Aug 19, 2019
ARLINGTON, VA -- The president of the Viet Nam Food Association (VFA), Viet Nam’s Minister Counselor of Trade from their embassy here, and other staff visited USA Rice earlier this month to discuss developments in rice production and trading activities.
The VFA is an umbrella organization comprised of companies that produce, process, and trade in food products, representing the majority of the country’s importers and exporters of rice. Viet Nam is the world’s third largest rice exporter. About 5 percent of rice imports into the U.S. come from Viet Nam. The Vietnamese delegation said they have been encountering issues with maximum residue levels (MRLs) when attempting to export rice to the U.S.
Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Nam, president of VFA, saw some potential opportunities for U.S.-grown rice in the region. First, there is opportunity to access the large Chinese market by exporting to Viet Nam first and then on to China. And second, there may be opportunities for direct U.S. rice sales to Viet Nam focused on the high value expat market.
“Viet Nam is such a huge player in the global rice market, it makes sense to meet with them when we can,” said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president international, who attended the meeting. “We were encouraged to hear their thoughts on expanding our access in the region. Of course, when it comes to expanding their access to our market, we continue to try to reduce rice imports from all sources and advised them that there is no way around food safety issues and the sticky issue of subsidies.”