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Leading exports take advantage of new generation FTAs
VietNam+ - 2/8/2021 4:56:59 PM
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The Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood JSC (in Hau River Industrial Park in Hau Giang Province’s Chau Thanh District) in early January exported its first batch of shrimp in eight containers to the EU, the US, and Japan at prices 4-5 percent higher than in the Asian market. 
Le Van Diep, Deputy Director of Minh Phu Seafood Group, said the group would continue targeting choosy markets, especially the EU, to take advantage of the recently signed the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). 
Truong Dinh Hoe, Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said the EVFTA, which took effect last August, has opened up opportunities for shrimp exporters.
Shrimp exports reached 3.85 billion USD last year, up 15 percent year-on-year despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to VASEP. Shrimp exports are set to reach 4.4 billion USD this year, a rise of 15 percent over 2020.
Analysts said that 2021 would be favourable for shrimp exports, thanks to more orders from abroad.
Also in January, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Seafood Processing Import - Export JSC (Baseafood) exported its first eight containers of seafood, worth some 700,000 USD, to Canada, the US, Australia and others.
Meanwhile, exports of vegetables and fruits reached only 3.26 billion USD last year, a drop of 13 percent year-on-year.
China remains the largest export market of Vietnam’s vegetables and fruits, accounting for about 56 percent of market share, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said that exports of vegetables and fruits plummeted last year due to a sharp fall of imports from China, a decrease of about 25 percent compared to 2019.
Vegetables and fruit exports depend heavily on the COVID-19 situation. Nguyen predicted they would reach 3.7 billion USD this year.
The first batches of seafood exports are a promising sign this year for export prospects, especially the agricultural sector.
Exports of farm produce reached more than 40 billion USD last year, a record figure.
Last year’s export growth of 6.5 percent can be viewed as a bright spot in the nation’s economic picture, with the growth attributed to the signing of a number of free trade agreements (FTAs).
Though challenges will continue this year due to the pandemic, a target of 42 billion USD worth of total exports in 2021 has been set by the agricultural sector.
New generation FTAs
Exporters need to study the technical barriers of each country and region regarding product quality standards, labour factors, the environment, and other aspects to respond to FTAs’ requirements in the fastest and most effective manner, experts said.
Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said participation in FTAs has helped the import and export market expand and diversify. FTAs have contributed to boosting the country’s GDP to more than 300 percent and increased import-export turnover by 350 percent, he said.
On January 1, the UKVFTA, a bilateral FTA with the UK took effect, bringing the country’s total number of valid FTAs to 15. 
To capitalise on market opportunities opened up by these FTAs, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has directed businesses to prepare to exploit existing and new FTAs to participate more deeply in global value chains. 
Vietnam has trade relations with more than 230 markets, including FTAs with 60 economies. 
Vietnam’s goods exports were valued at 27.7 billion USD in January, up 0.2 percent from the previous month, and 50.5 percent from the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.
Six items enjoyed export revenues exceeding the 1-billion-USD benchmark last month, accounting for nearly 70 percent of total exports.
Vietnam had a trade surplus of 1.3 billion USD in the month, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam./.
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13/01 Two more Vietnamese dairy producers licensed to export to China
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