Africa-Vietnam trade soars

Vietnamese exports to Africa during the first half of the year registered growth of 41.7 percent, the highest rate among the country's export markets, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Exports to Asian countries rose by 19.9 percent, exports to Europe increased by 15.8 percent and exports to the Americas grew by 7.2 percent, according to a report released recently by the ministry. 

The strong growth in exports to Africa is partly attributed to the increase in gold exports to South Africa. 

In addition, data from the General Department of Customs shows that mobile phone and rice are two other major items Vietnam exported to Africa. 

Exports to South Africa, Vietnam's largest market in the continent, during the first five months totalled US$274.6 million, up 32 percent year-on-year, with exports of cell phones and components reaching US$168.5 million, a surge of more than 3.5 times year-on-year. 

Since January, Vietnam has had difficulty selling rice to a number of African markets, such as Ivory Coast , Ghana and Senegal, due to competition of cheaper rice from India and Thailand, according to MoIT's Department of South West Asia and Africa Markets. 

Still, rice export to Africa in May grew more significantly than during the preceding months because African rice stockpiles had declined, prompting African countries to boost import. 

During the first five months of 2013, Vietnam exported 83,600 tonnes of rice to Angola (up 186 percent), 68,800 tonnes to Cameroon (up 122 percent), 34,400 tonnes to Mozambique (up 31.4 percent), and 15,300 tonnes to Togo, a near seven-fold rise.
VNA/VOV online