VASEP proposes support for export of seafood

According to the latest statistics of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, seafood exports in March this year were estimated to drop by nearly 20 percent compared to the same period last year, merely reaching US$549 million.

Of which, pangasius and tuna exports fell by more than 29 percent; squid and octopus exports plunged up to 31 percent; shrimp exports slid 15 percent. Export turnover to the EU market declined most with 40 percent, followed by the Chinese market with 25 percent, the Korean market with 24 percent, and the Japanese market with 19 percent. The seafood export turnover to the US market saw a smaller decrease as Vietnam still managed to keep the market share in the retail segment of fresh and canned products.

Currently, many orders to the Middle East, Asia, or South America have also started to be stagnant, canceled, or suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to high inventory. Meanwhile, enterprises also suffered many types of incurred costs, such as changing the route of the vessel, changing the port of arrival, and demurrage. At the same time, they also had to pay for anti-coronavirus products, including medical face masks, thermometers, and disinfectant solutions. In general, accumulated seafood exports by the end of March merely exceeded $1.5 billion, down 14 percent.

Amid this situation, the VASEP suggested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to propose the Prime Minister and the State Bank of Vietnam to have policies and measures to resolve difficulties for enterprises, including a zero percent interest rate support in the first two years and a reduction of 50 percent in interest rates in the next four years on long-term loans to build cold storage warehouses with a minimum capacity of 5,000 pallets; a reduction of 50 percent in corporate income tax in the first two years when these aforesaid cold storage warehouses come into operations. The association proposed the Government and the SBV to instruct commercial banks to provide low-interest loan packages for enterprises and create conditions for them to access loan packages with preferential interest rates. As for existing loans, enterprises hope that their debts will be extended and not turn into bad debts and overdue debts will not be penalized, creating conditions for them to continue production.