Vietnamese, American Companies Discuss Agribusiness Cooperation Online
|An online discussion with the topic: "Vietnam - US Exchange: Cooperation opportunities on Agriculture and Agribusiness" took place on the morning of Sept. 9, 2021. (Photo: Thuy Hang - VNT)|
The webinar was held at the headquarters of the VUFO connecting online representatives of relevant agencies of Vietnam and the United States, including representatives of agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, the Counselor of the Trade Office of the Vietnamese Embassy in the US and a number of professional social work organizations.
The American side includes: representatives of the Agriculture Department of the US Embassy in Hanoi; representative of the American Chamber of Commerce and the US-ASEAN Business Council in Vietnam; Consulting Organization Runckel & Associates (Oregon State); FDAImports Company (Maryland State) specializing in consulting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-FDA; Center for Agricultural Affairs, University of California; Vietnam Resource Group; representatives of a number of professional associations in the U.S. with strengths in agriculture.
Also, the webinar was joined by nearly 100 delegates from 35 Vietnamese companies, enterprises, cooperatives and more than 10 American enterprises operating in the fields of agricultural production, processing and trading of agricultural products, aquatic and seafood products for export.
|The webinar was particpated by nearly 100 delegates from 35 Vietnamese companies, enterprises, cooperatives and more than 10 American enterprises. Getty image|
The webinar program consists of two sessions, including a general introduction session on achievements, results, potentials and prospects of U.S.-Vietnam agricultural cooperation and an online exchange session between U.S. and Vietnamese companies having exports to each other's markets.
In the first meeting on the morning of Sept. 9, 2021, at the opening of webinar, Ambassador Nguyen Tam Chien - President of the Vietnam - U.S. Society said: "Currently, the pandemic is causing many difficulties for people, families. and enterprises of the two countries. The U.S. is still one of the largest importers of tropical agricultural products – one of Vietnam's strengths -- and Vietnam is also importing more and more agricultural products from the U.S."
|Ambassador Nguyen Tam Chien - President of the Vietnam - US Society. Phtoto: Tuan Viet|
"Cooperation and trade in agricultural products is a testament to the complementary nature of the two economies, where both Vietnam and the United States have great needs and potential for development. In the first two months of 2021, the U.S. became Vietnam's largest agricultural export market, with a growth rate of nearly 60% compared to 2020."
"U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has emphasized that economic cooperation was one of the priorities in U.S. policy towards Vietnam. The U.S. is currently Vietnam's second largest trading partner and its leading export market. Strengthening economic cooperation with Vietnam is very important to the strategy of diversifying the supply chain for the US economy in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted global supply chains and make American enterprises face difficulties in production, import and export."
The Vice President of the United States is committed to helping Vietnam transit to a digital trade economy, applying high-tech techniques in agriculture; and welcomes Vietnam to join the initiative of improving agriculture for climate, applying smart agriculture to cope with climate change and using clean energy, he said.
The Ambassador also said that through this creative online forum, the Vietnamese side wanted to create another channel of people to people exchanges for American and Vietnamese businesses to be able to meet and connect each other, including small and medium size companies for exchanged information, learning market needs, meeting partners, promoting trade, sharing experiences, accessing each other's markets and two-way trade.
The Ambassador expressed his hope that this people-to-people cooperation channel would be a new effective way to develop partnerships in the current difficult period and for the new normal. At the webinar, the delegates shared and exchanged their experiences, views and ideas to contribute to promoting further agricultural cooperation activities of the two sides.
The delegates from the United States included Chris Junkle - former Deputy Ambassador of the U.S. to Vietnam; President of Runckel & Associates, Advisor of Viet Resource Consulting Company (VRG); Benjamin L. England – Founder and Chairman of FDAImports Company; Bob Bauer - President of the New Jersey Food Association; President of the U.S. Association of Food Industries, William Mathews - an expert from California Agricultural University; Aeron Magenheim - President of AgTech Insight; and a technology expert of the U.S. agricultural industry, who all shared their knowledge and experience to help businesses of the two countries enhance mutual understanding to promote agro-forestry trade.
Representatives from the United States shared solutions when completing export procedures to the U.S., issues of ensuring food safety and hygiene at the request of the United States or the application of modern agricultural technology such as post-harvest preservation technology, processing technology, and production of high-quality products for export to third countries.
|Benjamin L.England – Founder and Chairman of FDAImports Company|
The Vietnamese side emphasized the importance of bilateral trade between Vietnam and the U.S., and pointed out that all groups of Vietnamese products exported to the U.S. and products from the U.S. exported to Vietnam had no direct competition but was supported for both sides. For example, with wood products, Vietnam imports raw materials from the United States to produce processed products, or cashew nuts and coffee exported by Vietnam as preliminarily processed materials to the United States for local enterprises to work on next stages, meeting both parties' needs.
The delegates also said that Vietnam was now one of the 10 major partners of the U.S. and the largest exporter to the U.S. Vietnam is also the sixth largest market and the second largest buyer of U.S. raw materials, and despite the difficulties of the pandemic, the turnover of the two countries is expected to reach US$100 billion in 2021.
Although the economy did not grow as expected last year and Covid disrupted supply chains, U.S. investors continued to invest in Vietnam, achieving 2.9% growth. The U.S. representatives said that 2021 was still considered a successful year for economic cooperation of the two countries.
The Vietnamese delegates also mentioned the orientations and positive aspects of the two countries' cooperative trade in agricultural and forestry products and said that the government allowed the development of a pilot project to establish a separate trade counselor system for agriculture, which would be the focal agency to solve difficulties and problems for the agricultural industry
It is a step forward to help promote cooperation in agricultural product trade of the two countries, through which each agent and business also need make efforts to seize this development opportunity to find a direction and a firm foothold in the U.S. market.
Besides general issues, some businesses were especially interested in the presentation of overseas Vietnamese businessman Dr Uyen Nguyen sharing about his practical contributions when participating in promoting trade and cooperation in agricultural products when responding the initiative to invite overseas Vietnamese to join as members of agricultural and forestry cooperatives in Vietnam.
The second meeting took place on the morning of Sept. 10, 2021 with online exchanges, sharing and in-depth and detailed exchanges between U.S. and Vietnamese companies with agricultural products for export.
The host hopes that through this forum, it will strengthen connection and business exchanges between the two countries, and promote cooperation in agriculture and agribusiness, in which Vietnam has great potential, capabilities and strengths but faces many difficulties due to the pandemic.
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