Vietnam’s rice export policy has been effective, ensuring national food security, taking into account the effects of high inflation on farmers, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told a regional meeting in Hanoi last week.
“We need to deal with issues with long-term, overall benefits in mind, not just short-term or partial gains, and we have tackled the problems well,” he said at the end of the ACMECS summit Friday.
ACMECS (The Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Forum) is named after the region’s major rivers.
(L-R) Prime Ministers Thein Sein from Myanmar, Samchai Wongsawat from Thailand, Nguyen Tan Dung from Vietnam, Hun Sen from Cambodia and Bouasone Bouphavanh from Laos at the ACMECS summit in Hanoi
The meeting included the prime ministers of ACMECS’ five nations: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
Dung said the government had temporarily halted rice export contracts in March, when world prices were high, because the country’s output at that time was enough for the export of only 2.3-2.4 million tons of rice after setting aside enough for local consumption.
But he said that local exporters at the time had inked shipment contracts for nearly 2.5 million tons of rice, of which only 800,000 tons had already been delivered, he said.
If the government had allowed firms to continue shipping more rice abroad, there wouldn’t have been enough to meet local demand, rice prices would have skyrocketed and
the consumer price index (CPI) would have jumped, as food accounts for 42.84 percent of the goods basket Vietnam uses to calculate CPI, the prime minister said.
In addition, a large amount of paddy rice in the northern region had been destroyed by bad weather and disease, he said.
“I used to work in agriculture in the Mekong Delta and I love the farmers, but we have to consider the whole country’s interest, including that of paddy growers in the Mekong Delta,” said the prime minister.
As of November 6, Vietnam had exported 4.39 million tons of rice, he said, adding that the country expects to ship one million tons of the commodity abroad in the year’s last two months, raising the total export volume this year to five million tons, up about 25 percent over last year.
Now, the country has 900,000 tons of rice in stock, the prime minister noted.
Regarding agricultural cooperation among ACMECS’s five members, the prime minister said the countries wanted to cooperate in rice production and export, aiming to ensure food security and effective export markets.
Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are “the rice bowl of the Asian region,” AFP quoted Dung as saying.
“Our exports from the ACMECS countries account for about 50 percent of the world market,” Dung said. “So, the ACMECS countries have an important role to play in ensuring food security in the world.”
More than half of the total 22-23 million tons of rice annually sold in the world comes from the five countries, including eight million tons from Thailand, five million tons from Vietnam, and some one million from Cambodia.
Reported by Ngan Anh
- Steep plunge in rice exports to China as import rules tighten
- Vietnam always treasures relations with Malaysia: PM
- VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS OCTOBER 14
- BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF 28/8
- Vietnam, Japan hold first security dialogue
- PM pledges support to Samsung
- PM stresses what humanity needs at UN General Debate
- It’s time to reform Vietnam’s rice sector, says Prime Minister
- PM clarifies socio-economic situation to NA