Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Center of Kien Giang Province: Business Support

Wednesday, 27 September 2017
‘In addition to the open business environment, market issues, product branding broadcasting, export promotion, global supply chain linkages, enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises and so on are the decisive factors for the survival of the business, especially in the context of global economic integration’ said Ms Nguyen Duy Linh Thao - Director Of Investment, Trade and Tourism Promtion Center of Kien Giang Province (The Center).
Production and Business are still difficult
According to the Center, in the first months of 2017, the activities of seafood and rice exporters in the province continue to be difficult and subject to severe competition pressure on prices and quality from other countries, causing Total export turnover of the province reached only 373 million dollars, down 3.66% over the same period. Raw materials processing seafood continue to scarce. Management capacity and production efficiency of some enterprises are limited. Many businesses still have difficulties in approaching credit capital.
As an enterprise operating in the field of import and export, Mr. Nguyen Duy An - Deputy Director of Kien Giang Trade Joint Stock Company, said the rice export enterprises are very "struggling" because of the dependence on the Chinese market. Currently, 60-70% of Vietnam's rice exports to China. However, China has recently set up a technical barrier to import rice from Vietnam by the major quality management institutes in China (AQSIQ) which conducts a survey and selects Vietnamese rice exporters who can export to the Chinese market. "Over 100 enterprises registered, only more than 30 enterprises in Thailand and Vietnam meet the regulation of rice exports to China," Mr An said.
‘Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Center of Kien Giang Province continues to step up cooperation with Vietnam Trade Offices abroad to connect domestic enterprises with importers.’
Mr An said that this is a very big barrier for Vietnamese enterprises. Therefore, in the first three months of the year, Vietnam's rice export turnover decreased in both quantity and value. The Philippines market is also difficult, in 2016 the exports decreased more than 30% over previous years. According to Mr An, another shortcoming is the mechanism and policy in rice exports. At present, the Ministry of Agriculture issues the rice export license while the Ministry of Industry and Commerce issues the rice and flour export license. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce manages processing whereas  preliminarily treatment is managed by the Ministry of Agriculture. It is very complicated and time-consuming for enterprises to export procedures.
In the fishery sector, Mr. An said that before 2016 the enterprises imports raw materials which have to deal with the license for all products to be temporarily imported for re-export. In 2017, the Prime Minister has abolished the entire license of this issue but it is still inadequate because there is no agreement between the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the local such as the issues of solving some procedures, words to apply in tax policies, preferential policies: distinguishing between preliminarily treatment and processing when importing materials, imposing taxes on raw materials for processing is different from preliminarily treatment and so on. Those make businesses confuse and the businesses do not know what is true.
Complaining about tax refund and transportation costs, Mr Duong Cong Trinh, General Director of AOKI Aquatic Co., Ltd, said that businesses who need to make a quick turnaround still have difficulties while the tax refund time for enterprises is too long. That affects the production and business activities of enterprises.
Mr. Trinh also said that the process from the exploitation to the long processing time affect the quality of the product. Farmers also abuse food with antibiotics and poor farming environment which cause the low quality of fish and shrimp, and a bad influence on the image of aquatic products of Vietnam.
Challenge resolution
Prior to the difficulties of business, Ms Thao said, the Center has actively coordinated with departments, localities in the export, especially well treated the linkage from the stage of production planning, consumtion, negotiation to expand the market. At the same time, the Center focuses on regional trade promotion, links supply and demand, encourages domestic enterprises to prioritize each other's products, strengthens and develops the distribution system and the domestic consumption market, exploits rural and island markets.
In addition, the Center continues to promote coordination with the Overseas Vietnamese Trade Offices to link domestic enterprises with importers. Linking and exchanging information between the Center and the Vietnam Trade Offices helps facilitate exporters in the province.
According to Ms. Thao, the Center has also implemented trade promotion activities to help businesses enhance value-added products. At the same time, the Center organzies training courses and consulting services for enterprises on brand development, enhancing the capability in product design and packaging, building branding strategies for key products to promote high-value and sustainable exports.
Besides that, the Center promotes the way to invite foreign delegations to work and connect with businesses in the province to help businesses promote products to the world market; organizing international fairs with well-organized work to help build Kien Giang trade image in the eyes of international partners and friends; linking trade promotion activities through programs connecting businesses with distribution channels and large supermarket chains. 
Only in the first 6 months of 2017, the Center has accompanied enterprises to participate in the Mekong Delta International Agricultural Festival 2017 in Can Tho city; The first agricultural product fair of cooperatives, cooperative unions and enterprises in Hanoi; THAIFEX Fair - World Food Asia 2017 in Bangkok City; The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2017 in Hanoi; The fair connects Vietnamese businesses with Japan and Thailand ... In cooperation with the provincial and local cooperative alliances, they surveyed and assisted the enterprises purchasing rice for export in Chau Thanh, Tan Hiep, Hon Dat, Giong Rieng, Go Quao, Vinh Thuan districts, and Long Xuyen quadrangle.
The Center has also organized a delegation of officials and businesses to exchange cooperation with Yamaguchi (Japan) to visit the infrastructure of companies as well as exchange information related to fisheries and exports at Yamaguchi...
As a rice export company, Mr Tran Van Hieu, Assistant General Director of Agricultural Products Joint Stock Company VINACAM shared, although the rice export market is difficult, the company has chosen the high end market segment with the support of the province as well as the Center. Currently, the company buys all products in Hon Dat district about 20 thousand hectares in the district area 79,093 hectares of winter-spring rice crop. The company has promoted investment for farmers in seeds and technology. It is proposed that farmers do not use chemical fertilizers outside the list granted by provincial departments, or that the Department of Plant Protection prohibits.
Mr An has a similar opinion and evaluates that with the support of the provincial authorities, especially the Center, the provincial business community has grasped the market trend and been in the right direction. The business has renovated the factory, equipment investment meeting the standards of rice exports to the high-end and fastidious markets such as the US, EU, Japan, and China... Although it is difficult, in particularly Mr. An's business, the company's rice export turnover has increased 30% compared with 2016. "It is the orientation of the government to help people and businesses understand the problem of high quality rice cultivation, strict management of origin, quality of rice ... so that solves the problem of product consumption", Mr An said.
With the challenges of integrating into the global economy, in order to achieve the target of serving and accompanying the businesses, Ms Thao said that in 2017 and the following years, promotion work has required the demand of human resources who must be highly skilled, professional and keen in grasping market information to support businesses. Therefore, the center has continued to focus on the training of cadres, especially the specialized training appropriate to the requirements of working positions; foreign language training and political theories are also necessary to pay attention to meet the requirements of international economic integration.
Nguyễn Minh, Translated by Tran Thanh Tuyen (