Last year, the turnover to 25 African countries hit US$150 million, a 38 percent surge from 2011, with key exports including Tra and Ba Sa fish, shrimp and tuna.
According to the African, West and South Asian Markets Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnamese exporters have a good opportunity to promote seafood exports to African countries as the nations have to import numerous aquatic products to meet their domestic demand and their aquaculture industry is under-developed.
Vietnamese exporters are even able to study the possibility of implementing aquaculture projects in the continent and exporting seafood to surrounding countries.
Moreover, the profuse domestic supply of Tra fish at stable prices facilitates Vietnamese exporters’ trade with the continent.
Egypt has become Vietnam’s most promising aquatic export market with turnover of US$79.6 million in 2012, up 33 percent over the previous year.
However, Vietnamese exporters have encountered several difficulties in exporting their products to the African market.
It takes around 40 days to transport goods from Vietnam to Africa by sea, and there is no direct air route between them.
In easing the difficulties and stepping up aquatic exports to Africa, domestic enterprises need to ensure the quality of their products and meet importers’ food hygiene and safety standards.
They have also been asked to set up a distribution network with a single price in the continent’s key markets in order to avoid dumping.
The ministry says Egypt tops the list of Vietnam’s aquatic export markets in Africa.
It is followed by Tunisia with export turnover of US$11.16 million, Algeria with US$9.5 million, Cameroon with US$7.1 million, and Libya with US$6.5 million.