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Vietnam and the United States: Promoting trusted trade partnership and green growth in agriculture

HANOI, VIETNAM 9 September 2023 – President of the United States Joe Biden’s official visit to Vietnam (Sep 10-11) will mark a new milestone in bilateral relations and positive progress between two countries. In particular, that will facilitate development and continues to show notable growth in agricultural trade.The Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has welcomed the delegations of the US Secretary of Agriculture, the United States Trade Representative (USTR), two US Deputy Secretaries of State, two US Deputy Secretaries of Agriculture, and the Governors of Nebraska and California over the past year. This demonstrates the importance of Vietnam in cooperation with the United States. Concurrent with the bilateral contacts is a series of exchanges, negotiations, shared understanding and coordination activities between the 2 sides, building partner trust and a very important foundation for promoting stronger agricultural cooperation. With President Biden’s upcoming visit to Vietnam, relations between the two countries will be raised to a new level, creating favorable conditions for promoting bilateral cooperation between the 2 countries in general and the agriculture and rural development sector in particular.

To foster trusted partnership and development of agricultural trade

The United States has been on the top list of export markets of Vietnam in general and for agricultural products in particular. Vietnam’s agricultural, forestry and fishery exports to the United States reached 13 billion USD in 2022, accounting for 24.4% of the total country Agro-forestry-fishery (AFF) exports to the world. However, it only represents 6.7% of the US’s AFF imports, showing a potential for Vietnam exports in the US market.

The United States applies strict requirements and a wide range of technical and SPS standards on agricultural and food products. In that context, Vietnam is making efforts to better meet those requirements.

Organization of production associated with the needs, tastes and technical standards of the United States. In details, priority is given to R&D investment on plant and animal breeds, etc., that meet technical, food safety and animal and plant health conditions and standards; promoting imported seed suitable to local conditions, increasing the diversity of agricultural products, targeting the US market; building value chain integration between US import enterprises and Vietnamese enterprises to transfer technology and varieties besides ensuring quality control to meet the requirements of technical and quality standards of the US market.

Improvement of product quality and value to satisfy the requirements of the US market. It is essential to review and finalize the current system of technical standards and national technical regulations for agricultural products with reference to US standards. It is also necessary to complete the food safety and disease safety control system crop, livestock, seafood, animal feed, etc., for consideration, evaluation, recognition of equivalence, and opening export markets by the United States.

Moreover, many agricultural products of the two countries have been opened market access in recent years. With active negotiation between two countries, the United States is becoming the largest poultry meat exporter to Vietnam (accounting for about 34% of total poultry meat imports), the second largest beef exporter (after Australia, accounting for about 16%) and the sixth largest pork exporter (accounting for about 5%) to Vietnam.

At the same time, the United States also opened the market for many Vietnamese products. Most recently, on August 7, 2023, APHIS completed updating the online database of Agricultural Commodity Import Requests (ACIR) to approve imports of Vietnamese fresh coconuts.

In the coming time, Vietnam will prioritize boosting the export of wood and wood products, seafood, and cashew nuts, pepper, and coffee, fruits into the US market.

To promote green growth and sustainable development

The cooperation agricultural green growth between Vietnam and the United States has brought many benefits, including environmental protection and improved product quality and the sustainable development of the agricultural sector. Two countries continue to cope with environmental challenges and climate change together.

Vietnam Government pays close attention to sustainable development, climate change and international commitments. At the COP26 (The UN Climate Change Conference), Vietnam made a commitment to bring net emissions to zero by 2050, joined the “Methane Pledge” and the “Glasgow Declaration on Forests and Land Use”.

To implement the commitments at COP26, COP27, Vietnam has participated in many initiatives with the United States and other countries and international organizations such as: i) Initiative “Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate Change” (AIM4C); ii) the Action Alliance “Promoting Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation” (SPG); iii) the World Economic Forum’s “Food Innovation Hub” (FIH) and iv) the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “100 Million Farmers: Transitioning to Zero-Emission and Environmentally Friendly Food Systems”; v) Coalition on “Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance ” (LEAF).

As agreed between the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the US Secretary of Agriculture, from April 2022, the US-Vietnam Climate Change Working Group was launched with the participation of relevant agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and representatives of USDA, USAID, and USFS to reduce emissions in agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry.

In the immediate future, the two sides focus on the implementation of projects including the project “Adaptation to Climate Change in the Mekong Delta”, “Fertilizer Right”, “Transformational Strategies for Farm Output Risk Mitigation in Livestock Sector” (TRANSFORM). In particular, The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam is coordinating with the US WF to complete the signing of the Letter of Intent and develop the program ” Viet Nam for Life: Nature-based Solutions for the Central ” with a long-term cooperation framework lasting up to 20 years, with a budget of up to 300 million USD, focusing on addressing climate change issues, protect and restore biodiversity, while benefiting local communities in the Central Annamite Mountains, one of Asia’s largest adjacent primary forests.

Vietnam will join hands to cooperate with the US Government, organizations, and investors as trusted partners to develop a green and sustainable agriculture and develop better agricultural supply chains and contribute to the global food security.

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