13:36 | 07/07/2015 Trade
Vietnam and Latin American countries have supplementary business structures, which could help boost economic development.
Pham Thi Thu Hang, general secretary of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), made the remark at a workshop on business opportunities in the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) organised by VCCI and the Mercosur-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce.
The businesses include oil and gas exploitation and processing, mining, hydro-electricity, wind-driven electricity, nuclear power, atomic energy, biological products and agriculture.
The trade relations between Vietnam and the trade block have seen fast development in recent years, as Vietnam has established trade relations with 33 markets in the region, according to Hang.
Vietnam's export turnover to Latin American countries increased by 37% to US$4.7 billion last year, compared with 2013.
Meanwhile, imports to Vietnam from Latin America rose by nearly 50% year over year to reach US$4.8 billion.
The two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and 33 Latin American countries reached $9.5 billion last year, up 40.7% over 2013.
Commodities Vietnam exports to Latin American markets include footwear, electronic products, rubber, electric motors, optical devices, rice, coffee and coal.
The country imports raw material for textiles and garments, footwear, steel and iron scraps, animal feed and cotton from Latin American markets.
Mercosur - ASEAN Chamber of Commerce President Rodolfo Caffaro Kramer said that despite the achievements, trade between Vietnam and Mercosur could be improved.
Apart from traditional partners like Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela, trade between Vietnam and other countries in the block has not expanded.
Rodolfo said the trade was lower than its potential due to language barriers, geographical distance and limited information between partners.
Enterprises from the two sides also have fewer opportunities to meet each other, due to high market research expenses, the president added.
Mercosur is an important region in Latin America, with free trade agreements among Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru./.