Seminar discusses expanding Vietnamese rice exports hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Long An (VNA) – A seminar on expanding Vietnamese rice exports took place in the Mekong Delta province of Long An on December 21 within the framework of the third Vietnamese rice festival.

Participants discussed market structures and measures to develop trademarks and affirm the position of Vietnamese rice on the international stage.

Tran Quoc Toan – deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Import-Export – said Vietnam is now the world’s third largest rice exporter, accounting for 15 percent of the global market share. Its rice has been shipped to 150 countries and territories worldwide. In the first 11 months of this year, total rice exports hit 5.64 million tonnes, worth 2.83 billion USD.

According to Toan, Vietnam is facing fierce competition from other exporters in terms of technological application. Meanwhile, importers are diversifying supplies and demanding higher quality.

He called for the restructuring of the rice sector, including building concentrated material zones, applying advanced technologies in manufacturing, expanding markets by stepping up bilateral and multilateral negotiations, and marketing and developing distribution networks abroad.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, Director of the Vietnam Institute for Economic Policy and Research under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi, said that although rice exports remain an important driving force of the sector, it is necessary to gear towards the domestic market too, adding that success in building trademarks at home will lay a solid foundation for Vietnamese rice to move abroad.

He suggested building a set of standards for rice processing and grinding, reducing the use of plant protection chemicals, encouraging land accumulation for large-scale rice farming, developing micro-finance and insurance mechanism for farmers, and rearranging the Vietnam Food Association to ensure the interests of farmers and businesses.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Van Canh said the locality has set the goal of having 20,000ha of rice with certified seedlings and safe farming process by 2020.–VNA