Hanoi (VNA) – The European Union (EU) wants to import tropical agricultural products from Vietnam, EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski told Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh in Hanoi on July 11.
Wojciechowski, who is making his first visit to Vietnam as EU agriculture commissioner, said the EU is investing in some sustainable and smart farming projects in the Southeast Asian country.
Stressing the importance of small-scale agriculture which produces 30 percent of the world’s food, the EU commissioner said Vietnam has experience in this area and the two sides should cooperate.
Wojciechowski also expressed his support for the Vietnamese government in the sustainable development and protection of agricultural production activities, in particular small scale farming.
For his part, Thanh said the EU commissioner’s visit offers the two sides an opportunity to strengthen cooperation, especially in the areas of agriculture and trade.
The EU is an important economic partner, the fifth largest trading partner, the third largest buyer, the fifth largest importer and the sixth largest investor of Vietnam, the official underlined.
From EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) entered into force in August 2020, bilateral trade grew rapidly, reaching nearly $57 billion last year, up 15% year-on-year .
In the first five months of this year, the value stood at nearly $26.2 billion, up 14.4% year-on-year.
Vietnam is ready to cooperate with the EU, especially in building the global food system and foodstuffs, Thanh said, noting that Vietnam wants to expand collaboration with the bloc in agriculture, especially trade, investment, adaptation to climate change, green agriculture and building agricultural commodity chains.
The Deputy Prime Minister suggested that the EU facilitate the export of Vietnamese agricultural and fishery products to the market and called on the European Commissioner to encourage European companies to invest in Vietnam, focusing on the agriculture of high technology and the processing of agricultural products.
There is still plenty of room for bilateral agricultural cooperation, he noted.
Thanh also briefed Wojciechowski on Vietnam’s efforts to remove the European Commission’s (EU) “yellow card” warning on Vietnam’s fishing sector, and proposed that the EU lift it soon.
In this regard, the EC Commissioner commended Vietnam’s progress and urged the country to step up its efforts in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing./.