Workers take care of orchids farmed for export (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Some lawmakers have underscored major benefits to be gained from fruit, vegetables and flower export and logistics services, asking for more attention to boost the development of these sectors.

They continued to discuss the country’s socio-economic and State budget situation on November 1, part of the ongoing fourth session of the 14th National Assembly in Hanoi.

Deputy Nguyen Thien Nhan of Ho Chi Minh City said in 2016, Vietnam exported 2.4 billion USD worth of crude oil and 2.45 billion USD worth of fruit, vegetables and flower. This was the first time fruit, vegetables and flower exports had surpassed crude oil shipments. Meanwhile, crude oil exports were 31 times higher than fruit and vegetables exports in 2005, 7.3 billion USD compared to 235 million USD.

He analysed that fruit, vegetables and flower exports have grown by about 30 percent each year and are forecast to hit 9-10 billion USD in 2022. However, export turnover of crude oil has fallen by 900 million USD in five years and that of aquatic products has risen by just 5 percent annually.

Fruit, vegetables and flower haven’t been listed among the county’s key agricultural export commodities which have included rice, catfish, and products from mushroom, coffee, brackish water shrimp and ginseng.

Nhan, who is also Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, proposed the Government name fruit, vegetables and flower key export items.

He said farming these products is a solution to reducing poverty in rural and mountainous areas, adding that each locality should cultivate typical fruit, vegetables and flower products that suit local conditions.

Regarding logistics services, deputy Nguyen Quoc Binh of Hanoi cited data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Business Logistics Association that the value of Vietnam’s logistics market is equivalent to 21-25 percent of the country’s GDP.

Logistics services are an important economic sector that is able to fare well in the country. This industry is a direct solution to helping boost GDP growth and the economy’s competitiveness, he noted.

He pointed out a fact that the logistics industry’s contribution to the economy remains modest, only about 2-3 percent of total GDP. Logistics are considered a lucrative but still untapped sector in Vietnam because around 80 percent of the logistics market is being run by foreign businesses.

While logistics costs are estimated at 7-15 percent of GDP in developed countries, they account for 21-25 percent of Vietnam’s GDP, directly hampering economic growth. Therefore, it is important to cut down logistics costs and improve logistics services, he stressed.

Highlighting advantages for logistics services development, Binh said Vietnam is located in the centre of the Asian-Pacific region in terms of maritime and air transportation. It is a gateway to the East Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, for three of the four economic corridors in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. It also owns many locations favourable for building deep-water seaports and international transit airports.

The deputy said logistics can become a spearhead sector in Vietnam’s economy, and the country should work harder to optimise existing potential and advantages.-VNA