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Vietnam Today

4th National Farmers' Forum held in Hanoi

Released at: 08:10, 12/10/2019

4th National Farmers' Forum held in Hanoi

Illustrative image (Photo: Viet Tuan)

CPTPP and EVFTA expected to open up greater opportunities for Vietnamese farm produce in 37 markets, forum hears.

by Long Van

Opportunities created by free trade agreements (FTAs) for Vietnamese farm produce to access major markets in the world were explored at the 4th National Farmers’ Forum in Hanoi on October 11, according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency.

Vietnam signed two new-generation FTAs in 2018 and 2019: the Comprehensive and Progress Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The two deals are expected to open up great opportunities for Vietnamese farm produce in 37 markets with a combined population of over 1 billion.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai emphasized the prospects for cooperation with new partners through the CPTPP, such as in Canada, Chile, Mexico and Peru, thanks to the application of 0 per cent tariffs on most key farm exports of Vietnam immediately after the pact took effect or after just three to five years.

The EVFTA also gradually reduces import tariffs on Vietnam’s farm exports to 0 per cent over a short period of time, with 99.7 per cent of the country’s agricultural exports eligible for the rate after seven years.

The tariff cut is particularly significant because the EU has been one of the top two export markets of Vietnam for a number of years, with bilateral trade reaching nearly $56 billion in 2018, Deputy Minister Hai said.

Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union Nguyen Xuan Dinh noted that despite many policies to support farmers in production and marketing, the country’s farm products still have low added value due to obstacles such as food safety and hygiene.

He expressed a hope that the forum would identify solutions to problems facing domestic farm produce exports.

Mr. Dinh also voiced his concern that besides the opportunities, the FTAs also bring formidable challenges to Vietnam’s agricultural sector.

Forum participants discussed obstacles that Vietnam’s agricultural exports face in the CPTPP and EVFTA markets. Technical barriers in food safety and quarantine, managerial standards, and technological content are preventing Vietnam’s farm products from entering strict markets.

Vietnam exported $30.02 billion worth of agriculture, forestry and fishery products in the first nine months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 2.7 per cent.

Products with export turnover of more than $2 billion included wood and timber products, coffee, rice, cashew nuts, fruit and vegetables, and shrimp.

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