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|Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh (Photo: VNA)|
Doanh is leading a Vietnamese delegation on a working trip to the US from February 24 – 29 to discuss boosting farm produce trade between the two countries. He was accompanied by representatives from 19 enterprises and one trade association operating in cereals and animal feed; meat, dairy and seafood products; fruits and vegetables; wooden furniture; and chemicals and fertilisers.
During a working session on February 24 with US Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and Ambassador Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the US Trade Representative, Doanh said Vietnam has also allowed the import of six kinds of fresh fruit from the US, which are cherry, pear, grape, apple, blueberry and orange.
Meanwhile, Vietnam is assessing quarantine and bio-safety risks regarding grapefruit, nectarine, apricot and plum from the US with a view to early allowing the import of the fruits, he said.
The deputy minister suggested that the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service should quickly allow the Hanoi Irradiation Centre and the Toan Phat Irradiation Company Ltd to provide radiation of US-bound fruits, thus helping Vietnamese firms cut costs of transporting fruits to the south for radiation. He also asked the US side to allow the vapor heat treatment for fresh fruits besides radiation, and urged the completion of risk evaluation procedures to Vietnamese pomelo to be exported to the US.
As scheduled from March 2 – 13, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will send a delegation to Vietnam to conduct a periodic review on the safety control programme for siluriformes fish exported to the US.
Deputy Minister Doanh also asked the USDA to continue assisting the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in holding intensive training courses on catfish inspection programme, and consider signing a bilateral trade agreement with Vietnam to offer incentives to investors and businesses in agriculture in particular./.