Vietnam calls for a more open and level playing field in agricultural trade

HANOI: Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Nguyen Hong Dien (pic) called on all members of Cairns Group, a coalition of agricultural exporting countries, to commit to achieving an open, market-oriented and more equal playing field in agricultural trade.

The Vietnamese delegation led by Minister Dien attended the Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the Cairns Group under the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday (Feb 25).

Speaking at the meeting, Dien emphasised the importance of agriculture in ensuring the welfare, food security and socio-economic development of each country.

“Good agricultural growth and healthy agricultural trade development will ensure the stability of the world economy, especially in the context that many countries are still in the recovery phase after the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dien.

However, he also said that the results achieved by WTO members in reforming agricultural regulations recently were still very modest and had many limitations.

“For example, domestic supports distort trade, market access is limited, and export competition is unfair,” stressed Dien.

The leader affirmed that Vietnam always welcomes new initiatives as well as efforts to promote negotiations for common benefits, on a basis consistent with the level of development and implementation capacity of the economies. These initiatives must be feasible and not create burdens due to new obligations.

In addition, Vietnam commits to continuing to coordinate closely with members of the Cairns Group in efforts to achieve specific results in priority areas to support the development of the multilateral trading system.

"Vietnam believes that the MC13 of Cairns Group will achieve more substantive results, contributing to promoting fair trade in agricultural products," said Dien.

At the meeting, countries recognised that agricultural negotiations were at an important stage. Among issues the WTO is promoting negotiations on, agriculture is the most important area and agricultural trade reform is considered the "health" of the multilateral trading system, as well as the process of building future global trade rules.

Therefore, during the meeting, countries agreed to coordinate closely with industry associations in the process of developing these reforms.

The meeting also witnessed consensus among member countries on promoting progress in all three pillars of the Agreement on Agriculture, including domestic support, market access and export competition, to ensure balance in the reform process and promote fair trade in agricultural products.

The Cairns Group was established in 1986 in Cairns, Australia, to lobby and implement activities to promote agricultural trade liberalisation. Việt Nam became an official member of the Cairns Group in 2013. — Vietnam News/ANN

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Vietnam , Cairns , agriculture , trade


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