VN firms eye untapped foreign markets

May 26, 2017 - 09:00

There have great business opportunities for Vietnamese companies in the Middle East, Africa and South America markets which have large populations with high demand for imports, according to the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency.

Electric motors manufactured for export at a Toàn Phát Construction Mechanics Co Ltd factory in Hưng Thịnh Industrial Park in the Hải Dương Province’s Bình Giang district. — VNA Photo Vũ Sinh
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency held a workshop in the capital on Thursday on trade promotion to the Middle East and Africa, which followed a conference on South American trade promotion on Wednesday.


Khải Hoàn, deputy director of the Africa, Western and South Asia Markets Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, told Thursday’s attendees that these populous regions have a high demand for imports of many key Vietnamese export products, including garments, footwear, fisheries, food and consumer products.


To date, Việt Nam has established diplomatic relations with more than 70 countries in the region, opening opportunities to boost exports to these markets.


However, the ministry urged firms to study market information carefully to seek out trustworthy partners.


In addition, payments are a difficult matter, as many firms are not used to using the letter of credits. If using document against payment method, Vietnamese firms should require deposits of at least 30 per cent.


For South American markets, deputy director of the Trade Promotion Agency Tạ Hoàng Linh said Wednesday that a region with more than US$6 trillion GDP and a population of more than 600 million must hold significant opportunities for Vietnamese firms.


In recent years, Việt Nam’s exports to the region have experienced an annual average growth of 30-40 per cent, Linh said.


However, Vietnamese enterprises still face several challenges in exporting to the region, such as geographical distance, high transportation costs and cultural and institutional differences.

Former Vietnamese Trade Counselor to Chile Trần Đình Văn agreed. He mentioned inadequate market information and difficulties in language as two obstacles facing Vietnamese exporters.   

As for the Chilean market, Việt Nam’s goods also face fierce competition from their peers from South America and Asia, he noted.


Lê Thị Vân Anh, director of Thành Đạt Joint Stock Co, which exports farm produce in the northern province of Hưng Yên, said her enterprise stopped searching for export opportunities to the region after it failed to receive payment for a cashew nut shipment in 2014 from a South American partner.


Her company couldn’t even retrieve its products, Vân Anh told the Industry and Trade (Công Thương) newspaper.  


To facilitate Vietnamese exports to the region, Văn called on closer co-operation between relevant State agencies and enterprises, especially in trade promotion.

He also suggested domestic firms improve their understanding about South American trade information, customs procedures and payment methods. — VNS