Middle East, Africa untapped

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 10:05

Workers process seafood for export at a factory of Song Gianh Co in central Quang Binh Province. Domestic firms have failed to fully exploit the promising Middle Eastern and African markets. — Photo seatimes.com.vn

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Vietnamese firms have failed to fully exploit the promising Middle Eastern and African markets, despite encouraging export turnovers they have earned from these countries in recent years, a seminar heard in Ha Noi yesterday.

Countries in these regions had high import demand for food, agricultural, seafood and consumer products that Vietnamese enterprises were capable of providing, said Ngo Khai Hoan, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Africa, West and South Asia Markets Department.

As well as these reviewed items, the Middle Eastern nations alone had rising demand for construction materials, electronic cables, home decor, milk and milk products as well as office machinery and equipment. Also goods that would be to Viet Nam's advantage, Hoan said.

In order to foster exports to these lucrative markets, domestic enterprises had to revise their business strategies with focus on improving their distribution channels while developing new ones, said Le Thai Hoa, deputy head of the department.

They should be also proactive in participating in trade promotion and fact-finding trips along with trade fairs and exhibitions held in these countries in a move to better study the tastes of consumers there.

Vietnamese businesses also needed to improve their understanding about these countries' cultures so that they could provide suitable products, Hoa said, calling for closer links between exporters. That could help enhance their competitiveness in overseas markets.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Lien Phuong, director of the Viet Nam Institute for Businessmen encouraged the firms to pay attention to supervising the quality of their products and registering their trademarks not only in domestic markets but also international ones.

Once local firms drew up long-term strategies which included developing export products and protecting their trademarks beside their close co-operation with relevant authorities, they could effectively tap into the African and Middle Eastern markets.

Viet Nam has to date established trade relations with 70 countries in African and Middle Eastern blocs. Two-way trade between Viet Nam and these nations had increased eight times over past 10 years. — VNS

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