Lower VAT proposed for farm exporters

(VOV) -A targeted value added tax (VAT) reduction would help businesses upgrade technology and develop high value added products, participants at a February 13 meeting in Hanoi have suggested.

The meeting, convened to discuss agricultural policy, was attended by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and representatives of ministries, agencies and businesses relating to the agriculture, fishery and salt sectors.

Participants suggested reducing the VAT tax for businesses that export over 80% of their farm produce along with cutting interest rates from the current 11.5% per year to 5-6% per year.

Priority should be given to key farm export items, such as rice, coffee, and tra fish, they said.

Meanwhile, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has asked commercial banks to lower interest rates for producers and exporters in line with proposals by a number of associations, including the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), and the Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association (Vicofa).

According to recently released statistics, last year’s export turnover from agro-forestry and fisheries products increased 1.8% year on year to US$22.76 billion, contributing to a trade surplus of US$8.81 billion.