Africa has high trade potential with VN
More Vietnamese businesses should pursue trade with Africa which has high demand for products that are Viet Nam's strengths, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade's West Asian-African market office.
Nguyen Minh Phuong, 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 Viet Nam's production and processing. Viet 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.
Phuong 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, Phuong said, adding that businesses should consider opening representative offices in African countries to promote exports.
Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Africa in 2018 was around US$6.6 billion. Viet Nam exported $2.9 billion worth of goods to Africa.