Following a recent visit by the Dáil Public Accounts Committee to Vietnam, additional resources have been sanctioned to market the Irish dairy sector in Southeast Asia.

Waterford TD John Deasy, who led the delegation, said: “The inescapable fact is that Vietnam needs to be immediately targeted by Bord Bia due to the ending of the quota regime.

“The European Commission will shortly finalise a free trade agreement with Vietnam and by extension gain access to 630m consumers in the ASEAN group of countries.”

He said that following conversations he’s had with Simon Coveney, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has agreed to fund additional Bord Bia personnel in emerging markets.

“Based on the draft report we’ve been working on, a Bord Bia presence in Vietnam to specifically target food and dairy industry trade links has been agreed in principle. We’ve also been in contact with Bord Bia who support this measure.”

He said that one criticism heard was that all of Ireland’s bets seems to be placed on China.

“At present Bord Bia’s staff in that part of the world is based in Shanghai, while Enterprise Ireland operates out of Singapore.

“If we want a greater piece of the export trade dominated by countries such as New Zealand and Holland then we need to put resources in place to carry out market anaylsis and promotion; creating awareness of our capacity to produce premium dairy goods, including infant milk formula for instance,” the Fine Gael deputy added.