Vietnam exported 2.8 billion USD worth of goods to France last year, up 8 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

The five groups of key exports included telephones and components, with a turnover of 900 million USD, which were up 48 percent; footwear exports were pegged at 237.8 million USD, up 12.6 percent; footwear with 141 million USD, up 19 percent.

Exports of bags and suitcases rose 10.7 percent to 64.5 million USD, and those for coffee jumped 21.3 percent to 88.5 million USD.

MoIT said that with suitable business strategies, Vietnamese enterprises could also start exporting other items to the market, such as cashew nuts, pepper, rubber, garments, bamboo-made goods and electric cables.

It also suggested that domestic firms should take the initiative to join business forums and participate in international trade fairs and exhibitions.

Good prospects for Vietnam-France trade in 2015 are expected to emerge once the Vietnam-European Union free trade agreement is signed, Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in France Nguyen Canh Cuong, said at a recent roundtable meeting in Paris.

Cuong said the agreement will include offers for preferential tax rates on many commodities, while commitments on investment and intellectual property protection will encourage Vietnamese and EU businesses, including those from France, to intensify trade and investment exchanges.

Jean-Phillip Eglinger, the Manager of Vietnam-France Strategies Company said France's small- and medium-sized enterprises, which operate in food, agricultural products, health, pharmaceuticals, and waste treatment, stand a good chance of success in Vietnam when co-operating with Vietnamese partners as they can support each other to explore and exploit their respective market.

He suggested that Vietnamese companies improve production and processing capacities to create brand names for advantageous products, such as tea, coffee and cashew nuts.-VNA