Reforms needed for sugar industry hinh anh 1A farmer harvests sugar cane (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - The sugar industry needs to restructure to compete with rivals in other countries such as Thailand, according to the Vietnam Sugar and Sugarcane Association. 

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City on May 25, Pham Hong Duong, deputy chairman of the association, said: “We need to review our internal factors to find ways to improve the sugar content in sugarcane, reduce production costs and eliminate intermediaries in the sugar distribution process.”

Sugar mills need to invest more in technologies to cut costs and improve quality, diversify their products, produce organic products or sugar products that are good for health, and invest in producing downstream products like syrups, ethanol and others, he said.

"Some large sugar companies have made positive changes by focusing on improving their productivity and investing more in developing more sugar varieties to improve their competitiveness," Duong said.

He said the association would call on the Government to make development plans for the sugar industry.

The association has signed memorandums of understanding with beverage companies to sell sugar and would continue to do so in future, he said.

When the market becomes steady, so would sugar production and sugarcane cultivation, he said. 

Cheap sugar smuggled in from Thailand has caused difficulties for Vietnam’s sugar and sugarcane industry in recent years.

"So the association would continue to urge relevant ministries and agencies to step up the fight against smuggling, establish technical barriers and inspect the quality of sugar in the market and tighten checks of imports ostensibly meant for re-export," Duong said.

Talking about the prospects for the sugar industry this year, he said global sugar prices have increased significantly compared to a year ago, which is a positive signal.-VNA