|At the seminar (Photo: VNA)
The event was co-organised by the Department of Trade Promotion under Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, and South Africa’s Department of Industry and Trade.
Valentine Naidoo, a representative of South Africa’s Department of Industry and Trade , said that Vietnam has been regarded as a major and important trading partner for South African enterprises for many years.
South African businesses consider the country to be a potential market to boost trade and investment ties in areas where both sides enjoy complementary advantages, he noted.
Besides, Vietnam also represents an important gateway for South African goods to gain access to the Southeast Asian market.
Jacobus Rreinier Grove, a representative of Rukou Beverages Company, shared that both nations have strengths in terms of agricultural production, noting that with different product structures in place, they should step up co-broader cooperation and trade exchanges, thus helping consumers enjoy increased options.
With regard to processing, the African nation has the advantage of producing items made from safe, natural ingredients, which also fall in line with the latest consumer-focused trend of health.
Elsewhere, Deshan Naidoo, director of Factocode Microfinish which specialises in manufacturing automobile components claimed that Vietnam is home to a well-developed manufacturing industry, with the growing demand for using products in the supporting industry.
As a result, many South African businesses are hoping to establish partnerships with enterprises in the Vietnam’s supporting industry in order to organise their production and distribution activities. Especially, they can assist local businesses by way of a transfer of technology and human resource training to meet long-term development goals.
Bui Thi Thanh An, Deputy Director of Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said South Africa is currently the country’s largest trading partner in Africa.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has enjoyed a consistent increase for several years, touching down more than US$1.1 billion in 2018. Of the figure, Vietnam exported more than US$724 million worth of goods to the African nation, including telephones, agricultural products, coffee, and spices. In contrast, South Africa mainly exports timber and steel to Vietnam with a value of approximately US$386 million.
According to Ms An, there is still plenty of room for both sides to boost trade turnover, investment, and business co-operation activities in the coming time.
Therefore, a host of direct exchange activities are being taken to create closer links between the two economies, expand the export market of each nation, take advantage of their respective strengths, and pooling resources to complement both countries' development needs.