Senior Vietnamese and US officials on agriculture met in Hanoi on May 11 to discuss how to boost agriculture cooperation between the two countries.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Tran Thanh Nam wished the US would create more favorable conditions for Vietnamese businesses working in fishery production and planting to increase trade with the US.
He raised his voice on the catfish inspection program of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), saying that some points in the program have yet to suit conditions of Vietnam and others. He suggested more discussions with US authorized agencies were in order.
Vietnam hopes for the USDA’s early recognition on related procedures for the export of Vietnamese mangoes and star apples to the US, as well as technical assistance and organic agricultural projects, including a training course on organic product certification for Vietnamese experts, Nam said.
In addition, Deputy Minister Nam asked the US to transfer the inspection program on plant quarantine to Vietnam while continuing to assist in monitoring the amount of plant protection drugs in exported products to the US.
For his part, Chief of the USDA’s Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs, Foreign Agricultural Service Robert Macke said the US has worked to address Vietnam’s concerns over catfish inspection in the past, affirming the US’ support for Vietnam in the matter.
He called for the MARD’s support for the approval of the Vietnamese Government to the US Embassy’s proposal on new positions of the USDA at offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Topics on food safety in agriculture cooperation in APEC and other bilateral trade collaboration issues were also discussed at the meeting.