November 8, 2011


Vietnamese seafood processing plants to import more materials



Vietnamese seafood processing plants have to import additional materials amidst falling local supply, the newspaper reported Sunday (Nov 6).


The country imported seafood materials worth US$200 million in 2008, and the figures rose to US$250 million and US$300 million in the next years, accounting for 3-5% of the total export turnover.


The import is expected to reach US$500 million this year when the domestic processing plants face serious material shortage. The figure represents nearly 10% of the total export turnover.


The decreasing fisheries volumes and disease outbreaks caused by the polluted farming environment are attributed to serious shortages of materials, thus, resulting in heavier reliance on material imports, the newspaper said.


Vietnam does not have advantages in salmon, mackerel, or shrimp and octopus. In fact, Vietnamese fishing boats still can catch the aquatic species, but they are always very expensive. Therefore, it would be better for processing companies to import materials than collecting from domestic sources.


Nguyen Huu Dung, deputy chairman of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), stressed that importing seafood materials is an unavoidable and that this will not harm the domestic fisheries.


The country only imports the products which are not the advantages of Vietnam. Meanwhile, the import will create more jobs and make money.


Vietnam still imposes high import tax for seafood material. If the country removes the import tax, enterprises would import US$1-2 billion worth of materials a year, which would help increase the export turnover by US$1.8-3.5 billion.


In 2011, Vietnam is expected to earn US$5.8 billion from exporting seafood compared to US$5.5 billion last year.

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