Vietnam follows a consistent policy of providing special incentives for investment in agriculture, and the state is continuously perfecting policies to attract more foreign investment.
Vietnam hopes that investors will pay attention to the production and processing of farm products for export, said Le Van Minh, director of the International Co-operation Department, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, at the opening session of the International Support Group donors' conference in Hanoi on September 21.
Mr Minh said investment should focus on intensive farming to improve quality, reduce the cost of products for export and renew the industry's equipment. Other areas that need investment also include the creation of high-yield breeds of pigs, cattle, poultry and saplings, the production of high-quality animal feed, and the planting of forests for wood and forestry product processing industries.
According to statistics, Vietnam has 782 projects in the agro-forestry-fisheries sector, with a total registered capital of nearly US$4.1 billion invested by businesses from 42 countries and territories. There are as many as 623 valid projects with a total capital of US$3.2 billion. These projects involve farming, processing forestry products, producing sugar, animal feed and paper material, husbandry and afforestation.
Foreign-invested projects have helped increase development capital in the agricultural field, and have added remittances to the State budget. The annual revenues of operating projects now reach about US$1 billion a year on average, while the export value they earned between 2001 and 2005 is double that of the 1991-1995 period.
Foreign-invested projects in the agricultural sector have helped Vietnamese farmers acquire new technology and new high-yield strains of plants and animals. They have also helped farm products enter the world market more easily.
Apart from contributing greatly to changing backward farming methods and upgrading infrastructure in many rural areas, these projects have generated stable jobs for 75,000 people in the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors.
Despite these achievements, foreign investment in the agricultural sector remains modest compared with the sector's potential, accounting for just 7 percent of the total foreign investment, and is focused mostly on the northern and southern key economic zones.
At present, the agricultural sector is expecting to attract more foreign investment in projects to create new plant and animal varieties and process fruit and vegetables for export.
VOV - (26/09/2005)