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Seafood export target set at $2.8b

Viet Nam aims to gain $2.8 billion in aquatic product exports in 2006, Minister of Fisheries Ta Quang Ngoc said at a meeting in the capital on Friday.

He said that the fisheries sector predicted that the total catch for this year would come to 3.44 million tonnes.

Participants at the meeting focused on how to increase fisheries output and expand the market. They agreed on the importance of creating a distribution network abroad to ensure stable outlets and to reduce payment to mediators. Once it was in place, the network would play an active role in distributing the products in major markets.

Trade promotion was an important measure to expand markets to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, Canada and China, in addition to the traditional markets of the US, the EU and Japan said Ngoc.

"The Fisheries Ministry is committed to working closely with Vietnamese foreign embassies and trade consuls to help solve trade or technical barriers if they occur," Ngoc said.

Ngoc said the ministry also encouraged enterprises to expand their domestic markets, particular for Tra or ba sa fish.

To harness the difficulty caused by the hike in petrol prices, the ministry has instructed local fisheries sectors to re-organise fishing fleets to use petrol rationally, yet efficiently.

In the immediate future, Ngoc said, the sector would invest in infrastructural development at fishing ports and quays. It would also encourage fishermen to introduce advanced technology in maritime exploitation and logistic services as well as production at sea.

Nguyen Huu Dung, Secretary General of the Viet Nam Association of Sea Food Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said that in the first six months of 2006, the fisheries sector posted an export turnover of $1.41 billion — an increase of 29 per cent over the same period last year, achieving 50.3 per cent of the 2006 plan.

Dung said that in the first five months of this year, Viet Nam’s major sea-products importers remained Japan with 23.31 per cent; the EU with 23.26 per cent and the US with 18.21 per cent of the total. However, among tra and basa importers, Russia ranked first with 15.6 per cent, followed by Poland with 12 per cent and the US with only 4.6 per cent.

Ngo Anh Tuan, Director of the Ministry of Fisheries’s Department of Planning and Finance said that in the past six months, another 38 enterprises had been given licenses to export seafood to the EU, bringing the total number of seafood-exporting enterprises to the European market to 209.

Tuan said that the seafood catch was 1.05 million tonnes in the past six months, an increase of 2.34 per cent compared with the same period last year. The output of farmed fish and shrimp in the same period was 648,000 tonnes, an increase of almost 19 per cent compared with the same period last year, achieving 43.54 per cent of yearly plan.

Vietnamnews - (24/07/2006)

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