Illinois Soybean Checkoff Board leaders just returned from a 13-day mission to Vietnam and Thailand, where they found a warm attitude toward Americans and plenty of opportunity for sales of U.S. high-protein soy. The delegation's trip happened to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, which provided a benchmark for how U.S. trade relationships with developing countries can change and grow. The effort also shows how the Illinois-supported World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Program can complement the American Soybean Association's (ASA) international marketing programs.

"WISHH was able to open some new doors and supplement the work of the American Soybean Association," said Illinois Soybean Checkoff Board chairman Stephen J. Scates. "One of the things that impressed me the most was how friendly all the groups were whether they were private groups or individuals in the government."

Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all have traditions of consuming soyfoods, according to Yeong Boon Yee, ASA's technical director for human nutrition based in Singapore. Yet per capita consumption is still quite low in comparison to Singapore and Indonesia (2 kg versus 10 kg per capita per year). "By expanding the scope of soy's benefits and consumption, utilization of the U.S. soy protein complex can be increased," Boon Yee says.

Source: Association Release