Free trade agreements (FTA), including the latest one signed between Vietnam and the EU, will benefit the domestic fertilizer sector, with more diverse import and export markets, experts said.
Statistics show that Vietnam imports about 4 million tonnes of fertilizer worth about 1.33 billion USD from 48 countries and territories each year, with 0.22 million tonnes coming from 17 EU countries.
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), once effective, will lead to reductions in fertilizer export and import duties. However, to optimize the deal, experts suggested the industry make greater efforts to improve product quality in accordance with EU standards.
According to Pham Minh Lan, head of the Fertilizer Management Bureau under the Plant Protection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, fertilizers from EU make up 5.5 percent of Vietnam’s total fertilizer import volume and value, or 0.22 million tonnes and 73 million USD.
Meanwhile, Vietnam ships abroad around 0.75 million tonnes of fertilizer valued at 240 million USD to 47 countries and territories annually, including five EU nations – Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia and Portugal. Some Vietnamese organic and inorganic fertilizer products have already met standards set by the selective market.
Currently, Vietnam imports about 0.25 million tonnes of organic fertilizers worth 45 million USD from 33 countries and territories, with 42 percent from nine EU countries, mostly the Netherlands and Belgium.
The EU’s preference for organic fertilizer over recent years as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment will help to spur Vietnam’s organic fertilizer development.
Vice President of the Vietnam Fertilizer Association Phung Ha said FTAs, including the EVFTA, will benefit the domestic fertilizer sector, helping it diversify import and export markets.
Thanks to the benefits of FTAs, Vietnam expects to welcome more investment and domestic firms will have more opportunities to access scientific and technological advances from developed countries.
The official suggested agencies map out plans to put an end to the use of chemicals in agriculture in order to help businesses utilize the advantages of FTAs.
Lan also proposed intensified communication activities to help enterprises understand more about the EVFTA, thus charting their own business strategies for both the short and long term towards sustainable development.VNA