Agro-forestry-fishery exports see bright prospects

January 11, 2024 | 11:00
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The new record export turnover of key agricultural produce contributed a pivotal role in the agricultural industry’s growth in 2023, and simultaneously paves the way for bright prospects in 2024.

The increase of the agricultural exports was the pride of the industry in 2023. The total export turnover of agro-forestry-fishery products is estimated to reach over $53 billion for the whole year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced last week.

Agro-forestry-fishery exports see bright prospects
Agro-forestry-fishery exports see bright prospects

GDP growth of the entire agricultural sector reached 3.83 per cent, the highest in several decades. The industry-wide trade surplus in 2023 is estimated to hit more than $11 billion, the highest level in recent years and accounting for over 42.5 per cent of the country’s trade surplus.

Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports touched a record of $5.6 billion. With this record, fruit and vegetable export turnover made a strong breakthrough, exceeding 40 per cent of the plan set at the beginning of the year and increasing nearly 66 per cent over the same period in 2022.

At the same time, many exported agricultural items recorded new records such as rice, vegetables, and coffee.

Notably, durian has become a champion in the group of exported fruits and vegetables, achieving high growth figures. This is due to the effort of businesses and ministries to open the Chinese market for Vietnamese durian products.

China remains the biggest importer of Vietnam’s fruits and vegetables, buying two-thirds of the total exported fruits and vegetables of Vietnam. Other major importers were the US, South Korea, and Japan.

According to the agriculture ministry, these achievements came amid a challenging global context. The export of aquatic products in particular faces many difficulties as many key export markets are narrowing demand, and input material prices remain high.

In 2023, total turnover of aquatic exports is estimated to have hit $9.2 billion, down 8 per cent as compared to the initial plan of $10 billion. This includes $3.45 billion for shrimps, $1.9 billion for basa fish, $900 million for tuna, and $800 million for shellfish.

“Amis these difficulties, the agricultural sector reversed the psychosphere from being confused, and passive to being proactive, confident, and creative to remove difficulties. The industry also changed its status from defence and resistance to attack, making breakthroughs in some industries and setting records,” Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at the conference to review the industry’s performance on January 3.

The business community is also proactive in improving the quality of products and expanding the markets, contributing to fostering the growth of the whole industry.

Nguyen Dinh Tung, CEO of Vina T&T, said, “We participate in many export forums to look for new orders in new markets, cooperate with local farmers to establish close links, and collaborate with cooperatives to build brands for Vietnam’s key agricultural produce. It is essential work, as Vietnam is trying to foster export in tough markets.”

In 2024, the export market is wide open thanks to 16 currently implemented free trade agreements, and more on the way. Strong political relations have been consolidated and upgraded with major partners such as China, the US, and the EU, creating a premise for wider exports. However, agricultural products are inherently sensitive and have many risks, especially technical barriers set up by many large markets.

“To ensure sustainable development and establish a stable import market, businesses need to proactively build links, and regularly update standards from import markets to have countermeasures in building raw material sources as well as processing and packaging for export,” the prime minister said. “Enterprises exporting in these industries need to focus on building production chains, closely following requirements from import markets and ensuring sustainable growth.”

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By Oanh Nguyen

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