High import tax rates, limited solvency, poor infrastructure and communications and unstable political situations are major risks faced by Vietnam’s exports to Africa.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) held a seminar with the aim of reducing risks in trade relations with Africa in Ho Chi Minh City on March 16.

An expert of the International Trade Centre, Alain Chevalier, said there is no Vietnamese bank in Africa , which hinders payment activities.

Additionally, Vietnamese and African enterprises are not active in studying markets and exchange information to seek sustainable cooperative opportunities, he said.

However, there are some economic organisations which operate to create favourable conditions for import-export activities where Vietnamese enterprises may seek business chances.

According to MoIT, Vietnam - Africa bilateral trade reached nearly 3 billion USD with an average growth rate of 30 percent.

Vietnam and Africa have agreed to implement three joint cooperation programmes, including boosting trade promotion, developing exports of handicrafts and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.

Vietnam has set up diplomatic ties with 50 African countries and signed bilateral trade agreements with 15, and the market has huge demand for Vietnamese consumer goods and agricultural products, according to Le Ngoc Thi of the MoIT’s Africa-West Asia-South Asia Department.

Another MoIT representative, Tran Quang Huy suggested Vietnamese exporters to Africa learn information about the market and partners carefully, as well as how to deal with trade disputes, to protect themselves and minimise risks./.