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HA NOI (Biz Hub)— Africa and the Middle East were potential markets where Viet Nam could boost exports, said speakers at a conference yesterday organised by the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency.
Countries in these regions had import demand for food, agricultural, seafood and consumer products that Viet Nam was capable of providing, said Le Thai Hoa, deputy director of the Africa, Western and South Asia Markets Department.
The Middle East region, with high GDP per capita, had strong purchasing power and good solvency, while Africa had huge demand for goods.
Viet Nam already imports fuel, diesel, plastics, ores and metals from these countries.
According to Vu Van Chung, Deputy Director of the Department of Foreign Investment, Vietnamese investment into African countries had recently increased, with the Viettel Group embarking on $345.6 million and $400 million telecommunication projects in Mozambique and Cameroon and PetroVietnam investing $300 million in oil and gas mining.
He said that the signing of trade agreements with African and Middle Eastern countries would be sped up to create favourable conditions for enterprises to boost imports and exports as well as investments.
Viet Nam has signed trade agreements with 11 out of 15 Middle East countries and 17 out of 66 African countries.
However, enterprises should pay attention to the strong influence of religion and politics in the region as well as the technical barriers in tapping these markets, experts said at the conference, adding that it was essential to have adequate information about any markets targeted.
Two-way trade between Viet Nam and the Middle East and Africa reached respectively $6.6 billion and $3.493 billion last year.
The figures for the first quarter this year were estimated at $2.09 billion and $755.3 million, respectively. — VNS