The Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, and his staff spent the day in Madison introducing Vietnam to Wisconsin’s government and business communities.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Ben Brancel hosted two sessions with the Ambassador to discuss future opportunities for increasing Wisconsin agricultural exports to Vietnam. One meeting, held in the Governor’s Conference Room at the State Capitol, also included Wisconsin agricultural company and association representatives.
“I was honored on behalf of Governor Walker to host the Vietnamese Ambassador today at the State Capitol to discuss ways Wisconsin and Vietnam can strengthen our relationship, share ideas and identify trade opportunities,” said Brancel. “With a young and dynamic population and one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, Vietnam is a market with enormous potential for Wisconsin agriculture.”
Vietnam’s economic growth is second only to China in that part of the world. Vietnam is seeking to grow its economy, expand trade and form investment relations.
Secretary Brancel completed a trade visit to Vietnam in January as part of an educational and exploratory visit. While there, Brancel met with government officials, councils and associations. He also visited retail, farm and importer locations to learn first-hand market information.
“When I traveled to Vietnam in January, the country’s interest in Wisconsin’s agricultural products and expertise was clear. Wisconsin’s products are known for their quality, consistency and safety,” added Brancel. “This meeting today offered valuable information and a chance to continue these initial discussions.”
Representatives from World Dairy Expo, the Wisconsin Corn Growers’ Association, the DeLong Company, Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, Genex Cooperative Inc, Great Lakes Bio Systems and Wisconsin Ginseng Board attended the meeting. In addition to the Honorable Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Vietnamese participants included Counselor Le Chi Dzung, Pham Thi Thanh Binh and Counselor Nguyen Hong Ha.
Participants in the meeting discussed the opportunities for Wisconsin to export dairy products, grains, animal feed, livestock genetics, technology and ginseng to Vietnam.
In the meeting, Secretary Brancel announced that Wisconsin and Vietnam will continue to work together this fall as two Vietnamese feed buyers will attend the Asian Feed Buyers Mission to World Dairy Expo. Representatives from TH Milk and Nova Trading will travel to Madison from Vietnam to meet one-on-one with Wisconsin and Midwest feed exporters in hopes of developing new business relationships.
In 2011, Wisconsin exported $39 million of agricultural products to Vietnam, an increase of 55% over 2010. Current top agricultural exports to Vietnam from Wisconsin include soybeans, animal feed, hides and skins, dairy-related products and sugars.
Wisconsin is the number one exporter of whey to Vietnam. In 2011, 29% of Vietnam’s whey imports came from the state, a value of over $6 million.
The Wisconsin International Trade Team works to increase exports by offering business counseling, educational seminars, market research and international promotions. For more information on services available, contact the Trade Team at 1-800-462-5237. You can also connect with DATCP on Twitter at twitter.com/widatcp or Facebook at facebook.com/widatcp.