Africa has much space and potential for Vietnamese exporters
|The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a seminar on improving the effectiveness of promoting Vietnamese agricultural products in Africa on November 1, 2023. (Photo: Anh Son)
The seminar aimed to evaluate the prospects, advantages and difficulties for the promotion of Vietnamese agricultural products in the sub-Saharan African market, and the need to establish showrooms/display spaces for agricultural product samples at Vietnamese diplomatic missions abroad. Besides, the seminar tried to find solutions to improve the effectiveness of agricultural product promotion in the region in the coming time.
The seminar was attended by nearly 200 delegates from many ministries/sectors, localities, research institutes, cooperative alliances, associations and businesses in the field of producing, processing and exporting agricultural products and international freight transport.
Addressing the opening speech, Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc emphasized that African region continues to emerge as a bright spot in trade between Vietnam and the world, especially as many of the former’s traditional markets are facing economic recession and rising inflation.
In the first nine months of 2023, trade between Vietnam and the world has fallen nearly 11% over the same period in 2022. However, the country’s bilateral trade with the continent reached 4.35 billion USD, up 4.7% year-on-year. Particularly, many Vietnamese agricultural products exported to the region have increased sharply in volume and value, such as rice, coffee, cashew nuts, etc.
Deputy Minister Ngoc affirmed that Vietnam has many favorable conditions to promote the export of agricultural products to Africa, emphasized that high-ranking Party and State leaders are also interested in enhancing economic cooperation with the region.
“With a population of some 1 billion, Sub-Saharan Africa has much space and potential for Vietnamese exporters of agro products,” he said. “However, to increase competitiveness in price and quality, businesses must also take appropriate measures to effectively promote products in the market.”
Delegates attending the seminar said that the promotion of Vietnamese agricultural products to the sub-Saharan African market is currently facing a number of hindrances such as: lack of information and understanding of markets, partners, regulations, business practices of the host country; high shipping costs due to remote geographical distances; complicated customs procedures, regulation barriers restricting the import of agricultural products, product packaging and sample preservation,... Besides, according to representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, some businesses are not being proactive in coordinating with national agencies to promote products.
Since the number of local and business delegations coming to learn about market promotion in the region over the past time has been modest, representatives attending the seminar also emphasized the need to send delegations to participate in international fairs, exhibitions in the region to promote agricultural products. By implementing trade promotion in a focused way, localities and businesses will better grasp market’s needs, exploit potential effectively in accordance with the strength of localities and businesses.
At the seminar, delegates discussed the idea of establishing a room/space displaying samples of Vietnamese agricultural products at Vietnamese diplomatic missions abroad in the region, which will help localities and businesses to introduce products. However, to implement this model well, localities, agricultural exporters and logistics enterprises need to coordinate closely with Vietnamese embassies to promote key products and organize sample displays; provide samples and information to introduce appropriate products in the long run.
With the spirit to serve the country's socio-economic development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnamese diplomatic missions abroad are always ready to actively and closely coordinate with ministries, departments, localities and businesses to achieve practical, substantive effects in agricultural product promotion, bring various benefits to localities, businesses and Vietnamese farmers.
Following the event's success, the Foreign Ministry plans to organize a seminar on improving the effectiveness of promoting Vietnamese agricultural products in the Middle East-North Africa at the end of November 2023.