Vietnam’s seafood sector has set a target of earning 5 billion USD from exports in 2011.

To reach this target, the Seafood Development Planning and Consultancy Centre (SDPCC) has recently released a scenario for the country’s seafood development over the next ten years, under which, the annual seafood output will reach 1.62 million tonnes and the turnover of exports will hit 6.5 billion USD during the 2011-2015 period.

Output is expected to be 1.9 million tonnes with a revenue of 8 billion USD over the following five years.

According to the Director of the centre Tran Thi Dung, the seafood sector needs to invest in upgrading processing factories and building cold storages as soon as possible while maintaining exports to major markets such as the US , Japan and the EU.

The State should also arrange preferential loans for seafood businesses, she added.

Many seafood experts say that to boost sustainable development, the sector should build processing factories according to individual economic regions, ensuring that they are situated near the sources of raw materials and industrial centres.

The sector also needs to prevent excessive and ineffective breeding which affects prestige and productivity and establish a reputable trademark in the world market, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat.

In 2010, Vietnam ’s seafood sector faced a lot of difficulties and challenges as key products like tra fish, shrimp and tilapia were named on the Red List of six European countries.

Vietnamese seafood products also faced a shortage of materials and workers as well as severe competition from regional markets such as India , Thailand , Indonesia and the Philippines .

At present, Vietnamese seafood is available in 160 countries and territories, making the country the sixth largest seafood exporter in the world./.