Middle East market remains promising for Vietnamese exporters: Experts hinh anh 1Wooden handicraft products on display in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – With a population of 400 million, the Middle East is emerging as a promising market for Vietnamese exporters, according to experts.

Thanks to the rising oil prices, the Middle East is enjoying high growth. Among 16 regional countries, Vietnam has mostly traded with six member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), namely the UAE, Arab Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

Trade between Vietnam and the GCC countries has surged from 2.7 billion USD in 2012 to 12.5 billion USD in 2021.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Ngo Toan Thang said that there are abundant opportunities for Vietnamese firms in the GCC market thanks to the sound relations with the GCC countries and a relatively completed legal corridor for cooperation.

So far, Vietnam has signed economic, trade and scientific-technological cooperation agreements with five GCC countries, trade deals with two nations, double-tax avoidance agreements with five countries and investment protection deals with four countries. Vietnamese products are suitable to the demands of the GCC countries.

Nguyen Tuan, Deputy Director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC), said that Middle East countries have high demand for wooden furniture, plastics, grains, garments, footwear, rubber products, meat, milk and vegetables, which are strong products of Vietnam.

Each year, the market imports about 80 percent of its food and foodstuff consumption needs, worth about 40 billion USD. The figure is likely to reach about 70 billion USD per year by 2035. Meanwhile, the import tax rate in the market is relatively low at 0-5 percent, he added.

HCM City’s export revenue generated from the Middle East market has risen strongly. In 2021, the city earned 230 million USD from exporting goods to the UAE, and 130 million USD from Iraq, Tuan said.

However, he said that local firms have faced a number of difficulties in the market, including a lack of information and barriers in logistics and international payment. He called for support from Vietnamese representative agencies in the Middle East as well as trade promotion agencies at home.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hang, Marketing Director of the Halal Certification Agency Vietnam, said that the Muslim markets, including the Middle East countries, are a promising land for Vietnamese exporters.

She advised businesses to carefully study the markets and create confidence among local consumers in their products./.