Minister for State with special responsibility for Research and Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development, Martin Heydon has begun the Vietnamese leg of a Government agri-trade mission to Japan and southeast Asia.

Minister Heydon is following on from engagements led by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue in Japan and Singapore last week.

Minister Heydon now leads the ongoing trade mission to Hanoi for a series of bilateral engagements and industry seminars, in cooperation with the Embassy of Ireland in Vietnam, and with participation from Department of Agriculture officials, Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and representatives from the Irish food and drink industry.

On his delegation's initial engagements on the trade mission in Hanoi, the Minister has briefed an EU dairy technical seminar in Hanoi and taken part in a pigmeat and seafood customer trade reception.

Minister Heydon commented: "Vietnam’s agri-food sector has shown remarkable growth and transformation in recent years, creating significant opportunities for Irish exporters of food and drink as well as agri-tech to build long-term partnerships in this priority market.

"I look forward to engaging with Government counterparts on progressing market access for beef, and to seeing for myself the positive contribution which Irish aid is making to transform rural livelihoods."

Export strategy

Bord Bia’s new export strategy for Vietnam, launched during the trade mission, is falling in line with the European Union (EU) and Vietnamese Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The FTA will see tariffs on European dairy fully removed on January 1, 2023, after which Europe’s market share would be expected to rise.

As part of the trade mission, Bord Bia is also launching its new three-year EU dairy promotional campaign that will cover the Vietnamese and wider South East Asian market. The campaign, EU Dairy, the Sustainable Choice for Asia, will be launched to Vietnamese buyers and trade media in Hanoi.

Bord Bia Interim CEO, Michael Murphy, said: “There is enormous potential for Irish food and drink in Vietnam, and Bord Bia’s new three year strategy for the region will focus on raising the profile of Irish food and drink through awareness of it as a premium product sourced from family run farms, and fully traceable from farm to fork.

Minister Heydon continues the trade mission to Vietnam through Friday 9 September, with a series of governmental, commercial and development co-operation engagements.