Thousands of products from member countries of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), including China, will enjoy a preferential tariff of zero percent if exporters can show a C/O (certificates of origin) as prescribed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).
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The government has released the list of import items enjoying a preferential tariff, the majority of which are farm produce, including vegetable & fruit, pork, beef, fish, seafood, coffee and grains. Pham Chi Lan, a renowned economist, warned that the zero percent tariff will put pressure on Vietnam’s farm produce. Chinese products have been flooding the Vietnamese market over many years thanks to low prices.
Though Vietnamese consumers tend to turn their back to Chinese goods, they still can penetrate the domestic market across border gates. A report from the General Statistics Office (GSO) showed that the trade deficit with China in the first nine months of the year reached $21.3 billion. Vietnamese businesses imported $45.3 million worth of seafood products and $146.9 million worth of vegetables & fruits. Tran Thi Lien, 34, a petty merchant in Cau Giay district in Hanoi, said the zero percent tariff would keep consumers away from the ‘buy Vietnamese’ movement. “Vietnamese consumers, with modest income, would still use Chinese products because the products fit their pockets,” she said. “The low tariff will encourage massive imports without care for quality." The problem is that Chinese products are believed to be unsafe to consumers. Meanwhile, the technical barriers are not powerful enough to prevent unsafe products from entering Vietnam. “It is necessary to heighten the capability of inspection agencies,” Lan said when asked what to do to prevent unsafe Chinese products. “Barriers have been used, but if barrier keepers close their eyes to dirty goods, things cannot be controlled." In a long-term strategy, Lan said restructuring agricultural production is a key task amid pressure from global integration. “It is obvious that Vietnam’s agriculture must not follow the old way to obtain growth. This is a very costly growth. We consume too many resources, while we cannot get big benefits,” Lan said. Vietnam now needs to follow a new principle ‘increasing value, decreasing input cost’, by creating higher added value and competitiveness in the market. Lan praised the plan to restructure rice production by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development which wants to reduce the land area for rice cultivation to reserve land for other crops.
|Cheap Chinese imports threaten local produce industry
Cheap imports of fruit and vegetables from China are a disquieting concern for the produce industry in ...
|The government has released the list of import items enjoying a preferential tariff, the majority of which are farm produce, including vegetable & fruit, pork, beef, fish, seafood, coffee and grains.|