VN, South Africa eye $2 billion bilateral trade in 2019
Viet Nam and South Africa have announced a target of increasing bilateral trade to US$2 billion in 2019, from $1.5 billion in 2017.
South African Ambassador Mpetiane Kgaogelo Lekgoro said at the trade, investment and tourism promotion conference held on Tuesday in Hue City that the two countries had significant untapped potential to boost cooperation.
Over the past five years, South Africa has invested more than $100 billion in developing its infrastructure system and planned to invest another $400 billion over the next 15 years. This was an opportunity for Viet Nam to promote exports, especially cement – a product that Viet Nam has strength in, to South Africa.
He said South Africa was a large supplier of Viet Nam for timber and wood products, chemicals, plastic materials, fibers and fertilisers while mainly importing footwear, garment and textile products, coffee, rice and metals from Viet Nam.
At the conference, businesses from both sides were provided with information about investment opportunities in industry, transport, mining, tourism and investment attraction policies.
He said that the two countries targeted to reach bilateral trade of $2 billion in 2019.
According to Truong Thi Kim Anh, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s branch in Da Nang City, many Vietnamese products were suitable for export to the South African market. However, the shortage of market information and a network to connect businesses were hindering trade.
Kim Anh said that market research should be promoted together with the setting up of a network to connect firms from the two countries to enhance cooperation.
Since establishing diplomatic relations in 1993, the cooperation between the two countries has developed across a range of sectors, including trade, investment, science, culture and tourism.
Bilateral trade increased from $700 million in 2012 to $1.5 billion in 2017.
Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that two-way trade between Viet Nam and South Africa reached $593 million in the first half of this year. South Africa was the largest export market of Viet Nam in Africa in the period, with revenue of $536.8 million.