Vietnam has called on natural rubber producing countries to work together in research and development, share market information and effectively manage natural rubber supplies and reserves.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ho Xuan Hung made the statement at the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC)’s annual rubber conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 4.

He went on to say that in June 2009, the Vietnamese Government adopted a plan to develop rubber trees through 2015 with a vision for 2020 on 800,000 ha of land through expanding rubber tree acreage in new areas like the north-western and central coast regions and encouraging economic sectors to involve in rubber tree development.

Rubber products contributed almost 1 billion USD to Vietnam ’s total export revenue in 2009 despite price reductions due to the global economic crisis, the deputy minister said.

However, he said, the Vietnamese Government is interested in solutions to stabilise natural rubber prices as exporters may face falling demand and other obstacles in the next several years.

Apart from making active preparations to be admitted to the International Tripartite Rubber Council, Vietnam will let domestic businesses, especially the Rubber Industry Group, buy between 100,000-200,000 tonnes of rubber for stockpiling when the price goes down, he noted.

Vietnam plans to focus on developing a number of industrial products from latex in the coming decade and is willing to cooperate with other ANRPC members in manufacturing such products.

The nation is also interested in building plants to manufacture other industrial products from natural rubber materials through joint ventures or cooperation. The Vietnamese Government offers a number of land lease and preferential tax policies to attract foreign investment in this field.

The ANRPC conference made an overall assessment of the current state of world rubber supply and demand as well as the development of the natural rubber industry. It also discussed measures to overcome difficulties due to the global economic downturn and create new opportunities for the industry to develop./.