Flexible Approach in Regulating Agriculture Exports amid Epidemic Outbreak

27-Feb-2020 Intellasia | VCCI News | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Covid-19, a novel coronavirus-caused acute respiratory disease, is exerting a substantial impact on many domestic manufacturing and exporting industries because of their high dependence on Chinese input sources and output markets. In a press conference, Do Thang Hai, deputy minister of Industry and Trade, said that the ministry will focus on product consumption and minimise damage to businesses and farmers to get through this tough time. Huong Ly reports.

China is a major input supplier of Vietnam. In the current context of Covid-19 epidemic, restrictions on exports to this market are causing significant losses to domestic businesses. What solutions have you adopted to deal with this pressure?

Some border gates have been closed to prevent novel coronavirus infections, resulting in a sharp sale drop of agricultural products such as dragon fruit and watermelon. Some other products such as mango and litchi will face a similar destiny if the Covid-19 epidemic continues. Facing this reality, in response to the government’s consistent direction that it is important to effectively prevent and control the epidemic and ensure manufacturing, importing and exporting activities at the same time, we have closely cooperated with relevant ministries and agencies to keep track of situations and worked with localities and sector associations to help companies to deal with difficulties and boost their business operations.

We’ve sent a preliminary report on solutions to citizen and business support to the government. Particularly, solutions focus on removing difficulties in input and fuel supply for domestic consumption and production and, at the same time, reducing backlog pressures on Vietnam’s exports.

We’ve requested the ministry’s lead agencies to closely monitor supply and demand movements and commodity market prices, especially items that may run out due to the sudden decline in demand from the epidemic to promptly take executive measures or have recommendations to stabilise the market. First of all, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will focus on further strengthening domestic supply and demand connection and promoting domestic trade to facilitate commodity consumption.

Besides, we’ve requested the ministry’s subordinate units (Import and Export Department, Foreign Market Departments and Trade Offices), industry trade groups, localities and related units to review potential markets where we can export more fruits and vegetables, agricultural products and aquatic products, prioritise resources from the National Trade Promotion Programme to launch trade promotion activities for these markets to diversify export destinations amid declining exports to China. Besides, we will recommend policies to support agricultural exporters during this tough period.

We will also work more closely to make better judgements and forecasts. For example, when the litchi season is about to be harvested, appropriate measures need to be taken to boost consumption if the Covid-19 contagion still exists.

Paradoxically, many distributors are worried about their unavailable agricultural stocks while unexportable goods are congested at northern border gates. What are measures to deal with the above situation?

That’s true. Many localities cannot sell their products while supermarkets do not have such products to sell. In many cases, consumers are able to buy good quality products at affordable prices but they have to pay higher prices because there are so many intermediary stages that lead to a rise in costs and prices.

With nearly 100 million people now, Vietnam is not a small market. We’ve requested the ministry’s lead agencies such as the Domestic Market Department and the Import and Export Department to strengthen local and business connectivity to match selling and buying demands to ensure consumer and public interests in the future. We’ve also given detailed information on production, time and specific requirements to businesses and to Industry and Trade Departments to bring goods to domestic consumers as soon as possible. It is most important to urgently connect commodity agricultural production areas with supermarket chains and giant traders to boost sale of unexportable agricultural products and especially work with distributors in Vietnam to bring more food and agricultural products to foreign distribution systems in Vietnam.

Thank you very much!

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Category: Economy, Vietnam

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