Fruitful talks between Canadian, Vietnamese ministers

09:10 | 19/03/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - Canada will sell blueberries and expand its lobster exports to Vietnam, cooperate with Vietnamese breeders on high-quality pig gene research and provide financial aid to improve the safety of local   farm products.  

These are some of the outcomes of talks held on February 27 in Hanoi between Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, and a delegation from Canada led by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay.

Canada is the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world, but its market share in Vietnam remains limited at 0.72 percent. Both sides are interested in increasing their volume of agricultural trade, pointing out that their products complement each other’s and do not compete.

“The two sides will create good conditions and support each other to increase investment, contributing to developing the agricultural product market between the two countries,” Nguyen Xuan Cuong said.

Seafood, wheat flour, soy bean, beef, pig, fruit and animal feed are currently Canada’s key exports to Vietnam.
MacAulay said his country wants to expand the sales of Canadian lobsters in Vietnam and to introduce blueberries into the local market. Furthermore, being a strong global pork exporter, Canada also hopes to cooperate with Vietnam on pig genetic research.

Cuong said Vietnam encourages the import of high-quality pig breeds, as well as the introduction of Canadian lobsters to Vietnamese lobster farms to provide for its domestic needs and the import needs of other markets. There are currently 35 Canadian lobster importers, he said.

MacAulay told his host that his country would soon assist Vietnam in a “safety for growth” project with around CAD15 million (US$11million). This is a follow-up project to one lasting from 2008 to 2014, worth CAD17 million (US$12.9 million), aimed at improving the quality, safety and market accessibility of Vietnamese vegetables, tea, pork and poultry, through renovation in the production and processing system.

The second project had a budget of CAD500,000 (US$379,377) and ended in December 2016. Its aim was to encourage private investment in the agricultural sector, renew policies and improve productivity.

The Canadian government also supports the Vietnamese Cooperative Enterprise Development project via a non-government organization SOCODEVI, aiming at improving the livelihood of farmers, developing cooperatives and enhancing capacity for members of cooperatives.

MacAulay hailed Vietnamese coffee and seafood but suggested further improving production by adopting technological advances and adjusting products to suit consumers’ taste in each market.

Vietnam is now a leading Canadian trade partner among ASEAN member countries. Agri-food products and fisheries play a

more and more important role in Canada’s exports to Vietnam. In 2016, Vietnam’s export turnover to Canada reached

US$2.65 billion, while import turnover stood at US$389.9 million.

Nguyen Hanh