South African Ambassador Kgomotso Magau delivers speech at a seminar yesterday in HCM City. — Photo vovworld.vn
HCM CITY – Trade between Việt Nam and South Africa has great potential for development with co-operative ties in many sectors, South African Ambassador Kgomotso Magau said yesterday during a seminar and business matching event held in HCM City.
As a major exporter of mineral-based commodities, South Africa is able to meet industrial sector demand in Việt Nam, she said.
“Our embassy has noted strong growth in domestic consumption fuelled by increasing income levels, not only in South Africa, Việt Nam and Africa in general. This presents an upward demand for our respective products.
“We have also noted that infrastructure development in our region has resulted in joint ventures between service providers such as Việt Nam’s Viettel in our neighbouring country,” she said. .
Nguyễn Thế Hưng, deputy director of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HCM City, said that trade between Việt Nam and South Africa has increased significantly but is far below potential.
Bilateral trade was worth US$1.1 billion last year, with Việt Nam’s exports accounting for $1 billion.
Kabelo Kenneth Malatsi, director of the Export Promotion, Trade and Investment of the Department of Trade and Industry South African, said that South Africa wants to expand investment and trade ties to narrow its trade deficit with Việt Nam.
Malatsi is leading a delegation of 20 business executives from South Africa to explore trade opportunities in Việt Nam.
The executives are from various sectors, including food, wine, tea, fruits, iron, steel, fertiliser, consulting, investment and others. Most of them want to find agents, distributors and retailers for their products.
Looking for investors
South Africa is also seeking foreign investment in sectors like advanced manufacturing, metals, mining, bio-fuel and agribusiness as well as precision engineering, ICT and electronics, and leather and footwear.
Other investment areas are infrastructure, forestry products and furniture, waste management, energy efficiency and clean technology.
South Africa offers stable economic growth, abundance of natural resources and modern infrastructure plus investment incentives offered by its government, according to Malatsi.
He said the country can be a gateway for Vietnamese products to the rest of the African continent, which has a population of one billion.
Đỗ Thị Kim Liên, the South African Honorary Consul in HCM City, said with such exchange activities, trade between the two countries is likely to expand greatly and reach $2.4 billion this year.
“We are striving to boost exports of Việt Nam’s agricultural products, garments and textiles, footwear and essential products to South Africa,” she said.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s fruit and wine, the country’s famous export items, have great potential for trade in the Vietnamese market.
Hồ Thị Ngọc Lan, export director of Topcake Joint Venture Co Ltd, said the country has high requirements of quality compared to other African countries.
Vietnamese businesses must attach special importance to product quality when exporting to South Africa, she noted.
There is potential for exports, especially in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, since the market has high demand and a shortage of producers of such goods in South Africa.
Huệ Phong, chairman of Happy Bank, told Việt Nam News that he is interested in investing in technology, education and agriculture in South Africa.
The conference was followed by business-to-business meetings to enable exchange of information and co-operation opportunities.
Việt Nam’s main exports to South Africa are mobile phones and accessories, footwear, garments and textiles, coffee, rice, gemstones and metals, timber and timber products, computers, seafood, milk, cashew nuts and instant noodles.
It imports iron and steel, base metals, timber and timber products, chemicals, plastic materials, cotton and fertilisers.
The meeting was organised by the VCCI in collaboration with South Africa’s embassy in Việt Nam, South Africa Honorary Consulate in HCM City and South Africa’s Department of Industry and Trade. - VNS