The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved a comprehensive seafood processing plan to be implemented over the next decade.
The plan seeks, among other things, to increase exports to US$10 billion by 2020 when 2 million MT are sought to be shipped.
The domestic consumption of processed seafood is targeted to reach 950,000 MT a year after growing at an average annual rate of 3.3 per cent.
The fisheries processing and cold storage capacity will be 2.1 million MT a year and 1.1 million MT ayear.
To achieve the targets, the plan envisages upgrade and construction of industrialised seafood processing plants and equipping fishing boats and seafood- purchase vessels with storage facilities.
Also to be built are seafood processing industrial clusters, refrigerating seafood warehouses, and a centre for research in processing and preserving seafood.
There will be programmes to train workers in seafood processing and promote exports and local consumption.
Seafood processing activities will be spread across the country's four main regions, with processing capacity based on the availability of raw materials, infrastructure, and human resources in each place.
In the Red River Delta region, Hai Phong City will be the hub.
In the north-central and central-coastal region, Da Nang City and Khanh Hoa Province will be the twin centres.
For the south-eastern region, it will be HCM City and Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, while in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region, it will be Can Tho. The ministry will also focus on developing export markets and create brand names for the country's major fisheries exports like black tiger shrimp, tra fish, and tuna.
While major traditional markets like the EU, the US and Japan will continue to be served, new markets like China, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and South America will be targeted. Distributors and supermarkets will directly be targeted for exports and not importers, unlike now.
At home, modern sales networks will be developed in urban and industrial areas.
The plan will cost VND24.6 trillion (US$1.17 billion) to implement, with the money coming from a variety of sources, including local and foreign loans and private investors.