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Untapped potential in VN-Egypt trade

Update: September, 26/2014 - 08:16

Economic and trade relations between Viet Nam and Egypt remained modest and failed to match the potentials of both countries, said Youssef K. Hanna (left), the Egyptian ambassador to Viet Nam. — Photo dddn.com.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Economic and trade relations between Viet Nam and Egypt remained modest and failed to match the potentials of both countries.

Youssef K. Hanna, the Egyptian ambassador to Viet Nam, also told a forum on doing business with Egypt in the capital city yesterday that moves to promote bilateral relations should come from the private sector and business communities of both countries.

Egypt was now one of the world's leading food importers while Viet Nam had strong advantages in agriculture and seafood, and these were the untapped areas for potential co-operation between the two countries, said Doan Duy Khuong, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

However, inadequate information was the biggest challenge to co-ooperation, Khuong added. He described the forum as a good chance for businesses to update themselves on the business climate in Egypt and Viet Nam and to seek out new opportunities.

Ayman Aly Osman, Head of Economic and Commercial Office in Bejing, stressed the importance of encouraging businesses to participate in economic events and exhibitions in both countries to explore and expand economic co-operation between Viet Nam and Egypt.

Besides calling on Vietnamese enterprises to invest in Egypt, the establishment of the Egyptian-Vietnamese Business Council and the exchange of information and knowledge about experiences in economic development issues were also necessary, Osman said.

Despite significant progress in bilateral trade from 2009 to 2012, Khuong noted that bilateral trade volume decreased sharply by 24 per cent in 2013 following political unrest in Egypt.

However, Vietnamese exports to Egypt have rebounded to US$200 million since the beginning of this year and are expected to exceed more than $300 million by year-end, with key export items including seafood; agricultural products such as pepper, cashew nuts and coffee; automotive spare parts; and cellphones and components.

Earlier, the Voice of Vietnam quoted the Vietnamese Trade Office in Egypt as saying Vietnamese businesses should revise their marketing strategies to attract new business in Egypt, including the boosting of the number of trade promotions.

Although Egypt has not superimposed strict requirements on imports, goods exported to the market must jump through rigorous quality standards which Vietnamese businesses need to be aware of, the office revealed. — VNS

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