​EU major market for Vietnamese farm produce: minister hinh anh 1At the working session (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The EU is an important, traditional and potential partner of Vietnamese agricultural products, especially when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect, creating a great opportunity to boost agro-forestry-fishery trade, stated Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan.

He made the statement at a working session with visiting Executive Vice-President of the European Commission (EC) Frans Timmermans on February 18.

The EU’s support for Vietnam in the past time has contributed significantly to the Vietnamese agriculture’s green and sustainable transition, he said, noting that the EU is Vietnam’s top partner in terms of trade, investment, science-technology, and development cooperation.

Informing Timmermans about a series of plans, Hoan wished for the EU’s financial and technical assistance for the farming sector serving its implementation of solutions to greenhouse gas emissions reduction, sustainable forest management, green investment, and smart agriculture.

The minister suggested that the EU continue to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese agro-forestry-fishery products to be present in the EU market; and aid Vietnam in completing and operating its timber legality assurance system (VNTLAS) to soon have FLEGT-licensed timber shipments to the EU.

To develop trade between the sides, Timmermans proposed Vietnam soon license registration documents for the export of agricultural products from the EU to Vietnam; and soon publish a list of geographical indications that Vietnam recognises regarding EU agricultural products.

The EU is ready to provide technical support for Vietnam to solve its problems so that Vietnamese exports can comply with the bloc’s technical regulations and standards, he affirmed.

Considering the prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing a key task of the agricultural sector, Vietnam is sparing no effort to address all recommendations from the EC, Hoan said.

The minister asked the EC to continue to accompany Vietnam and recognise such efforts and soon remove the “yellow card” warning for the country.

For his part, Timmermans said Vietnam has introduced very strict legal measures following EC recommendations on anti-IUU fishing. However, the two sides still have technical problems that need to be explained and clarified so that Vietnam can soon have the card removed, he added.

The EC will send a mission for fact-finding trips in Vietnamese localities to evaluate the results and progresses Vietnam has made and soon handle the issue, he said./.