Fisheries sector to fund promotion

Workers process shrimps for export in the Nam Hai Food Ltd Company in the southern Can Tho Province’s Tra Noc Industrial Zone. The fisheries sector will inject roughly US$88,000 into a promotion campaign designed to increase its exports to the US and Japan. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong
HA NOI — The Ministry of Fisheries is planning to spend VND1.4 billion (US$88,000) on promotional campaigns encouraging shrimp exports to Japan and the US, Viet Nam’s two biggest markets, in an attempt to address the disappointing export levels for the first months of this year.

The financial injection is part of the ministry’s recently worked-out trade promotion and brand building strategy for 2006-10, which also includes a plan to spend VND700 million ($44,000) on measures to boost tuna exports to the Japanese and EU markets.

Overall exports of seafood products to the US were 14.4 per cent lower for the first quarter of the year than in the corresponding 2004 period, and this fall has harmed Viet Nam’s chances of achieving its annual export target.

The slump has occurred despite a 27.4 per cent increase in fisheries exports to Japan - which account for 15.6 per cent of Viet Nam’s total exports to that country - for the first quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2004.

Trade analysts say the Government’s move to boost exports to the US and Japan is sound, given their current status as Viet Nam’s top export markets.

Ministry of Trade statistics show that overall exports to the US for the first quarter reached $1.1 billion, with the Japanese market generating $936 million - respective increases of 20 and 33 per cent on last year’s figures.

Viet Nam’s US commercial representation office predicts that American export turnover will reach $6 billion this year, 15-20 per cent higher than the 2004 figure.

Promising prospect

Analysts also expect increased export opportunities throughout the year for Viet Nam’s staples, including rice, clothing, coffee, wood products and rubber.

This prediction stems from a global reduction in the production of these commodities due to natural calamities, high prices and, particularly, the quotas being imposed on certain Chinese exports.

It is estimated that only 25.1 million tonnes of rice will be traded on the world market this year, 117,000 tonnes less than in 2004, following poor harvests in many countries.

The export price of one tonne of Vietnamese rice is currently $20 lower than that of Thai rice, and this has led to importers from Iran and the Philippines entering negotiations to buy rice from Viet Nam.

The country has exported more than 1.87 million tonnes of rice so far this year, generating over $466 million.

Since early 2005, the export price of Vietnamese rice has increased by $40, to an average of $247 per tonne, and economists expect this trend to continue in the near future.

Regarding clothing, experts believe the US’ recent imposition of quotas on three Chinese garment categories will generate opportunities for the exploitation of this market, and the Ministry of Industry has urged clothing manufacturers to increase co-operation and production capacities to prepare for increased US orders.

Viet Nam News, May 17, 2005