The Government has issued a resolution, approving the extension of its rice trade agreement with the Philippine Government. Under the resolution, Vietnam will continue to supply rice for the Philippines through the exchange of notes and approval of exchange notes. The Government tasks the Foreign Ministry, in coordination with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, with finalising and sending exchange notes to the Philippines to extend the agreement and carry out relevant procedures. The 2010 rice trading agreement is due to lapse on December 31, 2016 and expected to be extended for the 2017-2020 period. The Philippines is among the biggest importers of rice from Vietnam. However, the rice shipments to the Philippines have experienced a downturn recently. The Vietnam Food Association said domestic businesses have a chance to boost rice exports as the Philippines plans to import 293,100 tonnes of rice from Vietnam to meet food demand during the 2017 between-crop period. Last August, Vietnam also won a bidding to provide 150,000 tonnes of rice for the Philippines.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr. Tran Tuan Anh said Vietnam and the Philippines should consider extending their rice trade deal, which will expire at the end of this year, for a new period of 2017-2020. He made the proposal during a meeting with his Philippine counterpart, Ramon Lopez, in Vientiane, Laos, on the sidelines of the 48th Asean Economic Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings. Minister Anh suggested that the Philippines organize the second meeting of the Vietnam-Philippines Joint Sub-Committee on Trade at a convenient time to foster co-operation and tackle emerging problems in bilateral trade ties, as well as to discuss specific measures to boost two-way trade in the future. Lopez lauded Vietnam’s proposal to extend the bilateral rice trade deal, affirming that he will discuss the matter with relevant ministries and agencies in his country. He agreed to organize the second meeting of the Vietnam-Philippines Joint Sub-Committee on Trade in the third quarter of this year, and invited his Vietnamese counterpart to co-chair the event in the Philippines. Both sides expressed pleasure at the growing bilateral trade partnership over the past few years, with two-way trade reaching nearly US$3 billion last year and $1.52 billion in the first half of 2016, a rise of 15.3 per cent year-on-year. So far this year, Vietnam has exported $1.08 billion worth of goods to the Philippines, up 17.5 per cent, while importing $443 million worth of goods, an increase of 10.3 per cent. An upturn has been seen in both bilateral trading volume and value, while the goods being traded have become more diverse. Vietnam mainly exports agricultural products, processed foodstuff and construction materials to the Philippines, while importing computers, electronic accessories and fertilizer.