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PM suggests US help Vietnam develop agriculture

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has suggested the US assist Vietnam in promoting the rapid, sustainable and modern development of agriculture that matches Vietnam’s conditions.

During a reception in Hanoi on April 19 for US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, PM Chinh sought the US’s support in building an ecological agriculture, modern rural areas and civilised farmers while improving the added value of agricultural products to bring benefits to consumers and the two economies, thus contributing to the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership.

In its overall foreign policy, Vietnam always considers the US one of its top important partners, and backs the strengthening of friendly cooperation in various fields, with agriculture being an important area, he said, adding that Vietnam is ready to continue deepening ties with the US in an effective and substantial manner on the basis of mutual respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political regime of each other, matching the interests of their people and contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The PM suggested the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the US Department of Agriculture further strengthen cooperation to diversify products and supply chains.

He urged the US to further open its market for Vietnamese farm produce, complete necessary procedures to open the market for Vietnamese products such as coconut and passion fruit; support the establishment of irradiation facilities in northern Vietnam to facilitate the export of fruits such as lychee, mango, pomelo, and dragon fruit; limit the use of unnecessary technical barriers and tools in agricultural trade with Vietnam; assist Vietnam in planning and developing raw material areas and meeting US standards for food safety and hygiene.

Furthermore, Vietnam encourages strong and diversified investment by US businesses in agriculture in the country, he said, adding that Vietnam is willing to open up its market and increase imports of several agricultural products from the US.

The Vietnamese leader also proposed that the US Department of Agriculture strengthen coordination and assist Vietnam in green transition, climate change response, technological transfer, digital transformation in agriculture, disease control as well as research and production of vaccines, fertilisers and animal feed, increase scholarships and workforce training in agriculture.  

According to him, carrying forward the Vietnam-US agricultural cooperation will step up the consumption of farm produce, create jobs and livelihoods for farmers, especially those in remote areas and affected by Agent Orange during the past war, and strong impacts of climate change, especially in the Mekong Delta.

Vilsack, for his part, said it is the third time he has visited Vietnam, and each time he witnessed the strong development of the country as well as bilateral ties.

He affirmed that the US wants to beef up ties with Vietnam, especially in trade. He called on both sides to continue learning from each other's experience in agricultural development, particularly smart agriculture and climate change adaptation.

The guest pledged to work with the two countries’ relevant agencies to nurture cooperation in areas suggested by the Vietnamese PM, including setting up irradiation facilities in northern Vietnam, thus meeting the demands of the US and other markets, and expanding the market for their farm produce./.