US agricultural exporters on mission to seek trade opportunities in Viet Nam

Thursday, Oct 17, 2019 08:08

Ted McKinney (Standing), undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at the US Department of Agriculture, speaks at a press conference about a trade mission of US business and government officials in HCM City taking place from Oct 15-18. — Photo

More than 40 US exporters and trade associations are visiting Viet Nam from Tuesday to Friday to seek agricultural export opportunities in “one of the fastest-growing regions in the world”, a US official said.

Ted McKinney, undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at the US Department of Agriculture, is leading the agricultural trade mission in HCM City.

McKinney said that US firms were very keen on enhancing opportunities available in Asia. About 80 industry and government representatives, including the US Soybean Export Council and US Grains Council, are part of the mission.

McKinney will meet with Vietnamese government officials and businesses to foster agricultural trade between the two countries. At the same time, US companies will have business to business (B2B) meetings with local firms to explore opportunities in Viet Nam.

“The size of this trade mission speaks to the phenomenal potential that exists for US exports in Viet Nam and surrounding countries,” he said. “Since the US normalised relations with Viet Nam in 1995, our agricultural exports have grown exponentially, reaching a record US$4 billion last year."

Viet Nam is one of the US’s fastest-growing markets, according to McKinney.

Major US exports include computers and electronics, cotton, machinery, fruit and nuts, soybeans and grains.

Agricultural trade between the two countries has reached $8.6 billion last year, a rise of about 25 per cent over 2017.

The US exported $4.2 billion worth of farm produce and food to Viet Nam last year, up 50 per cent from 2017, making Viet Nam the US’s seventh-largest agricultural export market, according to McKinney.

In addition, both countries have made joint efforts to gradually lift technical barriers to trade and make their markets more open, widening access for US agricultural products to Viet Nam.

The potential for further trade between the two countries is high because of Viet Nam’s growing middle class and strong and stable GDP growth, he noted.

The trade mission also includes buyer delegations from Thailand and Myanmar.

The heads of six departments of agriculture from the US states of Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming are also part of the US delegation. — VNS

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