VASEP Asks Government to Lift Tariffs

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors says Vietnam could bolster its seafood-processing industry if the government lifted tariffs on seafood imports, reports Viet Nam News.

At a conference this week, VASEP spokesmen Nguyen Huu Dung and Ngo Phuoc Hau said Vietnam could emulate or surpass China as the world's largest seafood exporter if tariffs of 10 to 20 percent on seafood imports were removed and the government invested more in Vietnam's seafood-processing industry. That would allow the industry to increase its secondary processing and re-exporting business, they explained.

According to VASEP, seafood processors are operating well under capacity, with some producing only 30 to 50 percent of their potential output. Vietnam has thousands of seafood processing plants with an annual output capacity of 1.5 million to 2 million metric tons.

To meet capacity, the seafood processors' need to import 8 to 10 percent more seafood, valued at about $190 million annually by 2010, according to VASEP.

Tran Van Linh, general director of Thuan Phuoc Seafood Trading Co., said processors only had enough seafood to operate three to five months a year. He said the industry could potentially employ thousands more workers.


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