Huge opportunity for entering Middle East, African markets

09:39 | 31/05/2017 Trade

Vietnam has a lot of potential to expand its market share in the Middle East and Africa, as the region has a sizeable population with a high demand for imported products which are conformable with key Vietnamese export products.

Rice is one of key Vietnamese products exported to Middle East and Africa

Deputy Head of the Department of Africa, Western and South Asia Markets (under the Ministry of Industry and Trade) Ngo Khai Hoan made the remarks at a seminar on May 25.

The seminar was held by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency with the aim of assisting Vietnamese enterprises in expanding their market and seeking partnerships in the Middle East and Africa region.

Hoan noted that Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with more than 70 countries in this region which shows a great opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to export goods.

Despite many difficulties in other markets, traditional Vietnamese products exported to the Middle East and Africa still see good growth. Besides traditional goods such as rice, coffee, pepper, and leather shoes, Vietnam also exports many high value items to the region including electronic components, machinery, equipment and spare parts.

Countries in the Middle East and Africa have a great demand for seafood, foodstuffs, and consumer goods in addition to plastic materials, computers, electronics products and components, gas, machinery and equipment.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam has long-standing and traditional diplomatic relations and co-operation with many Middle Eastern countries as well as a network of diplomatic missions in these countries.

Hoan emphasised that imported goods of Middle Eastern countries are compatible with key Vietnamese export goods including garments, footwear and agricultural products.

However, Vietnamese businesses should be aware of the challenges when entering these markets including unstable security, ethnic contradictions, religious conflicts, cultural and religious differences, and lack of market information, particularly difficulties in payment methods as many businesses do not have the habit of opening a L/C (letter of credit).

The Ministry of Industry and Trade also gave many warning for enterprises to mitigate the risks while penetrating these markets such as careful market research, using consultancy for partner evaluations and monitoring the local political situation, among others.

Theo NDO