Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Vietnam targets to export 4.8 mln tons of rice in 2009

HANOI, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam made the target to export 4.8 million tons of rice in 2009, exceeding the estimated 4.5 million tons in 2008, the local newspaper Industry and Trade reported Monday.

    The export is expected to go up next year because the global economic crisis may drive some people into starvation and to rely on rice instead of fruit, vegetables and meat, according to Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    The estimate is also based on increasing demands from potential foreign importers. African countries, especially Nigeria and South Africa, have expressed interest in importing Vietnam's rice in coming years, said the ministry.

    Despite the estimated increase in volume, the prices for Vietnam's rice exports in 2009 are forecast to decrease, causing the shrink in export revenue, according the ministry.

    To achieve the target, Vietnam's Finance Ministry has recently approved the elimination of the export tax for rice as part of the government's effort to boost the country's rice export.