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Under Secretary McKinney speaks to Vietnam trade mission

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U.S. Department of Agriculture officials this week completed their fifth trade mission. 

Agricultural companies and government leaders traveled to Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, where they met with buyers and elected officials from Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam. 

Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney this week led one of the largest trade missions to Vietnam. McKinney speaks to Vietnam’s rapidly growing economy and rising interest in United States food and agricultural products.

“Overall, the relationship with Vietnam is outstanding and getting better,” McKinney said. “We see enormous potential for food, Ag, fuel and fiber going from the U.S. to Vietnam. We know the likability: The U.S. ranks well above 90-percent in favor ratings, so clearly the U.S. is a country they want to do business with and without a doubt, Vietnam is a place we want to do business.”

United States products have gained significant ground in Vietnam since diplomatic relations were restored in 1995.

“Vietnam was the 95th largest market in 1995. It was the seventh largest destination for U.S. Ag and food products last year. Like with many countries, we’re always working to gain further access to their markets, and we’re pleased to report that recently we got fresh blueberries access to Vietnam,” McKinney said.

McKinney expects heightened agricultural exports to Vietnam, due to the population’s desire for more protein.

“We think there are opportunities across the board. Sixty-percent of the Vietnamese population is under the age of 35. That means there are a lot of youth needing and wanting protein. Many times their parents and grandparents did not get that, so there’s zest, zeal, demand for protein of all sorts,” McKinney said.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials plan to visit Ghana, Africa before completing their final trade mission of the year in Mexico.