Making news

An Giang to ship 126 tonnes of fragrant rice to EU at zero tariff rate

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh introduces
the Vietnamese fragrant rice to EU representatives in Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Sang/VNA 
Some 126 tonnes of fragrant rice will be exported by the Loc Troi Group JSC in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang to the EU at zero tariffs at the end of September, under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

A launch ceremony for the export was held in the province’s Thoai Son district on September 22.

In his remarks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh stressed that the EVFTA is key for Vietnamese farm produce to gain access to a market of great potential with a population of more than 500 million people and GDP of 15 trillion USD.

The agricultural sector needs to sufficiently restructure to join global production chains and work to ensure food safety and traceability in order to secure a foothold in the EU market, Doanh said.

Meanwhile, Chairwoman of the Food Agri & Aqua Business Sector Committee under the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Marion Matinez described the EVFTA as a win-win trade pact for both Vietnam and the EU, as it is the most comprehensive and ambitious agreement the EU has ever concluded with a developing country.

It will support trade and investment activities between the two sides at a time when global business activities have been clobbered by COVID-19, she said, adding that it will also encourage European enterprises to invest in a safe and rapidly-growing economy like Vietnam.

As the second-largest rice producer in the nation, An Giang’s cultivation area under the grain stands at 670,000 ha with an annual output of more than 3.9 million tonnes. Its rice products are now found in 39 countries and territories, with Asia being the largest market, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the province’s rice exports.

Since the trade agreement took effect on August 1, the Loc Troi Group JSC has made meticulous preparations in rice cultivation and worked with EU partners to meet customer tastes.

As part of the EVFTA, the EU gives Vietnam a quota of 80,000 tonnes of rice a year subject to zero tariff rates, including 30,000 tonnes of husked rice, 20,000 tonnes of unhusked rice, and 30,000 tonnes of fragrant rice.

The EU will also fully liberalise the trade of broken rice, helping Vietnam export an estimated 100,000 tonnes to the bloc annually.

It will bring tariffs on rice-based products down to 0 per cent after three to five years.