Viet Nam calls for more EU investment in agriculture

Monday, Oct 04, 2021 08:00

A cashew processing line for export. — Photo

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan last week suggested EU firms increase investment in Viet Nam’s agriculture, in the direction of high-technology, green standards and environmental sustainability.

At a working session with Ambassador Pier Giorgio Aliberti, head of the EU Delegation to Viet Nam, Hoan also called on the EU to help Viet Nam improve capacity for its co-operatives and upgrade small-scale agricultural production infrastructure.

Viet Nam is gearing towards transparent, responsible and green agriculture, and is making efforts to promote a quality-based and multivalued agricultural sector, according to the minister.

He suggested FDI firms from the EU export machinery, equipment, technologies and materials to Viet Nam.

For Viet Nam’s exports to the EU, the official proposed the EU send experts to Viet Nam or establish a representative office in the Southeast Asian country to supervise food safety before the shipment.

Hoan described the EU as a potential market for tropical agricultural products, including those from Viet Nam, noting that the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has created more opportunities and momentum for trade cooperation between the two sides.

In the first eight months of this year, Viet Nam earned US$2.38 billion from agro-forestry-fishery exports to the EU, up 8.11 per cent year-on-year. Its import value also reached VND542 million, a rise of 2.24 per cent.

During the working session, Hoan also highlighted Viet Nam’s efforts in implementing recommendations by the EU to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Combating IUU fishing is a central task of the agricultural sector and an urgent need for Viet Nam to help the country develop the fishery sector sustainably, demonstrate its responsibility and promote its prestige in the international arena.

The ministered thanked the EU for its support to Viet Nam in this regard, and affirmed that Viet Nam will make all-out efforts to implement relevant recommendations.

He appealed to the EU to remove the “yellow card” warning imposed on Viet Nam as soon as possible.

Hoan suggested the EU help Viet Nam build smart cold chain logistics connecting the Mekong Delta and Southeastern localities with Cai Mep – Thi Vai Port to boost Viet Nam’s fruit export to Europe and the Middle East.

For his part, Aliberti said after two years of realising the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT), the two sides have cooperated and expected to have more in-depth, effective dialogue in the future.

Viet Nam will effectively implement the timber legality assurance (VNTLAS), he believed.

The EU would provide Viet Nam with technical assistance to ensure cold storage for fruits and vegetables for export to the EU, he said, suggesting the two sides continue to seek solutions regarding animal and plant quarantine.

The minister and ambassador shared the view that there is ample room for trade cooperation between Viet Nam and the EU in agriculture. — VNS

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