Vietnamese PM orders suspension of signing rice-exporting contracts
Hanoi, March 26 (VNA) – Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered a temporarily halt of signing new rice-exporting contracts, the Government Office said in a latest document concerning this matter. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is tasked with coordinating with relevant agencies, localities and rice exporters to review the supply, exports and reserves of the food. It will have to report to the PM by March 28 for consideration of adjustments to rice-exporting activities. PM Phuc also tasked the ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Finance with ensuring rice supply for the people amid climate change and the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 18, PM Phuc presided over a meeting, during which he stressed the food security must be ensured in a really firm way under any circumstance. Rice is the main food for the Vietnamese people, and also the country’s major hard currency earner. Vietnam is currently the third largest rice exporter in the world after India and Thailand. In 2019, the country exported 6.37 million tonnes of rice with a total revenue of 2.81 billion USD. A report of the MARD showed that Vietnam earned 410 million USD from exporting 895,000 tonnes of rice in the first two months of 2020, up 32.6 percent in value and 27 percent in volume compared to the same period last year./.