Heighten Vietnam – USA cooperation relationship through agriculture
28 November 2022, Vietnam: Mr. Bean said that the two countries had had many cooperations in agriculture in recent years, such as transferring technology to produce African swine fever vaccine or opening the door to Vietnamese pomelos. From a personal perspective, the US Agricultural Counselor said that he fully enjoyed Vietnamese agro-products. “My family only uses Vietnamese coffee because of its signature strong flavor of a tropical land,” he said.
According to the Counselor, the USA has strengths in husbandry and over the past time, the US Embassy has cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in projects to build rations for animal feed along with training on new technologies such as creating drought-adapted soybean varieties and applying biotechnology to create products adaptive to climate change.
Apart from the success in cooperation in technology transfer to produce African swine fever vaccine, Counselor Ralph Bean said that the trade turnover between the two countries, which only increased by 1.5% in 2021, would soon regain its growth momentum to match the potential and fully exploit the fiscal space of both sides. In the past 5 years, the trade balance between Vietnam and the USA has always been in favor of Vietnam, and to the Agricultural Counselor, this is not a matter of concern. “What I want the most is for both sides to create a level playing field for businesses, as well as win-win cooperate in trade.”
At the meeting, a representative of the US plant quarantine agency said that the agency was coordinating with the Plant Protection Department (PPD – MARD) to consider opening more doors for Vietnamese citrus and nut crops. He also hoped that Vietnam would provide support so that US grapefruit products would be allowed for export to Vietnam.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep assessed that the transfer of science and technology from the US was a great help to Vietnam, which included the agricultural sector. “The two countries’ trade turnover in 2021 reached over USD 111 billion. That achievement was made possible thanks to the US Embassy’s major contribution and promotion,” said Deputy Minister Nguyen Hoang Hiep.
On the occasion of this meeting, Deputy Minister Nguyen Hoang Hiep requested support from the US Embassy and directly the Agricultural Counselor in 8 groups of issues:
- Deploy an IUU prevention memorandum of understanding in terms of training, capacity building, and law enforcement at sea.
- Support initiatives on green, low-carbon agriculture, development of forest ecosystem diversity and biodiversity conservation in order to help Vietnam fulfill its commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 as set out at COP26.
- Support timber law enforcement agencies to help Vietnam properly implement the recommendations in Census 301.
- Promote and allow coconut and passion fruit to enter the US market in the near future.
- The two sides soon find a common voice to speed up agricultural trade, which currently stands at approximately USD 13 billion. Deputy Minister Hiep said that in the coming period, Vietnam would consider importing commodities such as wheat, fertilizer, and vegetables from the USA.
- Vietnam has successfully produced the African swine fever vaccine. If the product is sold to the world, Vietnam would the USA for support to be able to commercialize the vaccine successfully.
- The USA invested approximately USD 17 billion in Vietnam, but agriculture only accounts for a small part of FDI (nearly USD 500 million). Deputy Minister Hiep suggested the US Counselor conduct further studies, consult and provide advice to increase this number, ensuring no disruption to the global supply chain, as well as bilateral supply of agro-products.
- The USA investigate carefully and let Vietnam have certain voices in the investigation of honey, plywood, and wooden cabinets.
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