Workers load rice at a warehouse of Long An Food Company in the southern province of Long An. VNA/VNS Photo Đình Huệ
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on Tuesday proposed Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc allow businesses to continue exporting rice.
The proposal was made after the ministry received feedback from a number of enterprises about the Government’s decision on suspending rice exports, saying that it needs to take more time to re-evaluate the actual output of the Winter-Spring rice crop, the volume of export rice under contracts as well as inventory in enterprises’ warehouses.
MoIT also asked the opening of customs declarations for rice export to be carried out normally.
The ministry’s proposal was urgently sent to the Prime Minister after Vietnam Customs began nationwide suspension of registration and customs clearance for rice export on Tuesday.
Vietnam Customs said the shipments of rice that registered for customs declarations before March 24 will still be processed according to regulations.
The suspension is to implement the conclusion made by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at a national online meeting on food security in the context of COVID-19 pandemic held early this week in which he affirmed that food security must be ensured in every situation.
Local customs departments and anti-smuggling investigation departments will have to strengthen the fight against smuggling and illegal transportation of rice across the border. All violations will be punished according to the law.
On the same day, the Ministry of Finance required the General Department of State Reserves to purchase sufficient quantities of food as planned to ensure unexpected and urgent requirements are met.
A report from the MoIT showed that in addition to natural disasters and epidemics, the global rice trade continues to have a great impact on Việt Nam’s rice import and export activities.
Total volume of exported rice was estimated at 895,000 tonnes, worth US$410 million, in the first two months of this year, marking an increase of 27 per cent in volume and 32.6 per cent in value year-on-year.
In 2019, Việt Nam’s rice exports reached $2.81 billion. — VNS