September 26, 2008


Vietnam's agriculture ministry wants higher meat import tariff

Vietnam's Agriculture Ministry is seeking approval from the government to increase meat import tariff to 20 percent or more from the current 10-12 percent.


The move is meant to help the struggling domestic meat industry.


The Ministry has sent a document to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance to propose the tariff adjustment, according to Hoang Kim Giao, director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Husbandry Department.


Giao said the sharp in meat imports have hurt many domestic farmers and millions may lose their jobs if nothing is done soon.


Vietnam has imported 118,000 tonnes of meat so far this year, nearly three times higher than the amount imported in the entire 2007.


Early this year, Vietnam reduced its meat import tariffs from above 40 percent to 12-14 percent to ease the burden of high inflation on consumers.


"I'm afraid that meat importers are probably selling their products at prices lower than production costs to gain a market foothold first, before they raise the prices," Giao said.

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