Irish-Vietnamese trade set to increase following closer cooperation

September 07, 2022 | 18:52
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The Irish Food Board (Bord Bia) is launching a new business strategy for Southeast Asia to raise exports to €800 million ($796 million) by 2025 as part of the Irish trade mission to Vietnam.

Ireland’s Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine,Martin Heydon, visited Vietnam this week to engage in a series of trade engagements aimed at raising awareness of Ireland as a source of sustainable, safe, and high-quality European food and drink.

Bord Bia’s new 3-year strategy outlines a target of €800 million in trade of Irish food and drinks exports to Southeast Asia by 2025, led by the dairy and meat sectors of the island nation. Bord Bia is the Irish government agency that manages the promotion, trade development, and marketing of the Irish food, drink, and horticulture industry.  

Signifying the importance placed on the region, Minister Heydon was accompanied by Michael Murphy, CEO of Bord Bia, to represent the Irish dairy, meat, seafood, and alcohol industries as part of a trade mission that also includes visits to Japan and Singapore.

Irish-Vietnamese trade set to increase following closer cooperation
Murphy led the first in-person trade mission by Bord Bia to Vietnam since the start of the pandemic

Ireland exports agri-food to over 180 countries worldwide, reaching €13.5 billion ($13.4 billion) in 2021. Ireland’s industry-led strategy for the growth of the agri-food sector, Food Vision 2030, provides an ambitious and clear roadmap for the sustainable future development of the sector, including a target and its aim to increase this value to €21 billion ($20.8 billion) by 2030.

By investing in market development in countries like Vietnam and the wider South East Asia region, this ambitious new regional strategy will directly support the global Bord Bia strategy, which has the goal of increasing the value of Irish dairy exports by 10.5 per cent or €508 million ($503 million) to a value of €5.6 billion ($5.55 billion) by 2025.

The strategy is falling in line with the free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam which will see tariffs on European dairy fully removed on January 1, after which Europe’s market share would be expected to rise.

As part of the trade mission, Minister Heydon will meet with government representatives from Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to discuss market access issues and attend Bord Bia trade receptions with customers of Irish dairy, pigmeat, and seafood in Hanoi.

“There is enormous potential for Irish food and drink in Vietnam, and Bord Bia’s new strategy will provide a roadmap for Ireland’s ambitions to substantially increase Irish exports in this region,” said Heydon.

In November, Bord Bia was selected by the European Union to deliver two 3-year dairy promotional campaigns that will cover the Vietnamese and wider Southeast Asian market. The campaign EU Dairy, the Sustainable Choice for Asia will be launched to Vietnamese buyers and trade media in Hanoi during the trade mission.

Ciaran Gallagher, regional director for Southeast Asia at Bord Bia, said, “Irish food and drink exports to Southeast Asia last year grew to a record €535 million ($530 million), demonstrating that even against the backdrop of the challenges posed by the pandemic alongside other macro factors such as logistical issues and higher dairy prices, more and more customers across the region are enjoying world-class food and ingredients from Ireland."

Gallagher continued, "Bord Bia’s new three-year strategy will focus on raising the profile of Irish food and drink through awareness of it as a premium product sourced from family-run farms, and fully traceable from farm to fork. Creating a brand that symbolises Ireland’s heritage, quality and trust or ‘green credentials’ is key. This week, we aim to further enhance Ireland's awareness and reputation as a source of sustainable, safe and high-quality European food and drink among customers and consumers in Vietnam.”

He added “This trade mission marks the start of an intensified programme of activity undertaken by Bord Bia to promote Irish food products and their producers to our Vietnamese customers who place a value on high quality and security of supply. Our ambition is to build further on the strong partnerships Ireland has with our customers in Vietnam and trade missions such as this are a valuable means of raising the profile of Ireland as a food-producing nation and unlocking commercial opportunities for Irish food and drink companies.”

In addition to visiting Vietnam, Bord Bia will also be hosting an Ireland stand at Food & Hotel Asia trade show in Singapore as part of the trade mission where 10 Irish companies are participating. The message from Ireland at the largest trade show of its kind in the region which will attract 80,000 visitors, is about building the reputation among trade customers of the high-quality food and drink produced on the island of Ireland.

Headquartered in Dublin, Bord Bia supports national and international ambitions through its highly focused organisational structure and its network of offices in Asia, EMEA, and the United States. Bord Bia’s Singapore office is headed by Ciaran Gallagher since 2016 as director.

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