|Illustrative image (Source: African Business Central)
Nguyen Thao Hien, deputy head of the MoIT’s European-American Market Department, made the remarks at a workshop that sought to put Vietnamese products on supermarket shelves in South Africa held in Johannesburg on May 14.
She led a Vietnamese trade promotion delegation, including leading food producers and processors, to South Africa from May 10-14, to introduce Vietnamese products to local consumers.
Although trade revenue between Vietnam and South Africa has increased over the years and exceeded 1 billion USD in 2018, the two countries have potential to further bilateral trade, especially in food production and processing and seafood, Hien said.
At the workshop, Vice President of the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jacki Luthuli lauded the MoIT and Vietnam’s Commercial Affairs Office in South Africa for their efforts in trade promotion.
Trade promotion activities will be important premises to strengthen trade ties, she said.
This is the first time Vietnam has sent a specialised trade promotion delegation to the African market in an effort to encourage Vietnamese firms to directly export their products abroad.
While in South Africa, the delegation coordinated with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cape Town to hold another trade promotion workshop in the locality.
They also had a working session with representatives of Advance Cash & Carry – the largest distributor in South Africa, and displayed Vietnamese products in local supermarkets.
According to Dao Manh Duc, head of the Vietnamese Commercial Affairs Office in South Africa, South Africa remained Vietnam’s largest trade partner in Africa in 2018 with export-import turnover exceeding 1 billion USD, up 11.7 percent year-on-year and making up 16 percent of total trade value between Vietnam and African nations.
To enhance trade between Vietnam and South Africa, many Vietnamese trade promotion delegations are scheduled to visit the country in the near future.
A delegation led by a representative of the MoIT will attend the 26th South African International Trade Exhibition in Johannesburg in June, and another delegation of businesses will come to the country to study its support industry in the leather and footwear sector the same month.
Statistics released by the MoIT’s Asian-African Market Department show that total export-import turnover between Vietnam and 53 out of 55 African countries was estimated at 6.6 billion USD in 2018, of which export value hit some 3 billion USD, up 10 percent year-on-year.
Egypt was Vietnam’s second largest trade partner in Africa, after South Africa, with trade revenue reaching 439 million USD, a rise of 36.6 percent from the previous year.