ASIA – USDA through its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has opened a new office in Hanoi, Vietnam as it seeks to improve US’s export market footprint for agricultural products in the Southeast Asian country.

This makes up USDA’s strategy to create new opportunities for American producers and increase trade between them.

USDA said that to tame disease and pest risk, they’ll offer in-country expertise to ensure safe trade while enhancing enough and quality products for US consumers.

Hanoi-based APHIS centre will enable them maintain already-existing markets at the same time identify new opportunities for food producers in America.

Ted McKinney, Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the USDA, alluded Vietnam as one of the fastest growing global markets for US farm and food products.

“The expansion of USDA’s presence in Vietnam is a clear indication of this country’s importance as a U.S. trading partner,” McKinney said.

“The on-the-ground technical expertise of the APHIS team will be an important complement to the trade policy and market development work being done by our Foreign Agricultural Service staff at the USDA Office of Agricultural Affairs in Hanoi, as well as our office in Ho Chi Minh City.”

APHIS Hanoi office will work in collaboration with other USDA counterparts in Vietnam with an aim to deliberate on science-based standards both countries employ to prevent the introduction of animal and plant pests and diseases.

With a mission to promote U.S. agricultural health, APHIS is committed to improve US’s export market comprising of grains/feeds, soybeans, livestock products, and horticultural products.

According to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report, Vietnam’s feed demand was expected to rise in 2018 due to expected growth in the aquaculture industry.

Following Vietnamese government’s decision to lift the ban on U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles imports and an ease approach on fumigation requirements for U.S. corn and wheat imports, USDA is exploiting this opportunity to expand on US’s export market for agri-produce.