Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan highlighted Vietnam ’s potential for agriculture development to call for the UK ’s investment and cooperation in the field at a contact with British firms in London on July 5.

Deputy Minister Tan said the agricultural sector earned 19.5 billion USD from exports in 2010, accounting for 27 percent of the country’s total exports. However, the country’s exports are mainly raw products with low added value.

He stressed the Government’s plans to increase the quality and value of export items, saying that to gain the targets, Vietnam ’s agriculture sector needs to equip its processing and producing industries with high technology.

Vietnam’s main export items to the UK are seafood with 102.58 million USD in value in 2010, up by 15 percent over the previous year; would furniture with 189.6 million USD, up by 16.5 percent; coffee with 41.76 million USD and cashew nut with 43.51 million USD.

Iain C. Pollard from the London-based MRAG, a company specialising in providing origin certification service, said his company is expanding business to Vietnam and seeking partners in Can Tho city and other Mekong delta provinces.

About 20 representatives from trade, investment consultancy organisations and businesses in the UK attended the event to learn about Vietnam ’s agriculture potential and seek opportunities for investment and partners in Vietnam .

The event, organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK , was part of a visit to the European Union country by a delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development from July 2-6.

During the visit, Deputy Minister Tan had working sessions with UK Environment, Food and Rural Ministry, the Food Standard Agency and the UK Trade and Investment Agency.

Vietnam is considered the UK ’s 17 market with for high growth in the coming time./.