Ministry points out reasons behind goods congestions at border gates hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai chairs the press conference (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – Unmatched production plans and the market demand for agricultural products are among the reasons behind recent difficulties in exports, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai has said.

Addressing a press briefing held by the ministry on January 12, the Deputy Minister said that currently, only nine kinds of fruits from Vietnam are allowed to be exported to China through official channels, while the remainders are entering the market through border gates.

Unstable markets

According to the Deputy Minister, the awareness and investment by farmers have yet to meet the market requirements.

Only when large enterprises join, form production-sale chains and show close coordination with farmers to ensure that products meet the standards of export markets, will there be no need for farm produce “rescue,” he stressed.

Nguyen Cam Trang, Vice Director of the MoIT’s Agency for Foreign Trade, also pointed out several reasons, including the closure of Chinese border gates and strict delivery procedures by the Chinese side, as part of efforts to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, the production of farm produce in Vietnam has yet to follow the signals and demand in the targeted markets, she said.

Trang said that the quality and packaging of the products have yet to meet the market requirements, while their traceability remains limited, making it difficult for them to be exported through official channels.

Production in line with market signals

Amid the congestion at border gates, ministries, sectors and localities are working hard together to deal with the problem.

The MoIT has sent working groups to border provinces to discuss urgent solutions with the Chinese side to cope with the congestion.

So far, positive progress has been made and customs clearance activities in many border gates have been resumed, she said, adding that the administration of Guangxi province has allowed the reopening of Dongxing border gate, which connects with Mong Cai border gate in Quang Ninh province, and Vietnamese dragon fruits have been shipped through the border gate in Lao Cai province.

However, Trang said that it is important for businesses and farmers to concentrate on improving the quality of agricultural products and diversifying export markets, helping the products to enter the Chinese and other markets with which Vietnam has signed free trade agreements.

She advised localities to focus on designing plans to connect supply-demand sources right from the beginning of each crop.

Trang cited good examples of Bac Giang and Hai Duong, the two localities that showed strong performance in fostering links with traders and successfully sold their “thieu” litchi smoothly.

She said that the MoIT will coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development during the negotiations for more kinds of Vietnamese fruits to be exported to China and reduce the proportion of fruits subject to quarantine.  

Trang underlined that the ministry has also worked with the Ministry of Transport to make proposals to the Prime Minister to deal with difficulties caused by the congestion at Cat Lai port, caused by social distancing measures to prevent COVID-19.

She also asked the Vietnam Logistics Association and Vietnam Seaports Association to seek ways to reduce warehouse costs for businesses when transporting goods through marine shipping.

Ministry points out reasons behind goods congestions at border gates hinh anh 2Nguyen Cam Trang, Vice Director of the Agency for Foreign Trade, addresses the press conference (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Le Viet Nga, Vice Director of the MoIT’s Domestic Market, said that as soon as congestion at border gates began, the Minister of Industry and Trade issued a directive to strengthen support for the domestic sale of farm produce, reducing pressure on exports amid COVID-19, resulting in the stable sales of many agricultural products.

Nga added that the MoIT's proposal on the renovation of selling methods was approved last February, which included many measures to create a breakthrough in the work./.