A delegation of 20 business executives from the Monetary Community of Central Africa and West African Economic and Monetary Union met Vietnamese counterparts from the agricultural processing sector at a forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on January 9.

Trade and investment relations between Vietnam and UEMOA and CEMAC steadily increased, Hoang Duc Nhuan, Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Africa Market Office, said.

Rice is Vietnam's main export staple to the two groupings, he said.

Rice exports to UEMOA members were worth 330 million USD in 2011, accounting for 80 percent of all exports.

It was followed by textiles and garments at 12.3 million USD.

Vietnam's imports from UEMOA were mainly cashew and cotton, and they were respectively worth 226.8 million USD and 90 million USD in 2011.

Rice exports to CEMAC were worth 60.3 million USD and accounted for more than half of all exports.
It was followed by textile and garment at 53.3 million USD.

Imports from CEMAC, mainly of wood, cotton, and scrap iron, were worth 130 million USD.

Africa with a population of one billion is a promising market for Vietnam's agriculture produce since Vietnamese prices are acceptable in Africa, Nguyen Ngoc Thang, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Foreign Relations Department, said.

Trade between Vietnam and African countries topped 5 billion USD last year, he said, up from 3.6 billion USD in 2012.

The forum was held under the auspices of the Vietnam-Africa-Middle East Business Forum, which promotes commercial and economic relations.

It was organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, and the International Trade Centre.-VNA