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Viet Nam Becomes Eighth Largest Seafood Exporter

by 5m Editor
5 January 2009, at 12:00am

VIET NAM - According to reports Vietnam breaks into the new year by becoming the world's eighth largest seafood exporter.

By diversifying products and enlarging market share, the seafood sector last year earned US$4.27 billion from exports, US$3.75 billion more than in 2007, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The results were attributed to upgrades in processing technology allowing the industry to meet global market requirements, said former deputy minister of fisheries Nguyen Thi Hong Minh at a conference in Hanoi late last week.

With trade promotion efforts, seafood exporters found more foreign outlets and the Vietfish International held annually in HCM City for the past 10 years became an annual rendezvous for industry professionals from around the world, Minh said.

Major customers included the EU, accounting for 27 percent of export market share, Japan and the Republic of Korea, 19 percent each, and the US, 13 percent, she said.

With shrimp remaining Viet Nam’s key export product, tra and basa catfish export value continued to rise annually, earning a value equal to that of shrimp by the middle of last year.

Raising the awareness of seafood industry personnel about the need to ensure the safety and hygiene of products was also a significant factor in the success of the seafood industry, said Nguyen Tu Cuong, director of the Centre for Technology Transfer and Fisheries Services under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

But Cuong also admitted that Viet Nam’s fisheries sector was still weak in competitiveness and management, despite its efforts to apply modern technology.

The industry also lacked a proper organisation to effectively manage food safety and hygiene and support industries such as feed, chemicals, packaging, ice, fishing ports and markets.

The seafood sector is set to achieve US$4 billion in export revenue in 2009, representing 9.6 percent growth over the past year, the ministry said.

5m Editor

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