U.S. Companies Engage Government of Vietnam on Food Security and Agricultural Initiatives

(Hanoi) – On 27-28 June, the US-ASEAN Business Council led a delegation of leading U.S. companies to Hanoi, Vietnam as part of its third Food & Agriculture Industry Mission to Vietnam. The Council delegation met with Vietnamese government officials, local associations and key stakeholders in the food and agriculture sector to discuss how the U.S. business community can support Vietnam’s agriculture development objectives and help strengthen the role of the agriculture sector as an engine of growth for Vietnam’s economy. The mission was co-led by Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council, and Mr. Pushpanathan Sundram, Regional Director for Public Policy & Government Affairs for Asia of Elanco Animal Health and Vice Chair of the Council’s Food & Agriculture Committee.

“The Council and its members continue to see Vietnam as an important market and partner, as demonstrated by the 396 percent growth of U.S. agricultural exports to Vietnam during the 10-year period from US$ 908 million in 2008 to US$4.5 billion in 2018,” said Ambassador Michael W. Michalak. “Our Food & Agriculture Committee, which represents all components of the value chain, from agricultural trading and food and beverages to animal health and plant science, remain committed to the long-term growth and development of Vietnam’s agriculture sector and continue to work with the Government of Vietnam to explore new opportunities to expand business, investment and collaboration.”

The mission closely followed an ASEAN Safe, Nutritious Food PPP Initiative workshop on 26 June, a program jointly created by CropLife Asia, the EU-ASEAN Business Council and the US-ASEAN Business Council. The workshop aims to foster greater partnership between public and private sectors across the food value chain to better ensure safe and nutritious supplies of food in the region. The mission created a key opportunity for the U.S. private sector to further explore such partnerships, and promote the roles of international trade and foreign t in improving food security, and support the promulgation of new agri-innovation technologies that can help improve Vietnamese farmers’ ability to grow safe and nutritious food.

"Over the last three days, our delegation engaged with the Vietnamese government, local associations, and other stakeholders in the food and agricultural sector to explore ways we can all work together to help Vietnamese farmers be more successful and productive, and ultimately improve the lives of the Vietnamese people,” said Mr. Pushpanathan Sundram. “Whether it is through transfer of technology, sharing of knowledge, expertise and best practices, or breaking down tariff and non-tariff barriers that stand in the way of trade, investment and market access, there are a multitude of ways in which the private sector can work with the Government to improve food security, safety, and sustainability in Vietnam.”

During the mission, the delegation met with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Health, National Assembly Committees on Economic Affairs and Science, Technology and the Environment, Central Party Commission on Economic Affairs, National Private Economic Development Research Board, and the Office of the Government of Vietnam.

Companies participating in the mission include Food & Agriculture Committee Vice Chairs Cargill, Corteva Agriscience and Elanco Animal Health, and Bayer.

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US-ABC Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director, Ambassador Michael W. Michalak and Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, His Excellency Phung Duc Tien signed an MOU formalizing further collaboration in support Vietnam’s agriculture development objectives to help strengthen the role of the agriculture sector as an engine of growth for Vietnam’s economy.

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For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.