Agriculture retains growth after the country’s WTO accession
02/01/2008 18:29:00
One year after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), the country’s agricultural sector retained positive growth despite forecasts that it would face many risks.
Agricultural production retains growth in 2007
The sector made up 19.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and contributed 25 percent to export turnover in 2007.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT), 2007 was a successful year for exports of farm produce and seafood as major export staples like rice, coffee, pepper and cashew nuts earned an export turnover of over US $1 billion each and remained in the world leading top.
The MIT reported that with their own potential, Vietnamese farm produce will expand it’s thanks to WTO membership. Aside from traditional markets, almost all export staples found new outlet during the past year.
Rubber latex, which was mainly exported to China for many years, decreased by 41 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, rubber exports to the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and German saw marked increases. Rubber volume exported to Malaysia tripled the 2006 figure and the market was considered a strategic one for Vietnamese rubber.
Meanwhile, the MARD said that seafood exports have never been as bright as it was in 2007 with a value of US $3.75 billion, US $400 million more than last year, with the number of enterprises qualified to export products to the EU, the US and Japan doubling. The fisheries sector has constantly diversified its products to meet the increasing demands of those markets.
However, the MARD admitted that though the FDI flow into the country increased sharply, reaching US $20 billion in 2007; the foreign investment in agriculture was still modest, making up just 10.6 percent in the number of projects and 6.5 percent in capital.
Investors from countries with potential in agriculture, including the US, Canada and Australia have not appeared in Việt Nam. Most of the investors in the country’s agriculture and rural development were from Asia.
In the coming years, increasing investment in agriculture and agricultural planning will be the main focus in order to help farmers effectively find outlets for their products.
The MARD will priority the farming restructuring as well as scientific and technological applications and invest in processing and post-harvest technology to raise the quality of farm produce.
(Source: VNA)