|Rice is Viet Nam's major item to UEMOA and CEMAC member countries. — Photo thoibaonganhang.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — While the global economy is gradually recovering from the recession, Viet Nam has recovered mush faster, creating opportunities for local and foreign businesses.
This was the consensus among development experts, policy specialists, government officials, and business executives from Africa and Viet Nam who attended a workshop yesterday on enhancing South-South Co-operation between African countries and the Mekong region.
Their evolving economies and expertise allow for exchange of advanced knowledge, but a common language to facilitate communication is first needed, they pointed out.
Thai Kieu Phuong, deputy chairwoman of the Viet Nam-Africa-Middle East Business Forum, said Viet Nam has huge potential in agriculture and technology, giving it a potentially important role in economic and trade co-operation in South-South Co-operation.
Viet Nam sharing its experience in its areas of strength would help resolve issues like trade disputes between African and Mekong countries, she said.
Speaking about co-operation between Viet Nam and West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) in agriculture and agricultural exports, Vo Tan Thanh, director of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's HCM City chapter, said the two areas have huge demand for rice, cashew, vegetables and technologies used in their farming.
Viet Nam has factories producing machines for post-harvest processing, he said.
Fogue Fidele Kouduahou, general director of WAKA Corporation, said since UEMOA member countries do not have the know-how to develop their food processing industry, enhancing co-operation with Viet Nam is vital.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam's trade with UEMOA member countries increased five-fold between 2007 and 2014 to US$854 million.
With CEMAC members it increased 4.6 times to $340.8 million.
Hoang Duc Nhuan of the ministry said rice is Viet Nam's major item to UEMOA and CEMAC member countries, accounting for 50-70 per cent of total exports. It is followed by garments and processed foods, he said.
In recent years Viet Nam has looked for opportunities to export seafood, machinery, and electric cables to these markets.
Executives from around 100 businesses in the Mekong region primarily engaged in agriculture and construction attended the forum, which was organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the International Trade Centre. — VNS