VIETNAM’S Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will raise its targets in production and business for this year, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan at the ministry’s monthly meeting in Hanoi.
The ministry expects to gain a growth rate of 3.05 per cent in gross domestic product (GDP) and notch export value of US$40.5 billion for this year. Meanwhile, 39 per cent of communes are expected to meet new rural standards and forest coverage will reach 41.65 per cent.
To achieve those targets for fisheries, Tuan said the fishery industry must strengthen public relations activities as well as boost inspection and control to avoid illegal fishing. The ministry expects the European Commission (EC) to withdraw its warning label regarding illegal, unregulated and undeclared (IUU) fishing in Vietnamese seafood exported to the European Union (EU).
Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, director of the Department of Science, Technology and External Cooperation under the General Department of Fisheries, said that the State has acted drastically to eliminate IUU within fishing activities. Efforts included reviewing current regulations and developing more regulations relating while popularising urgent solutions to prevent IUU fishing among fishermen.
In addition, Vietnam will cooperate with coastal countries and island nations to prevent IUU fishing and implement dialogue with the EU, as well as providing progress updates to show that Vietnam has been working to improve responsibility in fisheries management, she said.
During the meeting, Tuan delivered a summary report on equitisation of State-owned enterprise. The Agricultural Materials Corporation has completed successful equitisation and turned into a joint stock company.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam Rubber Group sold 2 per cent of its total shares in its initial public offering (IPO), lower than the 11.88 per cent that was expected to sell in the IPO, he said.
At present, the ministry has directed to the group to sell its shares for a second time, including selling to workers and the union.
So far, the group has not attracted any strategic shareholders, according to the ministry.
However, Tuan said the equitisation of the group will still follow the scheduled roadmap and the group will become a joint stock company even it does not sell its shares as scheduled.
He said the Southern Food Corporation will have an IPO on March 14 and it is seeking strategic investors.
The corporation must be careful in implementing its equitisation because at present, it has had many difficulties in finance and other factors affecting on the equitisation process.
The corporation is expected to turn into a join stock company in the second quarter of this year.
Higher rice export prices
The minister also reported that in the first few months of the year Vietnam had strong rice exports. The export prices of Vietnamese rice stood at US$475 per tonne, higher than that of Thailand.
The high export price was due to Vietnam increasing the area of growing high-quality rice seeds over the past three to four years to 80 per cent of the total area of rice production.
Meanwhile, to promote stabilisation and sustainable development in the husbandry industry, the MARD has proposed relevant state offices to cooperate with and support enterprises in the development of chain producing animal products for exports, including solutions on developing systems of slaughtering, processing and distribution of animal products.
The ministry said the national export value of farming, forestry and fishery products in the first two months of this year reached $6.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 30.2 per cent.