Make loans easier for agriculture investors: Vietnam PM

By Dang Khoa   July 31, 2018 | 05:39 pm PT
Make loans easier for agriculture investors: Vietnam PM
A trader wait amongst baskets containing fresh produce on sale at a wholesale market in downtown Hanoi. Photo by AFP
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for a drastic reduction in administrative procedures and easier access to agricultural loans.

He said at a recent conference in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat that relevant departments and ministries should reduce the number of administrative procedures by 50 percent, make it easier for enterprises investing in agriculture to get loans, and create opportunities to expand infrastructure for agriculture production.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment told the conference that just 8 percent of businesses nationwide, or 49,600, had invested in agriculture sector, as of the second quarter of 2018.

The ministry also noted that capital investment by foreign investors in agriculture accounted for just two percent of the total.

Le Van Cuong, president of the hi-tech agricultural company Dalat GAP, said getting a loan from the banks was an investor’s biggest challenge.

The banks only accept land use right certifcate as collateral, but the land’s value affixed by the bank for the loan is much lower than its market price. Furthermore, no preferential interest rate is offered, which means borrowers would have to pay 8-8.5 percent per year on large sums that are needed to build glasshouses and other equipment, Cuong said.

Thanh Nien newspaper quoted an unnamed World Bank representative as saying Vietnam’s agriculture sector faced three big challenges – fragmented agricultural chain value; low FDI; and modest overall capital investment. The representative suggested that the government issues fresh regulations and offers tax breaks to attract more foreign investors.

Phuc wanted Vietnam to be listed among Top 10 agricultural production countries and for the nation’s agriculture sector to rank 15th, globally.

Vietnam currently ranks second in Southeast Asia and 13th in the world in agricultural production, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

Vietnam exported about $36.37 billion worth of agriculture and fisheries products last year.

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