Thang Long - Hanoi

Vietnam, Benin aim for closer investment ties
29/09/2011 | 16:34:32
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Benin wants to strengthen investment and trade cooperation with Vietnam , an official from the West African nation told a seminar held in HCM City on Sept. 28.

The seminar, organised by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency's HCM City office, is attended by a visiting delegation of ministerial officials from Benin .

Benin is a predominantly agricultural country, with farming contributing 34 percent of its GDP , Sabi Boum Djoule, the legal adviser to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said.

Its main export items are cotton, raw cashew nut, rice, pineapple, and orange.

" Benin wants to learn from Vietnam food processing and preservation, fruit-juice production, and cashew processing," he said.

He called on Vietnamese companies to build factories for processing cashew and mango and upgrade cotton-processing plants in Benin , adding that his Government will back Vietnamese companies to make bilateral economic relations more fruitful.

Benin is a promising market and possible gateway to Africa for Vietnamese products, Ngo Van Roan, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Import-Export Department in HCM City , said.

Trade between the two countries had risen significantly in the past few years to top 53 million USDlast year.

In the first half of this year, it reached 46.7 million USD, with Benin 's exports accounting for 37.7 million USD, mainly of cotton, cashew nut, and scrap iron.

Among Vietnam 's key exports to Benin are rice, raw materials for tobacco production, and electronics, Roan said.

These figures indicated that the bilateral trade potential remains largely untapped, mostly due to a lack of information about each other's markets, geography and high transport costs, language barrier, and payment issues, he said.

Roan said to overcome difficulties and enhance bilateral trade, Vietnamese companies should focus more on trade promotion and take part in exhibitions in Africa .

He also called on them to work directly with Beninese companies to understand local consumers' needs./.
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