|Rice loaded for exports. Africa imports made-in-Việt Nam goods such as rice, coffee, pepper, cashew nuts, footwear, apparel, household electric appliances, plastics, electronics, handicrafts and aquatic products. — VNA/VNS Photo Đình Huệ|
HÀ NỘI — Africa is a market with high import demand and less strict requirements, giving it potential, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asia-Africa Market (the Middle East – Africa Zone).
Nguyễn Minh Phương from the department told a seminar to promote trade and exports to the Middle East and Africa, held in Hà Nội on Tuesday, that Việt Nam has so far established ties with 53 out of 55 African countries and two-way trade has surged considerably over the past decade.
Việt Nam’s exports to Africa soared from US$610 million in 2006 to $3.2 billion in 2015 and $2.8 billion in 2016.
Last year, Africa’s imports neared $480 billion, which is forecast to increase to about $1.2 trillion by 2020. In the Middle East, the figure was estimated at roughly $807 billion in 2016 and at $1.5 trillion by 2020.
Lying in a strategic geographical location, the Middle East borders Asia, Europe and Africa, with Dubai being the world’s third largest transit market, Phương said.
South African Ambassador to Việt Nam Kgomotso Ruth Magau said Africa imports made-in-Việt Nam goods such as rice, coffee, pepper, cashew nuts, footwear, apparel, household electric appliances, plastics, electronics, handicrafts and aquatic products.
The seminar affords both sides a chance to facilitate information sharing and technological transfer, she said.
Lý Quốc Thịnh from the Department of Asia-Africa Market said the Middle East is home to 15 countries with huge oil reserves and mineral resources. Due to poor weather conditions, the Middle East’s agriculture, fisheries and consumer goods production is underdeveloped so the region must rely on imports.
However, Vietnamese exporters still face obstacles regarding competition with regional rivals, financial risks, public security and order, red tape and poor transport links.
Experts suggested reviewing business strategies and thoroughly learning about regional socio-culture before doing business in the region. — VNS