Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam and Australia agreed to improve cooperation in the agricultural sector during their first high-level dialogue on agricultural policies in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
Lê Quốc Doanh, deputy minister of agriculture and rural development, said agriculture plays an important role in Việt Nam’s socio-economic development, contributing to about 20 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In 2015, Việt Nam shipped agricultural products worth US$500 million to Australia and imported agricultural products of the same value. However, both nations have not fully exploited their own potential, Doanh said.
Việt Nam wants Australia to facilitate the export of products from Vietnamese enterprises to Australia as well as continue sharing its experience in policymaking to promote bilateral trade in agricultural products, the deputy minister said.
Doanh said Australia is an important partner in agricultural development. The two countries have co-operated to implement programmes such as clean water in rural areas and response to climate change, especially in vulnerable areas such as the Mekong Delta and in many coastal regions.
The dialogue is an opportunity for both countries to settle policy obstacles, improve market access for each other’s agricultural products and discuss ways to boost product quality, said David Parker, deputy secretary of Australia’s department of agriculture and water resources.
Australia and Việt Nam have collaborated to improve agricultural policies and livelihood and for human resource development in the agricultural sector and in rural areas, he said.
Việt Nam exported $17 million worth of fruits and vegetables to Australia in the first nine months of 2016 and imported $35 million worth of the same from Australia. The country is Australia’s 15th trading partner, while Australia is Việt Nam’s 8th.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown rapidly, from $32.3 million in 1990 to $5.1 billion in 2013 and $6 billion in 2014. — VNS