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This year the United States and Vietnam celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations.  Food and agricultural trade is an important part of our relations, with bilateral agricultural trade at nearly $8 billion in 2019.

U.S. Food Fair Highlights Variety of U.S. Products Available in Vietnam
U.S. Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink and Lotte Mart Director Kang Min Ho at the opening ceremony today
On Friday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink kicked off the U.S. Food Fair at Lotte Mart.  The U.S. Food Fair highlights a wide range of U.S. products available in the supermarket chain.  It also includes cooking demonstrations, food sampling, and interactive displays, so that Vietnamese consumers can learn more about U.S. foods and beverages.
The U.S. Food Fair is a collaboration between the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Export Midwest, and Lotte Mart.  This year the United States and Vietnam celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations. 
Food and agricultural trade is an important part of our relations, with bilateral agricultural trade at nearly $8 billion in 2019. 
25 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations, consumers in both the United States and in Vietnam have reliable access to a diverse selection of food products from the other country.
“We are proud of the work we do here with the Ministry of Agriculture in Vietnam, our partnership for a long time has been in the path of making sure that the market is open and the American products can compete fairly in the Vietnamese market. As long as we are confident that American’s world class delicious nutrious agricultural products can do very well in Vietnam. And I think you can see the growth in the food sector, you will see the meat products, fruits to grow. More broadly speaking, you will see the expansion of US export of grains, oilseeds and things that can be used to feed in Vietnam. We are very excited that our food export to Vietnam has grown remarkably from $25 million 25 years ago to $4 billion in 2019. We are very excited, this is one of our most important agricultural market in the world”, US Ambasador to Vietnam, Daniel J. Kritenbrink, stated at the opening ceremony of the fair today.
 U.S. Ambassador Daniel J. Kritenbrink at the fair opeing ceremony today
Vietnam’s modern retail foods sector continues to develop and show excellent growth potential.  According to the General Statistics Organization, total 2019 food and beverage retail sales were estimated at $51 billion, a 13 percent increase over the previous year, with modern retail food channels accounting for approximately 14 percent of the total. 
Strong economic growth, increasing foreign investment, a growing middle class with higher disposable income, rapid urbanization, and heightened concerns about hygiene and food safety continue to fuel the sustainable growth in this sector.  The United States values food safety and is proud to provide safe, high-quality products to Vietnamese customers at supermarkets across Vietnam. 
Counselor for Agricultural Affarairs, Robert H. Hanson, shared about the US side’s plan in the coming months: “In the consumer market, we are going to bring in some more oranges in the winter, they should be here before Tet. We are working on market access for grapefruits and other kinds of fruits from the West Coast, from California for example. As the ambassador mentioned, we are going to bring in some high quality products that complement for what is available in the Vietnamese market. Seafood is also another kind of products that we are going to export to Vietnam. Most of the seafood in the United States is coldwater seafood so it has different flavors, sensations from the kinds here, so it complements as well and give the consumer the great choice. I think I have to say something about beef, the MidWest area has the best beef in the United States and I know it is available here”.
When asked about the US’s remarks on Vietnam’s progress of importing US farm products, the Ambassador said: “We are satisfied with the progress of the process, there are more progress to be made. We are grateful we have a good productive relationship with out Vietnamese partner. We have worked very hard, we made a lot of progress and we are very happy with that. There are more progress to be made and we keep working with that. We can help Vietnam continue to grow its economy and we can help to respond to the demand of the Vietnamese consumers for worldclass products”.
U.S. exports of consumer-oriented products reached $975 million in 2019.  This includes products like beef, pork, and poultry; dairy products; fresh fruit; and snack foods.  Additionally, distilled spirits and seafood exports accounted for another $140 million in U.S. exports. 
Top selling U.S. products preferred by Vietnamese consumers include beef, pork, poultry, dairy products, and fresh fruits including, apples, cherries, blueberries, oranges, pears, and grapes.

DIEP NGUYEN