|Coffee and footwear exports rose 71 per cent and 7 per cent, accounting for 18 per cent and 12.5 per cent of market share. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and South Africa has been increasing with estimated turnover of US$962 million in 2014, up 5 per cent from a year ago.
Viet Nam's exports to South Africa reached $815 million and imports were $147 million, according to Viet Nam Trade Counselor in South Africa Nguyen Hong Tien.
Coffee and footwear exports rose 71 per cent and 7 per cent, accounting for 18 per cent and 12.5 per cent of market share. Meanwhile, imports of scrap steel from South Africa fell by 38 per cent due to Viet Nam's sluggish property market.
Tien said the economic development forecast for both countries in 2015 was positive. The Vietnamese Government aims for GDP growth to reach 6.2 per cent, an increase from last year's 5.98 per cent. South Africa has predicted growth of 2.6 percent, nearly double 2013's figure.
The Vietnamese official said the Government's attention to enhancing ties with Africa and the acceleration of diplomatic and trade promotion activities in 2015 would create favourable conditions for boosting bilateral trade between the two countries. However, he pointed out a number of payment and transportation difficulties hindering trade.
Furthermore, Vietnamese enterprises had not paid sufficient attention to promising markets in Africa, such as by making fact-finding tours or joining fairs and exhibitions, he said.
Vietnamese trade offices in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho reported that two-way trade between Viet Nam and these African countries last year reached $92.9 million, $34.7 million, $26.4 million, $21.1 million, $14.7 million and $12.3 million respectively.
Co-operative prospects between Viet Nam and the countries were huge as they had high demand for Viet Nam's key export products, especially rice, Tien said, adding that South Africa could act as a gateway for improved relations with other African countries. — VNS