Vietnamese firms seek to boost export to South Africa

Representatives of over 120 Vietnamese enterprises operating in agriculture, food, and interior and exterior decoration participated in an online consultation session on export to South Africa on December 8.

Speaking at the event, jointly held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) and the Vietnam Trade Office in South Africa, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in South Africa Pham Thanh Hai affirmed that all Vietnamese products have an opportunity to enter the South African market because consumers in this southernmost African country are interested in foreign products.

Currently, only China and the Republic of Korea are the Asian countries investing in South Africa, while Vietnam is a quite unfamiliar name to South African consumers, he said.

Hai suggested Vietnamese businesses seize opportunities to bring their products to the nearly-60-million-people market, which has systems of large stores and supermarkets across the country to serve all classes of people.

Vietnamese small and medium enterprises specializing in textiles and garment, bedding, vegetables and fresh fruit should seek opportunities to export their products to the country, he said.

According to Kieu Phuong, owner of Khanh Viet CC – the firm that imports and distributes Vietnamese goods in South Africa, said one of the advantages to export Vietnamese commodities to the country is that Vietnam has products that other countries cannot compete with.

South African consumers also know more about Vietnam through tourism channels and this is also an advantage for Vietnamese products to find opportunities to enter the African market, she added.

Sharing experience in distributing and developing Vietnamese products in South Africa, Phuong noted that South Africa strictly checking the quantity of goods declared with the customs, and copyright-related issues.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and South Africa reached over US$1 billion in the first 10 months of 2021. The two countries are striving to lift their trade to US$1.42 billion in the whole year.

Typical products of Vietnam sold in the South African market are computers, phones, electronic components, footwear, pepper, cashew nuts, rice, and plastic.