Ministries seek new export markets for farm produce

Authorities in China’s Guangxi province have decided to extend the closure of border gates and continue to suspend the trading of goods by individuals until the end of February, according to the Consulate General of Vietnam in Guangxi province.

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The Lao Cai International Border Gate (Photo: tuyengiao.vn)

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) also said that authorities in Yunnan province have so far released no official information on this issue, but due to the continuing threat of the Covid-19 epidemic, they are likely to make the same decision.

Individual trade at border markets is still the main way of exporting some of Vietnam’s farm produce to China, including dragon fruits and watermelons.

Therefore, this decision is expected to have a significant impact on exporting these agricultural products to the neighbouring country, according to the MoIT.

The MoIT and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) recently issued warnings about the problem.

The two ministries have proposed local businesses regulate the volume of exported dragon fruits and watermelons via individuals at the border markets and increase exports under contracts.

The batches of agricultural products exported under contracts, including dragon fruits and watermelons, are still allowed to carry out customs procedures as usual, though clearance takes longer due to strict measures for control of the epidemic.

According to reports from provinces sharing a border with China, as of February 9, there were only 173 trucks carrying dragon fruits in Lang Son province and 152 in Lao Cai province, not much higher than the volume at the end of January.

The MoIT has requested logistics enterprises, especially those with cold storage, to continue supporting agricultural businesses facing difficulties in export to China, including giving priority to farm produce in need of preservation and reducing costs for storage, warehousing, transport, and loading and unloading of goods.

The MoIT has also proposed distribution businesses, trade centres and supermarkets continue to help farmers sell the produce.

Meanwhile, the MoIT and the MARD would continue to find new export markets and partners, including trade offices and commercial counsellors of Vietnam in other countries, promoting consumption of agricultural products.

VNA