More qualify as rice-export firms

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Viet Nam had 44 companies that reached the necessary standards to obtain a licence to export rice under Decree 109 issued by the Government on the management of rice exports, said an official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Phan Van Chinh, director of the ministry’s Import and Export Department, said there were 50-60 rice exporters that could potentially reach the standards necessary to be granted a licence.

By August, the ministry had granted export licences to 29 firms and 15 more were pending, Chinh said.

He added that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had been asked to review one of the conditions of the licence, that stipulated that the processing of rice must be carried out in one location, rather than different stages in different locations.

Businesses were also struggling to meet drying regulations outlined in the decree, he said.

In response to this, the ministry worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and agreed that equipment and milling facilities did not have to be located in the same place.

Drying regulations, however, were compulsory to ensure the quality of export rice, he said.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said his ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Viet Nam Food Association had carefully discussed when these regulations should come into effect, and decided that nine months was an appropriate time frame for exporters to comply.

However, a report said there remained many obstacles that had not been taken into account, as well as market conditions this year, he said.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has arranged a meeting on August 9 with businesses and authorities from the Cuu Long Delta provinces, the country’s largest rice production region, to find a solution.

Regulations would be applied flexibly so as not to affect targeted rice exports for this year, Bien said. — VNS

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