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23. April 2007

VIETNAM: PM urges development of rubber production

Source: Daily "Vietnam News", Hanoi; 23 Apr 2007

The establishment of the Viet Nam Rubber Industrial
Group was an important turning point in the
development of the rubber sector as it affirmed the
industry’s position in the country and the world,
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said yesterday.

Dung praised the 10 years of trade and investment
development of the predecessor of the group, the Viet
Nam Rubber Corporation, which has contributed to
generating jobs and stable incomes for hundreds of
thousands of people.

The development of the rubber industry has contributed
to alleviating hunger and poverty for a portion of
ethnic minority people, promoted economic
restructuring in rural areas and contributed to
political security and social order, the Prime
Minister said at the inauguration of the group.

The corporation has provided job for 83,000 people,
including 10,000 ethnic minority persons.

According to Dung, a variety of occupations focused on
the farming and processing of rubber products have
exhibited strong performances during the
industrialisation and modernisation of the country.

"To reach the target of becoming an industrialised
nation, the country must modernise agricultural and
rural areas, especially remote areas," he said.

Rubber is among the exports worth more than US$1
billion per year each, including aquacultural
products, coffee, rice and timber. Dung said that
rubber had been good for sustainable development
because it is a drought-resistant tree suitable for
land all over Viet Nam.

Over the past 10 years, the corporation has planted
220,000ha of rubber, including more than 180,000ha now
producing 320,000 tonnes of latex, record-high
productivity compared with other rubber-growing
nations in the world.

The corporation’s turnover increased by 7.4 times to
reach VND12.9 trillion (USD 806 million) last year, for a
profit of VND4.1 trillion (USD 256 million).

The planting of new rubber crops, however, has yet to
fulfil its potential advantages from available land
and human resources, Dung said.

He asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development to escalate planting so that the industry
can reach its target of 1 million hectares of rubber
trees by 2015.

In addition, Dung urged the industry to implement the
project of planting 100,000ha of rubber trees in Laos
and another 100,000ha in Cambodia, focusing investment
on processing rubber products.

As an agricultural sector, the rubber industry must
use market-competitive strategies to increase ist industrialisation.

Therefore the group must gradually implement a
development strategy suitable to the current market
situation so as to increase the commodity value of
rubber trees, acreage and related occupations.

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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