Many key Vietnamese exports such as aquatic products, coffee, pepper and garments, are securing a foothold in the African, western and south Asian markets.
Industrial and electronic products (mobile phones and computers) are also selling well in these regions.
Ly Quoc Hung, Head of the African, Western and Southern Asian Markets Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) says that as many as 2,000 businesses shipped commodities to these markets in 2010, up 5 percent from 2009.
Apart from exporting, many Vietnamese businesses are seeking investment opportunities in these regions. Recently, the Truong Thanh Furniture Corporation struck a deal worth US$30 million to process timber in South Africa.
The Vietnamese military-run telecom provider Viettel, received a licence to launch a mobile phone network in Mozambique, and FPT Group signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with Nigeria’s 21st Century Technologies Company in telecommunications, education and equipment production.
MoIT statistics showed that two-way trade between Vietnam and these regions last year hit nearly US$14.5 billion, of which Vietnam earned US$3.5 billion from exports to Africa alone, up nearly 200 percent from 2010.
During the period, Vietnam’s exports to the Middle East amounted to US$2.4 billion, a rise of 45.4 percent and exports to Southern Asia reached US$2.1 billion, up over 46 percent.
According to experts, Vietnamese export businesses will enjoy more favourable conditions in the near future, after the Government adopted an export and import strategy for the 2011-2020 period and the vision towards 2030. The strategy includes measures to speed up production, develop markets, build financial policies to develop exports, logistics infrastructure and human resource and increase competitiveness of businesses and strengthen the role of industry associations.
Additionally, the current MoIT project to develop export businesses’ capacity to promote exports to Africa and an action plan on strengthening relations with the Middle East until 2015 will create new opportunities for Vietnamese goods to Africa, western and southern Asia in the near future.
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