20 February 2023, Vietnam: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan recently had a working session with Ambassador Katherine Tai, Chief of the United States Trade Representative. The meeting was held on the afternoon of February 14 in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the two parties discussed issues regarding bilateral trade cooperation and regional integration.
At the meeting, the two Ministers highly commended the bilateral trade cooperation between Vietnam and the US over the past few years, with emphasis on the efforts the two countries put into handling trade issues, and most notably Investigation No. 301 on timber.
The two ministers pledged to further promote cooperation, accelerate the process of market opening, and resolve trade barriers for agro-forestry-fishery products of mutual interest, including timber, fruits, aquatic and agricultural biological products.
Regarding the US’s interest in science and technology applications, labor exploitation issues and environmental protection in agricultural production, Minister Le Minh Hoan affirmed that advanced scientific application is one of the most important tools to restructure agricultural production in adapting to climate change as well as ensuring socio-economic goals for the people and workers.
Minister Le Minh Hoan emphasized that Vietnam will not trade economic development for sustainable development and social goals; the people will be the main developmental focus.
The Minister also reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to building a transparent – responsible – sustainable agriculture at the United Nations Summit on Food Systems in September 2021.
On the other hand, Vietnam is always expanding the possibilities to cooperate with developed countries for inclusive and sustainable agricultural development in addition to keeping pace with global trends and holding responsibility for global concerns.
In reponse to the request by Minister Le Minh Hoan, the US Trade Representative said that she would work with relevant US agencies to promptly resolve existing trade issues, such as those regarding timber and honey products; as well as consider the request to open the market for Vietnamese fruit.
She also affirmed that she will continue to promote technical cooperation, assist Vietnam to strengthen its capacity in implementing its multilateral and bilateral commitments, making practical contributions to the peace and prosperity regionally as well as globally
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