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Comprehensive Strategic Partnership heralds new waves of trade

29/09/2023    14

Following the elevation of the relationship to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, there's no doubt that bilateral trade, particularly in the agricultural sector, would continue to thrive.

On the back of the newly-signed Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Việt Nam and the US, American exporters are setting their sights on delivering a wider range of agricultural products to Vietnamese consumers.

Marc Knapper, the US Ambassador to Việt Nam, said bilateral trade was growing steadily over the past decade, reaching US$130 billion in 2022, of which $10 billion went to agriculture.

Following the elevation of the relationship to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, there's no doubt that bilateral trade, particularly in the agricultural sector, would continue to thrive.

In other words, a wider range of American agricultural products would make their way into Việt Nam in the short term and so would Vietnamese products into the US.

Francis Lee, a representative of the Washington Apple Commission, said American apples were in high demand in Việt Nam with about 2 million baskets being consumed annually. Other products such as grapes and cherries were also gaining popularity among Vietnamese consumers.

He expected that the upgraded relationship would facilitate the entry of more American fruits into Việt Nam in the years to come. He said Việt Nam and the US could consider reducing import tariffs to make each country's fruits more competitive in the other country.

Currently, American apples and grapes are subject to import tariffs of approximately 8 per cent, while other fruits ranging from 10 to 15 per cent. If the tariffs are reduced or cut down to 0 per cent, it would be a significant opportunity for American fruits to enter the Vietnamese market.

Vũ Ngân Giang, a representative of the US Grains Council, said the US remained the largest producer and exporter of sorghum in the world, producing over 11.5 million tonnes and exporting 7.4 million tonnes in 2021.

Vietnamese consumers purchase sorghum mostly in the form of mixed ingredients. There is no data about sorghum import as a single ingredient, but what is known is that sorghum products were gaining favour in the country.

"Sorghum is what Vietnamese consumers need for their healthy eating pattern," said Giang.

Lê Văn Anh Tú, a representative of the US Meat Export Federation, said Vietnamese consumers had a great appetite for American tri-tip beef. However, current import tariffs of between 14 to 20 per cent have made the product less affordable to them.

He hoped that the upgraded relationship would pave the way for some tariff cuts on agricultural products in the future, making American beef more competitive when entering the country.

In the fruit sector, seven types of fruits from the US have been permitted to be exported to Việt Nam. Peach is expected to make the eighth on the horizon.

Source: Việt Nam News