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Middle East seeks building materials

Update: June, 26/2014 - 08:57
Viet Nam's trade councillor in Saudi Arabia, Nguyen Quoc Hai, said that to meet the increasing construction demand, Saudi Arabia needed nearly 60 million tonnes of cement and 25 million tonnes of iron and steel a year. — Photo baodautu

HA NOI (VNS)  — Vietnamese manufacturers of building materials have been advised to exploit Middle East markets because governments there are investing heavily in building infrastructure, a seminar in HCM City heard yesterday.

Organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the seminar was devoted to the potential for new export directions to the Middle East.

Viet Nam's trade councillor in Saudi Arabia, Nguyen Quoc Hai, said that to meet the increasing construction demand, Saudi Arabia needed nearly 60 million tonnes of cement and 25 million tonnes of iron and steel a year.

Hai said besides buying materials from its usual suppliers, Saudi Arabia was now looking at emerging markets such as Viet Nam.

Other experts said that the Saudi Arabian market was attractive as the 5 per cent import tariff rate there was among the lowest in the world. The low rate reflects the fact that the nation's budget funds come largely from oil exports.

"Therefore, Vietnamese exporters should fully utilise these advantages," Hai said.

Tran Quang Huy, head of Viet Nam's African, West and South-Asian Market Department said most Middle East countries relied on imports of timber and timber furniture because few trees grew in their hot, dry climate.

He said promising markets, especially for cement, included the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Oman.

To tap the market, he advised Vietnamese enterprises to focus on surveying what was needed and offering quality products. Contacting building contractors was also a good idea.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Middle East is the fastest growing market for Viet Nam. It now takes five per cent of Viet Nam's total exports to the world market. Last year, total bilateral trade turnover was US$10 billion.

The region's per capita Gross Domestic Product is high due to profits from the oil industry. The Middle East has three-fourths of the world's oil resources. — VNS


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