Vietnamese businesses considered Africa as a promising market for further cooperation in economics, trade and industry.
At a seminar on trade exchange with African countries held in Hanoi on Mar. 8, Ly Quoc Hung, head of the Asian Southwest Affairs Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that as Africa is a market with a high purchasing power, it offers various opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to boost trade exchange.
According to the department, trade between Vietnam and Africa registers an average growth of over 30 percent a year. In 2010, Vietnam’s exports to Africa hit 1.79 billion USD, an increase of 20 percent over 2009 and 10 fold over 2001.
Vietnam has exported goods to almost all 54 African countries with key markets being South Africa, Egypt, Ivory Cost, Senegal and Angola. The country ships rice, precious stone, garments and textiles, seafood and coffee to Africa and imports cashew nuts, cotton fiber and wood products.
So far, Vietnam has signed framework agreements on economic, trade, scientific and technological cooperation with some African countries. In addition, as a WTO member, the country’s exports to Africa enjoy tax references.
However, Vietnam’s trade exchange with Africa is still modest in comparison with other markets due to a number of difficulties such as geographical distance and communications infrastructure, said the department.
According to the ministry, Vietnam will boost investment cooperation in oil and gas exploration and production, chemistry, and production of consumer goods.
The country will be active in its promotion programmes to expand its market outlets and encouraging businesses to boost trade in the African market.