Africa has high demand for products such as rice and coffee, which are Việt Nam's strengths. — VNA/VNS Photo Đình Huệ
HCM CITY — More Vietnamese businesses should pursue trade with Africa which has high demand for products that are Việt Nam's strengths, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade's West Asian-African market office.
Nguyễn Minh Phương, head of the office, said that Africa's production capability still needs more development and as a result, it has a high demand for consumer goods and foodstuff.
The region also supplies raw materials for Việt Nam's production and processing. Việt Nam imports a great deal of cashew, cotton, wood and minerals from Africa, and exports mainly rice, phones, seafood, electronic goods and coffee to the continent.
Phương said that Africa's highest demand would be rice, coffee and cassava powder.
The two sides have a long history of co-operation and partnership, but differences in culture and business practices, in addition to geographical distance and lack of knowledge, make it difficult for Vietnamese businesses to enter Africa.
In addition, transportation costs can be relatively high in Africa, and infrastructure needs more development.
Trade facilitation events are important to keep businesses informed of the African market, Phương said, adding that businesses should consider opening representative offices in African countries to promote exports.
Bilateral trade between Việt Nam and Africa in 2018 was around US$6.6 billion. Việt Nam exported $2.9 billion worth of goods to Africa. — VNS