The event was jointly organised by the Department of Processing and Trading Agricultural, Forestry, Aquatic Products and Salt under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Chemicals Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Participants noted that domestic consumption of natural rubber remain low while rubber exports fell dramatically due to an oversupply on the world market and competition from synthetic rubber.
Therefore, boosting domestic consumption can be a good way to help the rubber sector develop sustainably, they said.
A number of measures were proposed towards this goal, with focus on enhancing product quality and value.
Dang Van Vinh from the Department of Processing and Trading Agricultural, Forestry, Aquatic Products and Salt said many types of domestic natural rubber currently fail to meet quality demand of domestic manufacturers, while a lack of quality regulations does not give natural rubber producers motivation to improve their product quality.
General Secretary of the Vietnam Rubber Association Vo Hoang An called for incentives to draw foreign investment in the sector.
Advanced technology application and human resource training should also be strengthened in a bid to improve the sector’s competitiveness in the international economic integration, An said.
Sharing Vinh’s view, Tran Thi Thuy Hoa from the Association said the sector needs to focus on developing brand names for its product when Vietnam joins free trade agreements.
Official statistics showed that Vietnam has seen an annual increase of rubber tree coverage of 7.63% since 2009, reaching around 980,000 hectares of rubber trees, producing 1 million tonnes of rubber in 2015.
Natural rubber output is estimated at 1 million tonnes this year, with only 180,000 tonnes, or 17% are consumed on the domestic market.