Under a national trade promotion programme, a business delegation of executives from 14 spinning and garment companies has visited Brazil to explore business opportunities.

The move was also aimed at finding partners to develop Vietnam’s cotton industry, creating a reliable source of raw materials.

With the support of the Vietnamese Trade Office in Brazil, two conferences to promote bilateral cooperation were held during the visit from September 24 to October 5.

Nguyen Hong Giang, general director of the Vietnam Spinning Association (VSA), said the visit was part of an effort to penetrate the Brazilian market.

It came amid the Vietnam Spinning Association’s hope that garment and textile exports to Brazil can be expanded greatly if firms step up promotions there, Giang said adding Vietnamese businesses would draft concrete plans to develop the market.

Since Vietnamese firms only eyed Brazil’s market after their rivals from other countries, he said, they had to produce high-quality products at competitive prices to penetrate the market.

The VSA said it would foster cooperation with the Brazilian Textile and Apparel Industry Association and the Brazilian Cotton Exporters Association to provide market information to each other’s businesses.

With a population of more than 190 million, Brazil has a huge demand for many kinds of goods.

Brazil ranks fourth in the world in terms of cotton export and also has a large demand for fibre, importing on average 450,000 tonnes a year from China, India and Pakistan.

Though bilateral trade between Vietnam and Brazil had increased consistently in recent years, it remained low compared with the potential, Giang said, adding it was distant due to a lack of information about each other’s markets, payment methods, and geographic location.

Trade rose from 204 million USD in 2006 to 557 million USD last year, according to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which added that last year Vietnam’s exports were worth 183 million USD.

Vietnam exports included seafood, fruits and vegetables, textile and garment, shoes, and handicrafts.

It imported wheat, milk and dairy products, eucalyptus wood, and raw materials for the textile industry.

The two countries are seeking to raise their two-way trade value to 1-2 billion USD./.