From Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine 
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Minister Martin Heydon, Minister of State with special responsibility for New Market Development at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today completed the Vietnam leg of Ireland’s agri-food Trade Mission to Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.
The trade mission built on Ireland’s world class reputation for food produce, agri-tech capability and sustainable food systems with key stakeholders in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam and the wider South-East Asia region. Highlight achievements include the further development of key political and commercial relationships between Ireland and Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, promoting our Food Vision 2030 strategy and engaging in discussions on improving market access.
In one of the key engagements Minister Heydon met with the Vietnamese Minister Le Minh Hoan of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development where it was announced that Vietnam will send an inspection team to Ireland by the end of the year to progress an application for beef access.
Welcoming the commitment, Minister Heydon said:
“In my meeting with Minister Le, I raised a number of important market access issues. The Minister agreed to advance our beef access application to the next step, an audit visit before year end.”
Minister Heydon said:
“Vietnam has been identified as a priority by my department in relation to new market access. This inspection visit represents major progress towards access to Vietnam for Irish beef. We also agreed to renew our existing Memorandum of Understanding that will deepen our cooperation in a number of areas of mutual interest, particularly in the area of sustainable agriculture.”
As part of the Trade Mission Minister Heydon also opened an agri-tech conference in Hanoi organised by Enterprise Ireland, involving established Irish agri-tech companies and their Vietnamese counterparts.
Speaking on the topic of access to the Vietnamese market Kevin Ryan, ASEAN Director of Enterprise Ireland commented:
“Our conference in Hanoi highlighted the great willingness and desire of the authorities in Vietnam to adopt Irish technologies. Ireland is widely recognised for its quality and traceability of agri-food, and there is equal recognition in the technological capability of Irish companies operating in the agri-tech sector here in South-East Asia. Today we heard from leading Irish agri-tech companies such as Abbey Machinery, Combilift and Keenans. Celtic Sea Minerals also participated, leading the way in terms of animal nutrition. These companies are already establishing themselves in this region.”
One of Ireland’s most comprehensive and in-depth trade missions in recent years has now drawn to a close. Over the course of the 10-day mission the Irish delegation has built on and promoted Irelands agri-food reputation in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam. The successful collaboration on the trade mission between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and the Sustainable Food System Ireland has ensured that key governmental and commercial relationships have been developed, market access for Irish produce has been widened and high quality Irish agri-food produce has been showcased to new audiences.
Concluding, Minister Heydon said:
"Japan and South-East Asia are very important marketplaces and the efforts of Team Ireland during the trade mission have ensured that Ireland's trade links and partnerships with the region will continue to thrive in the coming years.”
Vietnam has agreed a Trade Agreement with the EU which came into force in January 2020. This will result in significant agricultural tariff reductions on Member States agri-food exports.
Vietnam is a lower mid-income socialist East Asian economy of over 100 million people which is experiencing rapid investment and productivity growth. It has a young educated work force.
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