Creating new opportunities for Vietnam – US agricultural cooperation

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27 September 2021, US: Both parties recognized the potential for trade development based on the agricultural complementarity of the two nations. Vietnam’s primary agricultural export market is the US.

Deputy Minister of MARD Le Quoc Doanh worked with some US partners during President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and high-ranking delegates’ working visit to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from September 21-25.

The MARD leader met with officials from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC), the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the United States Grains Council (USGC).

Both parties recognized the potential for trade development based on the mutual complementarity of the two nations’ agriculture throughout the meeting. The United States is Vietnam’s biggest agricultural export market, and Vietnam is also one of the top advantaged customers for agricultural goods of the US.

Vietnam and the US have undertaken a series of measures over the last three years to execute the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement’s (TIFA) Action Plan, which aims to expand the market and create favorable circumstances for the two countries’ agricultural trade.

The US has opened its market to certain tropical fruits and implemented a similar identification system for tra fish, thus facilitating Vietnamese companies’ acquisition of information and entry to the US market.

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The US will explore opening its market to Vietnamese pomelo, passion fruit in the near future, as well as implementing an analogous recognition system for marine goods in general.

As a result, Vietnam’s market is now open to high-quality fruit products from the United States, including apple, grapes, pears, and nectarines, with registration certificates for US meat and seafood exporters, certification of biotech products, and import tax exemption and reduction for animal feed ingredients.

Vietnam is seen as a highly trustworthy partner by all US partners when it comes to fulfilling trade agreements in the agriculture sector. Additionally, MARD arranged a series of meetings with businesses importing and exporting agricultural goods from both nations, resulting in the signing of 18 Memorandums of Understanding on agricultural trade cooperation between enterprises. Since February 2020, Vietnam and the United States have agreed and executed a comprehensive trade agreement.

The agricultural commerce between the two nations has grown from USD 8 billion in 2017 to USD 12.8 billion in 2020, increasing at a 60 percent annual rate after three years. In the midst of the complex COVID-19 epidemic, agricultural commerce between the two nations reached USD 10.9 billion in the first eight months of 2021, increasing 41.5 percent over the same time in 2021.

Apart from promoting agricultural trade, Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh emphasized the importance of collaboration in agricultural technical science during his discussion with USDA Deputy Secretary Hafemaister. Vietnam welcomes and is ready to collaborate closely with the US in advancing humankind’s technical accomplishments in the agricultural sector, including biotechnology, vaccine technology to prevent animal illnesses, sustainable agricultural production processes, and biodiversity.

Vietnam, as a nation that has been badly impacted by climate change and extreme weather, welcomes the US’ re-entry into the Paris Climate Agreement and reaffirms its commitment to accelerate global efforts to address climate change.

Vietnam’s support to the US program “Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate – AIM for Climate” was reaffirmed by Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh. Simultaneously, Vietnam welcomed the US initiative on the Coalition of Action on Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation (Coalition of Action on Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation – Coalition of Action on Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation – SPG).

This collaboration will significantly aid in the development of Vietnam’s agriculture in the next years into a more green and sustainable path. Additionally, the Deputy Minister suggested that the US side assist and introduce major businesses to work with Vietnam and the World Economic Forum (WEF) on implementing the Public-Private Partnership Initiative. Food Innovation Center in Vietnam for Southeast Asia, as well as the program on low emission practices to 100 million farmers.

Additionally, Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh observed the signing of a technical cooperation agreement between the two parties at the meeting with the USGC. They will establish a (technical) cooperation relationship in the fields of agriculture and animal feed, biofuel production and use in Vietnam, as well as improve mutual understanding of pertinent policies and regulations in accordance with Vietnam’s laws, regulations, policies, and development goals.

The USGC will assist Vietnamese managers, importers, feed processing companies, and others working in this area in gaining access to new technology, new markets, and new skills for organizing production management. The US will assist Vietnamese livestock businesses with medical equipment such as COVID-19 diagnostic kits and COVID-19 treatments.

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