Doyle Enhances Ireland-Vietnam Collaboration on Agri-Food on Day Two Of Trade Mission
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Andrew Doyle T.D, completed day two of the agri-food trade mission to Vietnam with a number of events to deepen Irish-Vietnamese collaboration on agri-food. This followed a high-level Ireland-Vietnam conference on agri-food collaboration the previous day and the Minister undertook a number of high-profile local events in Hanoi this morning to publicise Ireland’s agri-food and fisheries sectors. Earlier in the day the Minister hosted a Bord Bia-organised event for Irish meat industry representatives who are participating on the trade mission which focussed on deepening Irish business understanding of the local Vietnamese market.
The Minister also had an opportunity to visit a rural development project funded by the Irish Government. While Vietnam has a fast-growing economy, there are also areas for improvement particularly in rural isolated areas and amongst ethnic minority communities. Amongst the development agencies and donors in Vietnam, Ireland’s strong reputation for influencing policy and designing programmes to address poverty, is well recognised.
During his visit Minister Doyle commented: “Vietnam’s development achievements over the last 25 years, particularly on food security, are remarkable. Over this period, the lives of the Vietnamese people have changed dramatically. We have seen economic growth averaging nearly 7 percent, which enabled Vietnam, one of the world’s poorest countries in the 1980s, to leapfrog to lower middle-income status in a single generation. However, while solid progress is being made, Vietnam continues to need outside assistance especially to address issues of poverty and marginalisation. Ireland, through our bi-lateral aid programme, is part of the international effort that continues to support Vietnam on its journey to a modern, industrialised, and democratic country underpinned by inclusive and sustainable growth for all.”
The Minister visited Nuoc Duc Village, Du Sang commune in Hoa Binh Province where ethnic minorities, from the Muong ethnic minority group, account for over 99% of the population. There he visited a number of community based projects which are funded by Irish Aid and met first-hand with women and men farmers, community leaders and the local authority.
Speaking at the project site, Minister Doyle, said, “The Irish Aid programme in Vietnam is clearly-focused on assisting vulnerable communities through supporting improved agricultural production, improved access to better quality education and health services, and basic community infrastructure. Ireland is committed to the sustainable development of agriculture as a key to inclusive growth. As we have seen in Ireland, agricultural growth through increased productivity can have huge benefits in stabilising food prices, improving employment for rural people, increasing demand for goods and services and stimulating growth in the wider economy.
The Minister continued “In this regard the priority for agricultural growth, and this applies to both Ireland and Vietnam, should be how can we can sustainably improve productivity in the agricultural sector and how can we develop associated market opportunities. My Department is also a significant contributor to these types of programmes through our €23m annual donation in Official Development Assistance to the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) UN agencies. It is clear that Ireland is contributing actively to a vibrant agri-food sector in Vietnam.
Minister of State Doyle’s visit to Vietnam is part of a broader trade mission to a number of Asian countries. Minister Creed will commence the Chinese leg of his mission tomorrow in Beijing, while Minister of State Doyle will move on to the Republic of Korea.
Note for editors
- Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The development cooperation programme is an integral part of Ireland's foreign policy.
- Vietnam has been an Irish Aid Key Partner Country since 2005 and Ireland provides an average of €10 million per annum to Vietnam in development cooperation support.
- In 2016, Ireland will provide €10 million in development cooperation assistance to Vietnam.
To view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 102/2016 (pdf 387Kb)
Minister of State for Agriculture Food and the Marine ,Andrew Doyle TD speaking at the trade mission seminar in Hanoi, Vietnam
Date Released: 06 September 2016