A rice warehouse in Kien Giang province (Photo: VNA)

Kien Giang (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang earned over 275 million USD in export revenue in the first half of the year, lagging behind the set target, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

Although the export value is 1.45 percent higher than the same time last year, it only accounted for 40.4 percent of the yearly plan, said director of the department Ngo Cong Tuoc.

He pointed out falling demand for rice and leather shoes were the main reasons.

Prices of rice slid 84 USD per tonne on average as compared to first half of 2018, and there were only three out of seven rice export firms operating, with major markets of China, Ghana and the Philippines.

Rice shipments to the Chinese market alone tapered off 70 percent, and merely one third of the local firms overcome technical barriers like warehouses and milling capacity.

Meanwhile, leather shoes firms’ exports made up over 32 percent of the target as most of the orders relied on parent companies.

Other factors that affected export activities included unstable seafood material supply, weak management capacity of local companies, and high standards in food safety and environmental protection of the importers. Furthermore, key exports have not given brand names, and value chain has not been well developed in the province.

The department said that the province is striving to gain 405 million USD from exports in the second half, the only way that helps it achieve the target of 680 million USD for the whole year.

Competent authorities have kept a close watch on local firms’ business activities, and helped them remove bottlenecks in capital, material sources, labourers, and technology investment.

To take full advantage of the freshly-inked EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection, the province will pay heed to trade promotion campaigns to expand new markets and consolidate traditional ones.-VNA