A fertiliser production line of PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Corporation (PVFCCo). — Photo congthuong.vn

Statistics show that Viet Nam imports about 4 million tonnes of fertiliser worth about US$1.33 billion from 48 countries and territories each year, with 0.22 million tonnes coming from 17 EU countries.

The EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), once effective, will lead to reductions in fertiliser export and import duties. However, to optimise the deal, experts suggested the industry make greater efforts to improve product quality in accordance with EU standards.

According to Pham Minh Lan, head of the Fertiliser Management Bureau under the Plant Protection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, fertilisers from EU make up 5.5 per cent of Viet Nam’s total fertiliser import volume and value, or 0.22 million tonnes and $73 million.

Meanwhile, Viet Nam ships abroad around 0.75 million tonnes of fertiliser valued at $240 million to 47 countries and territories annually, including five EU nations – Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia and Portugal. Some Vietnamese organic and inorganic fertiliser products have already met standards set by the selective market.

Currently, Viet Nam imports about 0.25 million tonnes of organic fertilisers worth $45 million from 33 countries and territories, with 42 per cent from nine EU countries, mostly the Netherlands and Belgium.

The EU’s preference for organic fertiliser over recent years as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment will help to spur Viet Nam’s organic fertiliser development.

Vice President of the Viet Nam Fertiliser Association Phung Ha said FTAs, including the EVFTA, will benefit the domestic fertiliser sector, helping it diversify import and export markets.

Thanks to the benefits of FTAs, Viet Nam expects to welcome more investment and domestic firms will have more opportunities to access scientific and technological advances from developed countries.

The official suggested agencies map out plans to put an end to the use of chemicals in agriculture in order to help businesses utilise the advantages of FTAs.

Lan also proposed intensified communication activities to help enterprises understand more about the EVFTA, thus charting their own business strategies for both the short and long term towards sustainable development. — VNS

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