Seafood exports achieves slight growth

Vietnamese seafood exports achieved 4.4 per cent growth in value in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year, to USD 3.1 billion despite barriers affecting the sector, according to Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers (VASEP).

VASEP explains that despite the challenges faced by the industry, a recovery was noted in demand for shrimp and pangasius thanks to the fact that seafood producers focused on value-added products. Owing to that, during the analysed period processed white-leg shrimp rose 9 per cent and processed tiger shrimp increased 24 per cent compared to frozen shrimp.

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (MARD) statistics indicate that the US, Japan, China and South Korea were the largest export markets for local seafood products

On the other hand, given the many difficulties seafood producers and exporters are facing, VASEP has made the Government a series of proposals.

First of all, the association suggests the Government should continue reforming regulations and administrative procedures for seafood processing and export activities, including some provisions on inspection and certificates of food safety for export, and regulations on labeling.

Secondly, VASEP proposes that the State should give quarantine exemptions to enterprises that regularly import material for processing seafood for exports from the same origin and the same suppliers, based on inspection results of previous lots.

The entity also considers that the State should formulate specific strategies on producing aquatic varieties, which would be a key factor affecting output, use of antibiotics and price.

Another barrier VASEP mentions is the implementation of anti-dumping taxes in the US market, which is believed to have significant impact on other key export markets of Vietnamese seafood, including Europe, the Government should support the fisheries industry to help it overcome those barriers.

As another measure to settle difficulties, the association has asked authorities to carry out investments in offshore fishing technology, post-harvest storage and trade promotion activities.

In this regard, VASEP points out the State should invest in building a modern seaport in the Mekong Delta region and a bio-technological centre in Can Tho to promote production and export of seafood in the region.

In the association's viewpoint, the State should assess the impact of saline intrusion on fishery production and output to avoid increase of production cost and negative impact on output and quality of seafood.

The association expects VietNam to achieve its target of USD 7 billion in exports for this year due to the recovery of the world economy and demand for seafood.

Source: Fish Info & Services