Boosting trade with the Middle East

14:34 | 29/03/2016 Trade

(VEN) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) sent a business delegation to the State of Kuwait and the Sultanate of Oman from May 6-14 to carry out trade promotion activities in an effort to boost cooperation with Middle East countries.

Boosting trade with the Middle East

Agricultural products are among major Vietnamese exports to Middle East countries - Photo: Can Dung

The delegation carried out market surveys and met partners to popularize Vietnamese products and seek ways to boost exports, focusing on seafood, agricultural products, food, wood products, iron and steel, textiles and garments, footwear, mobile phones and components, electric cables, computers, electronic products and components, and coconut meat.

During the time the delegation stayed in Kuwait and Oman, the MoIT worked with organizations to hold business forums in the two countries, offering opportunities for Vietnamese, Kuwaiti, and Omani businesses to meet and discuss cooperation opportunities in order to promote Vietnamese exports.

Kuwait is a Middle Eastern country with a population of 2.8 million. Last year, its gross domestic product (GDP) reached US$123.2 billion, 2.3 percent up on 2014, with per-capita GDP reaching US$44,000.

According to the MoIT, economic and commercial relations between Vietnam and Kuwait have developed with bilateral trade growing strongly since 2010 mostly thanks to Kuwaiti diesel exports to Vietnam. Last year, Vietnam exported US$88.2 million worth of products to Kuwait and spent US$130.8 million on imports from this market. Vietnamese exports to Kuwait included seafood, agricultural products, food, timber and wood products, ceramics, bamboo and rattan-made products. Vietnam had a trade deficit with Kuwait, mostly due to diesel, chemical, and fertilizer imports.

The Sultanate of Oman is another country in the Middle East with a population of about 3.3 million. Last year, its GDP reached US$60.18 billion, a rise of 4.4 percent compared with 2014, with per-capita GDP reaching US$18,236.

The MoIT said economic and commercial relations between Vietnam and Oman remained modest. Businesses of the two countries still lack opportunities to meet and talk directly. Last year, trade between Vietnam and Oman reached US$65.5 million, including US$33.4 million worth of Vietnamese exports to Oman, and US$32.1 million worth of imports from this market. Major Vietnamese exports to Oman included mobile phones and components, seafood, iron and steel, and coffee, while imports mostly included ordinary metals, plastic materials, ores, and chemicals.

With deserts accounting for 82 percent of its area, Oman remains weak in producing agricultural, industrial products and consumer goods, depending mostly on petroleum sales. However, its per-capita GDP is high, so consumer demand for goods will increase. The MoIT forecast that in the time to come Vietnam can boost the export of agricultural products, seafood, iron and steel, timber and wood products, machinery and equipment, and spare parts - these are products for which Oman has stable demand for the long term.


Nguyen Hoa