Seminar talks export of farm produce, seafood export to Middle East, Africa
Updated : Friday, July 06, 2018 2:58 PM (GMT+0700)

TheForeign Ministry held a seminar in Hanoi on July 5 on external relations andthe export of farm produce and aquatic products to the Middle East andAfrica. 

Illustrative image - Source: VNA

Speaking at the event,Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Hong Nam said Vietnam and countries in the MiddleEast and Africa share long-standing friendships that lay the foundations forall-round cooperation, especially in trade, industry, and investment. 

Nam emphasised the MiddleEast and Africa’s strong purchasing power with a total population of over 1billion people. 

South African Ambassador toVietnam Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro said South Africa has a market-orientedagricultural economy, including food, cereals, animal husbandry, processedmeat, and farm produce. The country imports agricultural products and food,mostly wheat, chicken meat, palm oil, soybeans, fish, and boneless seafood.However, Vietnam accounts for only over 1 percent of South Africa’simports. 

The deputy head of theMinistry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)’s Agro Processing andMarket Development Authority, Tran Van Cong, said the Middle East and Africaare yet to impose strict requirements or certifications for agriculturalproducts. The two sides are also yet to sign a free trade agreement whiletariffs and technical barriers remain unstable. 

Payment risk is high asregional importers are unfamiliar with opening a letter of credit, and many ofthem ask for deferred payment while Vietnamese businesses prefer immediatepayment, forcing many partners to seek other foreign suppliers. 

Deputy head of the MoIT’sDepartment of Asia-Africa Markets Do Quoc Hung hailed the Middle East-Africanregion as a promising market with 70 countries and a population of over 1.6billion. The region has a huge demand for goods, especially farm produce andaquatic products, due to severe environmental conditions.

He said rice will continueto be a major currency earner in the near future. 

In order to facilitate theexport of farm produce and aquatic products to the region, Hung suggestedrefining the legal framework, mechanisms, and policies, alongside prioritisingthe signing of trade agreements. 

Both sides need to activelypromote bilateral collaboration via the joint committee channel, he said,adding that Vietnam needs to boost trade promotion and help firms joinexhibitions and fairs to popularise their brands. 

The MARD, the Ministry ofIndustry and Trade, the Vietnam Food Association, and export enterprises needto establish a cooperation mechanism to boost export to the region, he said,adding that the two sides should raise firms’ awareness of the potential ofeach other’s market. 

Participants at the eventshared experience and discussed payment in export activities, economicdiplomacy, and support for businesses.


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