USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service recently celebrated the opening of its new office in Hanoi, Vietnam. The office will play a vital role in helping expand the U.S. $2.5 billion agricultural export market in Vietnam.
“Growing agricultural trade between the United States and Vietnam means new opportunities for American producers,” says Greg Ibach, USDA undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “With this increase in trade comes increased pest and disease risk, and our in-country expertise will ensure the safest trade possible, while still providing greater options for U.S. consumers. Having an APHIS office in the heart of Hanoi will not only help maintain existing markets, but foster new opportunities for American farmers who set the worldwide standard for food production.”
“Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing global markets for U.S. farm and food products, currently ranking as our 11th-largest customer,” says USDA undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney. “The expansion of USDA’s presence in Vietnam is a clear indication of this country’s importance as a U.S. trading partner. 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.”
The APHIS Hanoi office will maintain technical working relationships with their Vietnamese counterparts to resolve any concerns associated with the science-based standards both countries employ to prevent the introduction of animal and plant pests and diseases. By doing so quickly and locally, APHIS can help keep trade moving and benefit the producers and economies of both countries.
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink, APHIS Deputy Administrator Cheryle Blakely, and Vietnam’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam formally opened the office at a ceremony alongside guests representing the U.S. agricultural industry, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and officials from the USDA Offices of Agricultural Affairs in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, including Agricultural Counselor Robert Hanson.
APHIS’ international mission is to protect and promote U.S. agricultural health through internationally based animal and plant health expertise. APHIS’ International Services staff supports USDA’s mission through its 29 international offices by facilitating safe agricultural trade, ensuring effective and efficient management of internationally based programs, and investing in international capacity-building through various training programs abroad to enhance technical, administrative, and diplomatic skills and competencies.