Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 27, 2005 18:55 ET

AAFC-Vietnam: Beef Trade with Canada and WTO Accession

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 27, 2005) -



Backgrounder

(Further to the Joint Statement Issued Today by the Two Prime
Ministers)


WTO ACCESSION

Canada fully supports Vietnam's accession to the WTO and believes this will be an important step towards Vietnam's integration in the global economy and towards strengthened trade relations between our two countries. Vietnam hopes to conclude bilateral negotiations before the next WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong in December, 2005. The WTO accession agreement between Canada and Vietnam, finalized today, provides for improved access for Canadian food products. The agricultural components of the agreement were agreed to by the Canadian agricultural negotiation team and should work to the mutual benefit of Canada and Vietnam, securing predictable market access for Canadian goods and services while opening up new commercial opportunities in Vietnam.

CANADA-VIETNAM TRADE

Trade and commercial relations between Canada and Vietnam are rapidly expanding, with total bilateral trade (including non-agricultural trade) up by 32% in 2004 to $560 million. Over the last decade, Vietnam's economy has grown at an average annual rate of 7%, and is expected to reach 7.5% this year. With an estimated population of more than 83 million and rapid economic growth, Vietnam is an important market for Canada.

BEEF MARKET ACCESS

In parallel with the WTO accession discussions, Vietnam has agreed to provide access to Canadian boneless beef under 30 months, with a commitment to technical discussions on access for other beef products and live animals from Canada. Vietnam has accepted a health certificate drafted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that gives immediate access to Vietnam for exports of boneless beef from animals under thirty months of age.

On May 22, 2003, when Canada confirmed a case of BSE, Vietnam added Canada to the list of countries barred access to Vietnam under a 1998 decree that for cattle and beef products from countries affected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This did not affect Canada-Vietnam trade since, prior to the imposition of the ban, Canada did not export beef to Vietnam.

Today's agreement, to open the Vietnamese marketplace to Canadian boneless beef follows a technical visit to Vietnam in May, 2005, by officials of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). A decision by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), at their 73rd General Session in Paris, to add boneless beef from animals less than 30 months of age to the list of commodities that should be exempt from BSE restrictions regardless of a country's BSE status, also helped in securing today's agreement.

In addition to boneless beef from animals under 30 months, Vietnam has also expressed an interest importing breeding cattle to improve their domestic herd. As part of today's announcement, Vietnam has committed to continuing discussions on access for other Canadian beef products and live animals to Vietnam.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972 or 1 (866) 345-7972
    or
    Minister's Office, Ottawa
    Elizabeth Whiting
    (613) 759-1059