The Hanoitimes - On November 23, Vietnam and Australia hold agriculture policy dialogue in Hanoi and reached a consensus on establishing a joint working group this year to bolster farming trade and cooperation between the sides.
On the Australian side, David John Parker, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Water Resources, said the group should be established as soon as possible so that it could work on prioritized contents agreed by both sides and produce practical results in the next six months. He assigned Amy Guihot, agricultural trade counselor at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, to coordinate with relevant Vietnamese agencies in the establishment of the joint working team.
On the Vietnamese side, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh tasked the Department of International Cooperation with working with the Australian side in setting up the group by the year’s end. He said the group would deliver advice on the trade of farming products, technical barriers and animal and plant quarantine processes.
Vietnam and Australia hold agriculture policy dialogue in Hanoi
At the dialogue, both sides came up with proposals to give a boost to bilateral trade of agricultural products. Guihot said access to each other’s fruit and vegetable market should be a priority for both countries. Vietnam, meanwhile, reiterated its wish to access the Australian market of live seafood, particularly shrimp and basses.
The market for forestry products was also high on the agenda, with Vietnam suggesting building detailed guidelines with the involvement of the business community in order to promote the trade of timber and other forestry products. Other issues mentioned at the meeting were policies in managing drought and water resources.
MARD Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh said agriculture plays an important role in the socio-economic development of Vietnam and Australia has continually been a big partner in agricultural development.
Many programmes with Australia have been carried out in such fields as rural clean water and climate change response, especially in the Mekong Delta and coastal areas which are the most vulnerable, he said. The Vietnamese ministry wants Australia to continue sharing experience in policy making so as to tackle hindrances and promote bilateral trade in agricultural products, he added.
Deputy Secretary of the Australian department David Parker said the dialogue is a chance for the two sides to enhance their access to each other’s agricultural product markets and discuss ways to raise product quality.
At the event, an Australian trade counsellor said Australia has exported a considerable volume of cattle, milk products, grapes, oranges and tangerines to Vietnam over the past years. It is considering support to people in northern Vietnam in cultivation techniques and participation in the agricultural product market.
In the last two decades, Australia has conducted studies on gum and thorn tree varieties to help with Vietnam’s afforestation. The plantation of these species has greatly contributed to the production and export of timber and wood products in Vietnam.
By Anh Kiet