Free trade agreements create big opportunities for agriculture sector

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry co- organized a conference “Opportunities and challenges for Vietnamese agriculture sector when participating in free trade agreements (FTA)” in capital city of Hanoi yesterday. 
Free trade agreements create big opportunities for agriculture sector

According to Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, Vietnam has been participating in 16 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements.

·Among them, many new free trade agreements with very high requirements and standards have directly impacted to many fields of the country and socio-economic development policies, etc.

The agricultural makers account for the majority of exporters with value of more than US$ 1 billion. Through the evidence of integration success in Vietnam including the field of agriculture and rural development, Minister Tran Tuan Anh said that the agriculture sector had been developing and had a remarkable change in production capacity of enterprises and farmers; thereby it has gradually created an important premise in chain links. 

With the position as the leading country in agricultural products such as coffee, rice and seafood ranked the second, third and fourth respectively in the world, the country has big opportunities and is able to earn much from the agriculture if it is possible to take advantage from the market opportunities and have more conditions for restructuring, bringing technology and reorganize agricultural production towards large-scale, clean production associated with the development of value chains, said the minister. 

The free trade agreements are opportunities for Vietnam to improve the competitiveness of products, especially in the agricultural sector, he added. 

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong affirmed that Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) would not only create opportunities to boost export activities for Vietnam’s agricultural products but also enhance the capacity of the agriculture sector. Vietnam will cut down tariff for 24 percent of customs duties over agricultural product in the first year and up to 99 percent after 10 years since the signing of EVFTA. 

European countries will cut down tariff to zero percent for 74.6 percent of customs duties over agricutural products from Vietnam in the first year and 97.3 percent after 10 years . 

As for CPTPP, tax on agricultural products from Vietnam will be immediately cut down between 78 percent to 95 percent. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to be active in integration, clearly identify the opportunities and challenges when participating free trade agreements.

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