HCM CITY (VNS)— Viet Nam's exports to Brazil had a higher growth rate than other Asian countries in the first four months of the year, reports Thoi bao kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) newspaper.
Total bilateral trade during that time reached US$654.6 million, of which Viet Nam's exports were $349.5 million, an increase of 48.5 per cent year-on-year, according to Brazil's Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
Exports from mainland China, India, Korea, Thailand and Indonesia increased by 10.7 per cent, 22.2 per cent, 10.9 per cent, 8.5 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively.
Viet Nam's exports to Brazil also saw a growth rate higher than the average growth rate of exports to the US (12 per cent).
Total bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Brazil ranks second, only after the US.
According to Viet Nam's Commercial Affairs Division in Brazil, there are still many opportunities for Vietnamese goods to penetrate this market.
Currently, the market share of Vietnamese exports accounts for only 0.3 per cent of import demand in Brazil.
Last year, Brazil's total imported goods exceeded $225 billion, of which Vietnamese exports worth $710 million.
At many distribution centres and supermarkets, the presence of made-in-Viet Nam goods is visible.
However, many Brazilian enterprises have yet to realise the production potential of Vietnamese companies.
Brazil is a huge market, with nearly 200 million people. It is the sixth largest economy in the world, and its industrial sector is the most developed in South America.
Thanks to its economic growth and high living standards, demand for imported goods has increased.
In the first four months of 2013, Brazil saw a trade deficit of $1 billion, while in previous years, the country had a trade surplus.
Brazilian consumers are fond of imported goods, so there are favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods to access the market.
On the other hand, market research specialists said that language was a barrier in strengthening trade relations between the two countries, as few people on either side spoke Vietnamese or Portuguese, the main language of Brazil.
In addition, Brazil's import procedures take a long time and signed contracts must be notarised in Brazil, which hinders Vietnamese enterprises.
Geographical distance as well as cultural and time-zone difference are also obstacles.
Moreover, information about investment procedures, preferential taxes, labour costs and land-use periods in Brazil.
To overcome these challenges, Brazil opened a consulate earlier this year in HCM City to support businesses look for partners and seek mutual understanding about each other's markets.
Currently, Viet Nam exports seafood, footwear, electronic parts, textiles and garments to Brazil.
Brazil also has great demand for cosmetics and medicine, two areas in which Viet Nam could increase exports.
It is also seeking foreign investment in sectors such as seaports, shipbuilding, oil and gas, and bio-fuels.
Total bilateral trade between Brazil and Viet Nam is expected to surpass $2 billion this year. — VNS