Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources has sent a letter in response to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) regarding the ban.
The letter said the ban is based on biological safety and the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources is currently focusing on reviewing all requirements regarding the ban so it may be lifted as soon as possible.
Australia appreciates the relationship between Vietnam in all fields, including the trade of agricultural products, the letter noted. It is willing to have close cooperation with Vietnam in reviewing all risks in order to restart trade in shrimp products.
On January 7 this year, the Department announced the suspension of prawn and uncooked shelled shrimp imports from Asian countries, fearing an outbreak of white spot disease in Australia. The ban took effect on January 9 for six months.
MoIT has raised the issue of the ban at all bilateral meetings with Australia, expressing Vietnam’s concerns and asking Australia to consider lifting the ban or replacing it with other measures that would have less impact.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh sent a public letter to the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment and the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources in Australia regarding the matter in February.
In coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, MoIT has been working with relevant agencies in Australia in this regard.
According to MoIT, Vietnam and Australia enjoy favorable conditions to boost economic and trade ties. Two-way trade reached $5.26 billion in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 6.5 per cent.
The Vietnamese trade office in Australia said that Vietnam posted a trade surplus of about $480 million last year.