Obscure land lease laws, income tax regulations, inadequate infrastructure, and overly burdensome administrative procedures are just a few of the obstacles to attracting higher levels of foreign investment.
The adoption of new technology is going to be critical for Vietnam to maintain its competitiveness in the global arena of high-tech agriculture but that takes large amounts of investment, one representative said.
The representative added that if Vietnamese agriculture doesn’t find the funds to invest in modern technology then the nation may as well forget the ambitions on becoming a food bowl in Asia.
The unclear land lease laws are causing much trepidation by investors, a representative from Nestle Company said, indicating that there are just too many unanswered questions.
The representative also raised a number of queries regarding the future of high-tech agriculture in relation to governmental and administrative policies adding that the lack of clarity makes it difficult, if not impossible, to attract funds.
Meanwhile, a representative from Syngenta Vietnam Co, Ltd also emphasised the need to devise a policy for foreign companies to establish research and development subsidiaries and improve intellectual property laws.
A Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) representativeTran Thi Thanh Tam in turn said Vietnam has signed several free trade agreements (FTAs) which have opened up huge opportunities for farm produce to access foreign markets.
However, many of these nations have set up strict requirements and technical barriers in terms of product quality and significantly higher levels of investment are needed to purchase the technology and equipment needed to comply.
She underscored the importance of especially encouraging more investment in post-harvest processing as well as hi-tech agriculture.
A representative from the Japan International Cooperation Agency said Vietnam’s farm produce have not entered the Japanese market yet as they have not met requirements of food safety and hygiene, which again is directly related to lack of investment.