VN, South Africa discuss trade ties

Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017 09:00

Workers produce motors for domestic consumption and export to South Africa, Laos and Cambodia at the Toan Phat Company Ltd. in Binh Giang District, Hai Duong Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the South African Embassy in Viet Nam held a conference yesterday in Ha Noi to discuss the promotion of bilateral trade, investment and tourism, and future potential between the two countries.

Doan Duy Khuong, VCCI’s Vice Chairman, said during the conference’s opening speech that at the moment, Viet Nam is considered South Africa’s top strategic partner in the South East Asian region.

Speaking at the conference, Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape Province in South Africa, said that she was delighted to see the two nations reaching new heights in their trade relations.

Bilateral trade turnover between the two countries takes the lead among Viet Nam’s exports and imports with African partners; and South Africa is also considered Viet Nam’s hub to reach other African countries, as well as countries from the five major emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), the G-20 and many other important international trade organisations, said Khuong.

Over the past 10 years, total bilateral trade turnover between Viet Nam and South Africa has increased five times, from just over US$192 million in 2007 to over $1.03 billion as of the end of 2016; in which exports from Viet Nam to South Africa was worth more than $868 million last year, with imports at approximately $148 million, according to VCCI’s findings.

Chief exports from Viet Nam to South Africa include mobile phone parts and accessories, computers, electronics devices, footwear, rice, pepper, cashews, coffee, and furniture.

On the other hand, Viet Nam’s imports from South Africa chiefly range from industrial supply, textile materials, leather, chemical products, common metals and iron.

Furthermore, in the past five months, South African firms have invested up to more than $100 billion into building infrastructure in Viet Nam, with hope of investing another $400 billion in the next 15 years.

Zille expressed her delight at such progress, stating that it would be a good opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to enhance collaboration, and push for imports in more prospective goods such as coffee or industrial cement.

She also stated that both Governments encourage firms to actively participate in maritime transportation and logistics to better facilitate bilateral trade. Simultaneously, she hoped that there would be better collaboration on human resource training and investment.

The VCCI also said that between the two countries, some industries would have more room for growth than others, such as mining, iron and steel processing, mineral extraction, wood and pulp manufacturing.

Viet Nam has been considering a more in depth cooperation with South Africa in the fields of thermoelectric power, automobile assembly, food processing, wine making and shale oil production.

Yesterday’s conference also featured discussions on the potential for tourism between the two countries. It is seen as a great chance for businesses to meet, exchange information, build networks and establish partnerships on all trade, tourism, culture and education relations between the two nations.

The conference was held on the occasion of Zille’s official visit to Viet Nam with 19 South African business delegates, working in various manufacturing industries ranging from household applications, electronic devices, coal, ore, canned goods to mining, wine making and water processing. — VNS

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