Vietnamese Beef Markets Open to Foreign Exports

VIET NAM - The domestic market will be opened up next year to receive beef imports from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand under bilateral and regional agreements, a senior official said Wednesday.
calendar icon 3 July 2009
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Viet Nam and the US are preparing to sign an agreement on opening the domestic market to American beef imports, said Le Thanh Hoa, deputy director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Authority. The agreement, expected to take effect next year, would also allow export of more agricultural products from Vietnam to the US, he added.

Hoa said Viet Nam would import beef from cattle of 30 months old from the US, while Vietnamese businesses could export fruit such as longan, mango, rambutan and litchi to the US. Dragon fruit was the first Vietnamese fruit licensed for import into the US market last year.

Authorities of both countries are preparing the SPS requirements for imports of the products. The US government has been long campaigning to have Asian countries open their markets for US beef.

Unofficial US beef imports into Viet Nam have been increasing, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

It reports about 50 million pounds of US beef were exported to Vietnam in the first quarter of the year, a year-on-year increase of 72 per cent.

Viet Nam will also open its market for beef imported from Canada under a similar agreement, Hoa said.

Beef and milk products will also be imported from Australia and New Zealand in compliance with a free trade agreement signed between these countries and the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc ASEAN in February. The agreement will come into force next year.

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