June 29, 2022 | 13:20 GMT +7

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Saturday- 06:24, 04/06/2022

Diversifying agricultural strategic partner: New opportunities from the UK

(VAN) From May 25-28, the delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development led by Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien paid a working visit to the UK.
Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien and Ms. Victoria Prentis, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien and Ms. Victoria Prentis, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

The delegation was warmly welcomed by Government agencies, associations, research institutes, enterprises and obtained important results. On this occasion, Vietnam Agriculture Newspaper had an interview with Dr. Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, Director of the International Cooperation Department on the results of the trip.

Dear sir, it is known that the delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has just had a successful working visit to the UK. Can you tell us about the opportunities that Vietnam's agriculture industry has in cooperation with the United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom is in the top group of developed countries. Therefore, the strategic cooperation in the agricultural field between Vietnam and the UK opens up a series of new opportunities for agro-forestry-fishery (AFF) export, investment attraction as well as technology transfer and training.

Overview of Vietnam - UK Business Forum. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

Overview of Vietnam - UK Business Forum. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

After Brexit the UK is very interested in expanding its external relations with other countries, in which strategic cooperation with Vietnam is of particular interest. With high income levels, especially in London and some big cities, UK consumers are willing to pay high prices for quality guaranteed AFF products.

This is the foundation for the recent growth of Vietnam's AFF exports to the UK even during the Covid-19 pandemic (6.1% in 2021; 20.8% in the first four months of 2022 over the same period).

As a global financial center, British investors possess favorable conditions for capital and partnerships to invest in Vietnamese agriculture. With the UK's developed science and technology background, UK research institutes and universities have favorable conditions to support Vietnamese partners.

With the UK considering Vietnam as a strategic partner, technical assistance through grant projects for Vietnamese agriculture is a channel for technology transfer and capacity building that deserves proper attention.

The delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development took souvenir photos with the Pirbright Institute. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

The delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development took souvenir photos with the Pirbright Institute. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

Can you share more about the specific results of the working visit of the Delegation to the UK?

Within the framework of the official working visit to the UK, Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien had had a meeting with Ms. Victoria Prentis, Secretary of State in charge of the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The two parties highly agreed on opening market for strong products of each side. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is going to be signed between the two ministries on cooperation in the field of agriculture and rural development. The MoU mentioned more extensive cooperation on sustainable development, biosecurity, and animal welfare assurance. The British side also announced that it would send agricultural counselors to work at the UK Embassy in Vietnam for the first time by the end of this year.

Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien had also delivered an important opening speech at the Vietnam - UK Business Forum. This is an opportunity to promote trade and investment connections between the two countries’ agricultural enterprises.

The delegation visited and worked with specialized agencies of the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs such Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Pirbright Institute for Research and Control Animal-to-Human Disease Control, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) Agricultural Innovation Center, along with related agricultural models.

The delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development visited and worked with the NIAB Agricultural Innovation Center. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

The delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development visited and worked with the NIAB Agricultural Innovation Center. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

In the field of irrigation, the Delegation also gained a fair amount of experience in coordination between state management agencies and associations as well as the high socialization of irrigation services in the UK. The Delegation actively sought information and cooperation opportunities and proposed to the friend party very specific content concerning information sharing, research cooperation, and capacity building support.

After the visit, what is the plan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to implement strategic agricultural cooperation with the UK?

Firstly, the two sides will actively review and finalize the Memorandum of Understanding between the two ministries as soon as possible.

Secondly, the MARD will continue to direct specialized agencies of the two countries to complete market opening procedures and promote AFF trade based on the advantages of the two countries.

Thirdly, the ministry will work with Vietnamese exporters and prepare to organize a conference to connect agricultural enterprises, introduce and promote Vietnamese AFF in the UK as soon as possible. The goal is to build and establish trade and investment alliances between agribusinesses of Vietnam and the UK.

Fourthly, the ministry will prepare programs/projects to promote cooperation and technical assistance of the UK in capacity building, technology transfer, training/research cooperation in the field of animal health, irrigation, and environment.

Thank you, sir!

Author: Nguyen Thanh

Translated by Samuel Pham

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