Vietnam views the US as an important partner in the field of agriculture, stated Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan at a working session with representatives from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington D.C. on May 11.
Hoan noted that over the past 27 years since Vietnam and the US normalised relations, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the USDA have carried out many practical and effective cooperation activities.
Thr Vietnamese Government has approved and implemented a strategy for the sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas to become a responsible country for global food security and the environment.
In order to implement Vietnam’s commitments at COP26, MARD has taken action, including a project to plant 1 billion trees, and the speeding up of projects and programmes to exchange carbon credits from forests, he noted, adding that the sector is transitioning towards green agriculture.
Vietnam has also joined other initiatives of the US and other countries and international organisations such as the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) and the Coalition on Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation (SPG), he added.
Hoan suggested that the US side continue to provide financial and technical support to Vietnam through specific activities, enabling Vietnam to improve its capacity and successfully implement global initiatives as well as the transition to a green, environmentally-friendly and low-carbon agriculture sector.
The Vietnamese minister thanked the USDA for assisting Vietnam during investigations into an anti-dumping case on Vietnamese honey in the US market.
Noting the two sides are working together to implement an agreement on the control of illegal wood exploitation and trading, he asked for US support so Vietnam can better implement commitments made in the agreement.
Hoan said the US is currently the largest exporter of poultry to Vietnam, the second largest for beef; and the sixth largest for pork.
At the same time, Vietnam has allowed the import of 171 varieties of agricultural produce from the US, and is working to open its market to more fruits of the US.
Hoan proposed that the US accelerate the finalisation of procedures to open its market for Vietnamese pomelo.
Regarding cooperation in science and technology, Hoan thanked the US for helping Vietnam control COVID-19 and respond to climate change. He said he hopes the US will continue to coordinate closely with Vietnam to research, trial and administer African Swine Flu vaccines.
For his part, USDA Deputy Under Secretary Jason Hafemeiser affirmed that the US always considers Vietnam one of its leading partners in agriculture, stressing the two sides can supplement each other in the field.
Hafemeiser underlined that collaboration in capacity improvement for sustainable development and climate change response is the top priority of the US. The US is building plans for COP27 to continue to promote these initiatives, he said.
The two sides agreed to direct agencies to work together to seek solutions to speed up the market’s opening as well as strengthen cooperation on technology, sustainable development and climate change response.
Concluding the meeting, Hoan invited leaders of the USDA to visit Vietnam, expressing his hope that people of both countries will enjoy more benefits from a trustworthy and win-win partnership.