Agriculture an important pillar of the economy: PM

Saturday, Jan 14, 2023 07:31

For 2023, the sector targets GDP growth of 3 per cent and agro-forestry-fishery exports $54 billion. — VNA/VNS Photo

Agriculture is an important pillar in building Viet Nam's independent and self-reliant economy associated with extensive and effective international integration, according to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The Government leader made the remarks while addressing the agricultural sector's conference on reviewing tasks in 2022 and setting goals for 2023, held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in Ha Noi on January 13.

The PM said that in 2022, the agriculture and rural development sector has changed its mindset from "agricultural production" to developing an "agricultural economy". This is an important factor to contribute to growth and the comprehensive and sustainable development of agriculture.

Production has been linked to the market with increased added value. The agricultural sector has nearly 9,000 products recognised as speciality in the One Commune One Product programme, an increase of nearly 3,000 products compared to 2021.

“The Government looks forward to seeing the agricultural sector to be stronger and develop more sustainably in 2023,” PM Chinh said.

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 per cent, the highest in many years. In particular, agriculture expanded 2.88 per cent, fisheries 4.43 per cent, and forestry 6.13 per cent. The forest coverage stood at over 42 per cent while the rate of new-style rural areas was more than 73 per cent.

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

For 2023, the sector targets GDP growth of 3 per cent, agro-forestry-fishery export revenues of $54 billion, the rate of new-style rural areas at 78 per cent, and forest coverage stable at 42 per cent, Hoan said.

At the conference, the PM 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 per cent and exports of $55 billion, higher than last year’s figures.

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

Agriculture and rural development need to focus on promoting brand building; boosting digital transformation, and green transition and circular economy. It also should connect with cultural and tourism development; diversify products, markets, and supply chains; and improve product quality.

PM Chinh also underlined the importance of coordinating with other ministries, sectors and localities to link producers with consumers; optimise free trade agreements, especially the EU-Viet Nam 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.

It needs to increase forest production and development, effectively implement the national target programme on new-style countryside building, and foster agricultural cooperation with international partners.

He believes 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.

At the conference, deputy minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan proposed to promote cooperation between the two ministries in many fields, including restructuring of the agricultural industry for raising the value of Vietnamese agricultural products.

They will formulate policies to promote border trade, and accelerate negotiations with other countries to increase the number of agro-forestry-fishery products that are officially exported to foreign markets, especially China.

They will also increase focus on trade promotion programmes, especially on digital platforms, e-commerce, information technology application to promote exports and consumption of agricultural products. They will effectively implement trade remedies, handle disputes and lawsuits in international trade, and create favourable conditions for enterprises exporting agricultural products. — VNS

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