Helpful information about the African and Middle East markets was provided to Vietnamese businesses at a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 8 with the aim of increasing trade cooperation with between the regions.

Economic experts said that countries in Africa and the Middle East always receive attention from others worldwide as they are rich in natural resources and rare materials, including crude oil, natural gas, minerals, precious metals and diamonds.

Many of them have lifted their non-tariff barriers and reduced import taxes, they added.

Bui Hoang Yen, deputy head of the Trade Promotion Department’s southern office, said that the two regions are attractive in commercial exchange, investment cooperation and labour export.

Vietnam has now signed trade agreements with 15 nations in the two regions in order to create legal conditions for businesses to foster economic, trade and investment ties.

In the first half of this year, Vietnam earned 5.9 billion USD and 3 billion USD from exporting products to Africa and the Middle East respectively, while importing 3.5 billion USD and 1.4 billion USD worth of products from these markets.

The country mainly sells agricultural, electronic and aquatic products to these markets, while buying crude oil, liquefied gas, cashew and plastic.

Vietnam’s major African and Middle East partners include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel.-VNA