Media Release: Agricultural partnerships with Vietnam, APEC economies advance regional food security

Australia’s established role as a trading and supply chain partner in the Asia-Pacific, coupled with our investments in sustainable agriculture across the region, continues to support regional food security and prosperity.

That was the message from Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, who today returned from high-level Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) policy dialogues and industry meetings in Vietnam. 

“There is strong recognition in the APEC policy community that we must work together to ensure regional prosperity as we develop value chains that benefit every APEC economy and strive for sustainable productivity growth,” Minister Ruston said. 

“Australia is reaping the benefits of this approach, and we’re working closely with APEC economies to respond to the challenges we all face.” 

An important focus of Minister Ruston’s visit was Australia’s growing agricultural and fisheries partnership with Vietnam. 

“Vietnam is becoming an increasingly important market for Australia’s produce, with a two-way agricultural trade worth $2.8 billion bringing huge benefits to both economies,” she said. 

“During this visit I was delighted to announcement market access for Australian cherries— coming just in time for the 2017–18 season—as both nations work towards realising our most important market access priorities. 

“And I was very proud to extend our mutual commitment to sustainable fisheries by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vietnam to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing during this visit.” 

Minister Ruston also attended the opening of the Thanh Nhan Abattoir in Vietnam, describing it as a genuine example of Australia’s commitment to mutual prosperity and the best possible outcomes across the entire supply chain. 

“This abattoir has been established with the assistance of Australian industry, including through the Kentmaster company installing equipment to demonstrate how modern processing can improve productivity, food safety and animal welfare outcomes,” she said. 

“This work will underpin a successful and mutually beneficial trade relationship with Vietnam for many years to come.” 

Minister Ruston was in Vietnam from 22–26 August and represented Australia at the APEC High-level ministerial dialogue on food security and sustainable agriculture and delivered a keynote address to APEC food security ministers and CEOs on sustainable food production and agri-business. 

Fast facts 

• Bilateral trade with Vietnam in agriculture is worth $2.8 billion. Wheat, live cattle, barley and cotton from Australia are complemented by a growing range of seafood, nuts, timber products and tropical fruits from Vietnam. 

• The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has now invested close to $100 million in over 170 collaborative research projects in Vietnam, ranging from livestock production to policy development, food safety, fisheries and forestry.

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