Irish beef gaining access to the Vietnamese market is a priority for agri-food trade, Minister of State for new market development Martin Heydon has said.

This comes as Minister Heydon signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for enhanced trading co-operation between Ireland and Vietnam last week.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment, represented by Vice Minister Do Thanh Trung, signed the MOU during a study tour to Ireland.

“As an EU member state, Ireland is keen to work with Vietnam to ensure that both of our countries can continue to benefit mutually from the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement.

“Agri-food trade between Ireland and Vietnam continues to grow and it is a priority market for Irish beef access,” Minister Heydon added.

Irish-Vietnamese relations

A Government trade mission to Vietnam is planned for October 2024 to include Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, with involvement from Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Sustainable Food Systems Ireland (SFSI) and the Department of Agriculture.

The recent study tour to Ireland forms part of the Ireland Vietnam Agrifood Partnership (IVAP) programme, which is managed and implemented by SFSI and funded by the Embassy of Ireland.

The agreement underscores a strengthening diplomatic and trade relationship between Ireland and Vietnam.

The IVAP aims to support Vietnam to transform its agri-food system in the areas of sustainable primary production systems, food safety, innovation and quality.

During the week, the delegation also visited Bord Bia, NovaUCD, Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS), Tirlán and Teagasc Moorepark.