HA NOI — Viet Nam exported US$2.6 billion worth of goods to Africa in the first seven months of this year, a surge of 172 per cent against the same period in 2010, according to the General Department of Customs.
A worker checks textiles for export to African markets at the October 10 Textile Joint Stock Co. Viet Nam exported US$2.6 billion worth of goods to Africa in the first seven months of this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha.
The department said Africa was one of the few markets that Viet Nam saw a trade surplus, which has reached $1.88 billion so far this year.
Viet Nam's exports to South Africa rose six-fold against the same period last year to $1.5 billion. Exports to Senegal rose three-fold to $154 million; to Egypt, 36 per cent to $75 million, and to Ghana, 27 per cent to $124 million.
In the first seven months of this year, Vietnamese rice exports to Africa accounted for 25-30 per cent of the country's total annual rice exports. Senegal was the biggest rice importer by volume, with exports to the west African country totalling $143 million. It was followed by the Ivory Coast and Ghana, which imported rice worth $86 million and $56 million, respectively.
By the end of 2011, rice exports to Africa are expected to total 9.8 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 2 per cent.
Meanwhile, the export of goods such as garments, footwear, seafood, telephones and communication accessories have gained a firm foothold in the African market.
"Viet Nam's exports to the market will exceed $3 billion by the end of this year, a yearly rise of 80 per cent," said Ly Quoc Hung, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Africa-Western Asia-South Asia Department.
In order to boost exports, Hung called on Vietnamese businesses to pay more attention to trade promotion activities and to better understand local tastes, as well as the financial capacities of their trade partners.
"Unlike other markets, e-commerce is not an ideal way for Vietnamese enterprises to establish new trade relations with African businesses due to inadequate technological infrastructure and different business customs," Hung said.
Thus, establishing representative offices or branches in Africa would improve links with the continent.
He also encouraged firms to send representatives to trade fairs, exhibitions and business conferences to get a better insight into the market.
Businesses should also consult with the department and Vietnamese trade offices in the region before signing deals with African partners to minimise business risks, he added.
Earlier, the Ministry of Industry and Trade predicted that African import demand would continue to rise in the months to come. — VNS