Agriculture establishes itself as important pillar of economy: PM

Agriculture has affirmed its role as an important pillar of the economy, helping build an independent and self-reliant economy with active, intensive, and effective integration into the world and bring a prosperous and happy life to people.
PM Pham Minh Chinh visits an display of agricultural and handicraft products on the sidelines of the conference on January 13. (Photo: SGGP)

PM Pham Minh Chinh visits an display of agricultural and handicraft products on the sidelines of the conference on January 13. (Photo: SGGP)

The Government leader made the remark while addressing a hybrid conference of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on January 13.

Minister Le Minh Hoan reported that the sector has shown strong determination, made great efforts, carried out flexible and creative solutions, and reformed its mindset to overcome difficulties and challenges to achieve targets.

In 2022, the sector’s total value grew 3.36 percent, the highest in many years. In particular, agriculture expanded 2.88 percent, fisheries 4.43 percent, and forestry 6.13 percent. The forest coverage stood at over 42 percent while the rate of new-style rural areas more than 73 percent.

Agro-forestry-fishery exports reached US$53.22 billion, up 9.3 percent from a year earlier. That resulted in a trade surplus of over $8.5 billion, accounting for more than 75 percent of Vietnam’s total trade surplus.

For 2023, the sector targets a GDP growth of 3 percent, agro-forestry-fishery exports $54 billion, the rate of new-style rural areas 78 percent, and forest coverage stable at 42 percent, Hoan noted.

In his speech, PM Chinh hailed the sector’s contributions to Vietnam’s common success in 2022.

He pointed out that apart from advantages, the country will continue facing numerous difficulties and challenges in 2023. The sector should strive for a growth rate of 3.5 percent and exports of $55 billion, higher than last year’s figures.

He emphasized the task of developing ecological agriculture, modern rural areas, and civilized farmers while considering farmers as the center, agriculture as the impetus, and rural areas as the foundation for the sector’s development.

Agriculture and rural development need to focus on promoting product brand building; boosting digital transformation, green transition and circular economy; connecting with cultural and tourism development; diversifying products, markets, and supply chains; improving product quality and the participation in global value chains; and multiplying effective models, the leader went on.

PM Chinh also underlined the importance of coordinating with other ministries, sectors, and localities to link producers with consumers; optimize free trade agreements, especially the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); continue removing barriers to enter new markets; and pay due attention to the domestic market.

In addition, it is also necessary to step up sustainable ocean farming and exploitation, strongly carry out recommendations to persuade the European Commission to lift the “yellow card” warning against IUU fishing, increase forest production and development, effectively implement the national target program on new-style countryside building, foster agricultural cooperation with international partners, and proactively defend Vietnam’s rights, interests, and farm produce, the Cabinet chief went on.

He expressed his belief that with the ministry and localities’ determination and efforts, as well as farmers and businesses’ support, the sector will make stronger progress and gain more achievements in 2023.

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