Vietnam’s export markets in Africa keep expanding, with the most important being South Africa, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana, the Vietnam Business Forum reported.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam’s exports to Africa in 2013 soared 34 percent year on year.

In January 2014, the country’s exports to Africa valued at 151.6 million USD, up nearly 12 percent year on year. South Africa took the lead with 70.3 million USD, followed by Algeria (23.3 million USD), Egypt (23 million USD), Nigeria (13.2 million USD) and Ghana (10.5 million USD).

Fast-growing exports were mobile phones, rubber, fibre, coffee and computers.

The biggest forex earners were rice, apparel, seafood, coffee, mobile phones and tobacco materials.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s import spending in January 2014 with Africa was 24 million USD, West Asia (149.3 million USD) and South Asia (270 million USD). Its key imports were plastic materials, animal feed, cotton, fibre and pharmaceuticals.

Rice contributed 30 percent of Vietnam’s export turnover with Africa. The continent is forecast to spend 1 billion USD a year on rice and this market is a potential market for Vietnamese rice. Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria are major buyers of Vietnamese rice.

Apparels accounted for 15 percent of the country’s exports to Africa.

Vietnam’s garments and textiles were shipped to South Africa, Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Benin, and Madagascar.
Seafood ranked third, while Tra fish is a popular food in this continent, led by Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria and Tunisia.

In addition to traditional items like footwear, coffee, pepper and rubber, in recent years, Vietnam shipped more new items to this continent, including electrical - electronic, mechanical, plastic woodwork, motorcycle, cigarettes, fruit and vegetable, spice powder, monosodium glutamate, children's toys, noodles, milk and bike. Nevertheless, the value was not high.

In the coming time, Vietnam will boost shipments of high-valued electronics, electric devices, household goods, consumer goods, foodstuffs, canned foods, mechanical products and plastics products in addition to traditional items like footwear, apparel and seafood.

In return, Africa is a supplier of timbers, cotton, cashew nuts, metals, gold and scrap iron for Vietnam.-VNA