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International Support Group (ISG) Plenary Meeting 2020 “Vietnam's agriculture and rural development in the context of COVID-19 impacts: Opportunities and challenges”

Hanoi, 10 - 11 December 2020. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in cooperation with the the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Vietnam and International Agricultural Development Fund (IFAD), organized the ISG 2020 Plenary Meeting with the theme: "Viet Nam's agriculture and rural development in the context of COVID-19 impacts: Opportunities and challenges".

The ISG plenary meeting is a high-level policy dialogue forum held annually between MARD and the community of international sponsors, business groups and partners to exchange and share their policy directions and priorities to promote international cooperation, strengthen coordination of resources for Vietnam's agricultural development towards a sustainable and inclusive direction

2020 is a difficult year when the world has to struggle to prevent the COVID-19 epidemic. In addition to the human damage, the COVID-19 epidemic also had a strong impact on all economies in the world, including Vietnam. The Covid-19 epidemic is likely to continue to cause effects in 2020 and the following years, breaking some raw material supply and consumption chains of agricultural, forestry and fishery products; increasing demand and delaying the negotiation and conclusion of measures to promote market opening between Vietnam and other countries; and raising non-tariff market barriers due to concerns of disease outbreaks and recurrences, the requirements for quality of goods and services and the requirements of food hygiene and safety are also increasing.

In such context, the MARD strives to implement the dual goals set by the Government, focusing its efforts on implementing measures to prevent the Covid-19 epidemic and achieving economy development goals. Vietnam's agriculture will continue to restructure, utilizing technology in the 4.0 Industrial Revolution, while taking advantage of FDI and creating better connection with the export terminals; empowering its position in the supply chain, increasing the value-added content and enhancing the competitiveness of Vietnamese agricultural products.

The ISG 2020 Plenary Meeting is an important event for MARD to share its priority direction for development in the upcoming period, calling upon the international community to join hands and contribute to implementing solutions to cope with the Covid-19 epidemic in the agriculture and rural development sector. The main objectives of the meeting are to (i) Discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy and the Vietnamese economy in general and on the agriculture and rural development sector in particular; (ii) Propose policy recommendations and solutions to cope with the impacts of Covid-19 in the agriculture and rural development sector; (iii) Develop international cooperation programs and projects focusing on the restoration of agricultural production and businesses, connecting global supply chains in the context of COVID-19

At the ISG 2020 Plenary Meeting, international organizations such as IFAD, World Bank (WB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNDP and others shared their research results on assessing the impacts of the Covid-19 epidemic on the economy and the production of farm households; agricultural enterprises; the disruption in the agro-commodity supply chain; environmental hazards and national as well as global food security.

The joint research of NARDT-Vietnam on "Impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on small farmers and vulnerable rural people in Vietnam" was presented and provided key inputs for further discussion at the Technical section of the ISG 2020 meeting.

The ISG 2020 Plenary Meeting adopted a Joint Statement of MARD with key international partners on “Cooperation for Vietnam’s agricultural and rural development in COVID-19 pandemic”. This joint statement demonstrates a high commitment to continued cooperation between MARD and development partners to promote sustainable agricultural and rural development in Vietnam, contributing to the implementation of Government’s "dual" goals

The ISG 2020 Plenary Meeting was attended by nearly 200 delegates representing Embassies in Hanoi, multilateral and bilateral partners, international organizations, international trade agencies (in agriculture), non-governmental organizations; international and domestic businesses and agricultural PPPs; agencies under MARD, relevant ministries / departments / sectors and local authorities, domestic and international media.

Venue: Sheraton Hotel, K5 Nghi Tam, 11 Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho, Hanoi

Time: Thursday and Friday,  10 - 11 December 2020

Co-chairs: Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, UNDP Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen, and Vice Minister Le Quoc Doanh.


ISG Office, Room 101, B4 Building, No. 2 Ngoc Ha Street, Hanoi,

Tel: (04) 37711736; 0392992235 (Ms. Nhung); 0912319864 (Ms. Lien)

Email: [email protected]