The Government has agreed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to put sugar import within quota out for tender in 2016 instead of allocating it in order to ensure transparency.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked relevant ministries and organisations, including the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Finance, Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as Vietnam Sugarcane and Sugar Association to raise a tender mechanism for sugar import in line with commitments to the World Trade Organisation.

Sugar import management policies for the coming years will be laid based on the results of the pilot tendering of sugar import.

For the import quota of 81,000 tonnes of sugar this year, the allocation method will still be applied, but the amount of crude sugar to be imported for processing at domestic plants will be increased.

Vietnam Sugarcane and Sugar Association had, for many years, proposed to remove the allocation of sugar import quota as, according to the association, it causes unhealthy competition in the sector.

According to Nguyen Hai, the association's general secretary, the tender mechanism for sugar imports will create transparency and harmonise benefits for farmers, sugar plants, and companies using sugar as a raw material.

Hai proposed that only crude sugar should be allowed to be imported. He added that bidders should not just be sugar plants and companies using sugar for production but trade companies as well.

According to Agro-Forestry, Seafood Processing and Salt Industry Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the total sugar output of the 2014-15 crop was 1.4 million tonnes, 13 percent less than the previous crop.

As of mid-June, sugar inventories reached 389,440 tonnes, 159,500 tonnes lower than a year ago.-VNA