Vietnam targets $10 bln seafood export

By Dat Nguyen   February 18, 2019 | 02:30 am PT
Vietnam targets $10 bln seafood export
Vietnamese fishermen collect fish from boats in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/Quang Nguyen Vinh
Vietnam hopes to export $10 billion worth of seafood this year, meeting its 2020 goal a year early.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said at a recent conference it would include $4.2 billion worth of shrimp, $2.3 billion worth of pangasius fish and the rest from other products.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the $10 billion target is high but achievable since Vietnamese seafood is liked in international markets.

VASEP president Ngo Van Ich said shrimp exported to the U.S. is expected to face a lower anti-dumping tariff this year.

Vietnam’s recent accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership would also help increase exports, he said.

But there are also challenges.

Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP general secretary, said the country faces difficulties like shrinking catches and intense competition from other exporting countries.

A major hurdle is the ‘yellow card’ restriction slapped by the European Union since 2017 for illegal fishing.

The European Commission has said it would ban seafood imports from Vietnam unless it does more to tackle illegal fishing by Vietnamese vessels in other countries’ territories.

After an evaluation done last May the European Commission said it would consider lifting the yellow card in 2019.

Vietnam ranks among the top ten seafood producers in the world, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Last year its exports were worth $9 billion against a target of $9.5 billion.

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