ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
South Africa hopes to bridge VN trade gap
HCM CITY (VNS) — South Africa wants to expand investment and trade ties but narrow its trade deficit with Viet Nam, a visiting business delegation from that country told a meeting in HCM City the day before yesterday.
Brian Soldaat of South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry is leading the delegation of 16 business executives to explore business opportunities and exchange information.
The purpose of the visit was to narrow the trade deficit with Viet Nam, he said.
South African firms interested in the Viet Nam market are in sectors like food, wine, fruits and vegetables, chocolate, cosmetics, geological exploration services and others, with most wanting to find agents, distributors and retailers for their products here.
Soldaat also told Vietnamese companies about opportunities in his country.
South Africa is seeking investment in sectors like agro-processing, business process, transport equipment, shipbuilding, pulp and paper, furniture, green economy industries, and automotives and components.
Its stable economic growth, abundance of natural resources and modern infrastructure plus investment incentives offered by the government meant South Africa offered good opportunities for Vietnamese investors, he said.
In addition, South Africa would be a gateway for Vietnamese products to the African continent, he said.
Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HCM City, said trade between Viet Nam and South Africa had increased significantly but remained far below potential.
Bilateral trade had been worth US$962 million last year, a year-on-year increase of 5 per cent, with Viet Nam's exports accounting for $815 million, Hung said.
Viet Nam's main exports to South Africa are mobile phones and accessories, footwear, garment and textile, coffee, rice, gemstones and metals, timber and timber products, computers, seafood, milk, cashew nut, and instant noodles.
It imports iron and steel, base metals, timber and timber products, chemicals, plastic materials, cotton, and fertilisers.
With such exchange activities, trade between the two countries was likely to expand greatly in the coming time, he said.
The meeting was organised by the VCCI in collaboration with South Africa's embassy in Viet Nam and its Department of Industry and Trade.
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