percent in volume and 40 percent in value over the same time in 2017. The top market of Vietnamese rice was China.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Nam, President of the Vietnam Food Association, opportunities for Vietnam’s rice export are increasing as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has been signed, creating favourable conditions for the country to sell rice in CPTPP member countries.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, a rise was recorded in export revenue to markets having FTAs with Vietnam in 2017 and it was maintained in the first half of this year.

In the first five months of 2018, exports to the US reached 17.4 billion USD, a rise of 9 percent year on year.

Although the FTA between Vietnam and the EU has yet to take effective, exports to the market still reached 16.9 billion USD, an increase of 13.6 percent.

In 2017, Vietnam’s exports to the ASEAN countries also rose 34.3 percent to 21.7 billion USD, while export revenue in the Chinese market was up 60.6 percent to 53.3 billion USD. Strong growth was also seen in the Japanese market with 14.2 percent, the Republic of Korea with 31.1 percent, Australia, 14.3 percent, Chile, 26.3 percent, and Russia, 35.7 percent.

The Vietnam Food Association predicted that rice export volume may fetch 6 million tonnes in 2018 with value of about 3 billion USD due to an increase in exports of high-quality rice.

After earning 8.3 billion USD from exporting aquatic products in 2017, Vietnam expects 3-5 percent growth in revenue in 2018 thanks to positive signals stemming from the Chinese, Japanese and RoK markets.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that over the past years, export activities have been on right track with the expansion of many big markets, the reduction in export of unprocessed products and increase in export of processed ones.

As many as 28 sectors enjoyed export revenues of over 1 billion USD, while revenue of over 5 billion USD was recorded in seven markets and 10 billion USD in four markets.

However, the diversification of markets for some agricultural and aquatic products is still limited, while the dependence on Asian markets remains strong. Particularly, some products like cassava, rubber and dragon fruits have still been sold in only one market.

Minister Anh stressed that in the coming time, it is necessary to reduce the dependence on major markets and remove obstacles for enterprises in terms of tariff technical barrier, food safety requirements, and origin, while strengthening production-market connection, and setting up the value chains.-VNA