04 July 2022, USA: On June 30, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh welcomed and had a working session with USDA Deputy Under Secretary Jason Hafemeister. The meeting was mainly focused on certain issues such as market opening for agro-products, responses to climate changes, emissions reduction, and application of technology and science in agroproduction.
At the beginning of the working session, Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh affirmed the positive signs in agricultural cooperation between the two countries, not only in documents but also in many practical actions.
“In February 2020, a delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and many businesses went to the USA to find solutions to increase the import of US advantageous products. During that trip, there were 18 documents signed between Vietnamese importers with US industry associations. This has had an immediate effect as in 2021 the percentage of feed imported from the USA increased to 64%,” said Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh.
Mentioning the area of interest to the US side, which is genetically modified products, the Deputy Minister said that Vietnam had licensed all 52 genetically modified event dossiers submitted by US businesses. The Deputy Minister noted that Vietnam prioritized licensing procedures for genetically modified corn and soybean in order to serve animal feed production.
Concerning market opening for agro-products, the leader of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that Vietnam had allowed the USA to export 171 types of plant seeds, 1 type of fresh tuber (potato), 12 types of grass and grass seeds, grass cuttings, sorghum seeds, and 6 kinds of fresh fruit. Vietnam is also coordinating with the USA to carry out procedures to open the market for grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, peaches, nectarines, Japanese plums and US-origin apricots.
“Vietnam has sent a dossier for pomelo and hopes to soon be approved by the US side. This is a very delicious tropical fruit and we believe that US consumers will love it,” Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh said.
Regarding this issue, USDA Deputy Under Secretary Jason Hafemeister said, “We will accelerate the process of completing procedures, especially before the G20 Summit to demonstrate the potential of trade cooperation between the two countries.”
The two parties had some other matters to discuss, which were responses to climate changes, food safety and sustainable production.
The Mekong Delta, the Central Highlands, and the South Central Coast are currently key agricultural areas of Vietnam but are greatly affected by climate change. Vietnam has had many policies and commitments to the international community to minimize the effects of climate change, not only in the short term but also in the long run. A prime example is the commitment of the Prime Minister of Vietnam at the recent COP26 which is to bring net emissions to zero by 2050. In this regard, Vietnam highly values the initiatives of the USA on climate change issues and Vietnam will actively participate in these initiatives.
Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh hoped that the United States would continue to pay attention to and provide support in terms of financial and technical resources through specific initiatives and actions so that Vietnam could strengthen its capacity and successfully implement global initiatives. “Support of the USA will contribute to the implementation of Vietnam’s commitments at COP26 and speeding up the implementation of US-initiated initiatives such as AIM4C, SPG, and Pathways to Dairy Net Zero.”
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