The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will continue to provide domestic companies with latest trade information about potential markets in Africa while updating import-export regulations in these markets.

This will help the firms accelerate their exports to the continent, the ministry's Africa, West Asia and South Asia Market Department has said.

The ministry will also join hands with commercial banks both in Vietnam and Africa to facilitate payments for businesses and support local firms in opening warehouses, as well as establish representative offices, branches and affiliates in the region's large markets.

Cooperation with Vietnamese Commercial Offices in the region, in introducing business opportunities and prestigious customers to Vietnamese companies will also be included.

Statistics from the General Department of Customs showed that Vietnamese exports to most large markets in Africa have experienced growth over the past four months in key items. These include seafood, coffee, electronics and components and mobile phones. Means of transport and spare parts, machine equipment, apparel and construction materials, have also got a boost.

During the reviewed period, South Africa remained the continent's leading importer of Vietnamese goods with a turnover of 230 million USD, up 20 percent year-on-year. Egypt came second with 110 million USD, up 36 percent.

Three other markets with high growth rates include Algeria with 97.6 million USD, (up 45 percent); Ghana with 74 million USD, (up 54 percent) and Nigeria with 67 million USD, (up 83 percent).

Conversely, export turnover to some markets declined sharply. Exports to Angola, Senegal and the Ivory Coast went down by 47 percent to 23.2 million USD, 38 percent to 11.3 million USD and 14 percent to 38.5 million USD, respectively, mainly due to significant decreases in turnover of rice and garments.

Experts have urged Vietnamese businesses to be proactive in overcoming obstacles such as geographic distance, high transport costs, trading through intermediaries and language barriers.

They suggest that in the future, firms should boost shipments of high-value electronics, electric devices, household goods and consumer items. Shipment of foodstuffs, canned foods, and mechanical and plastics products besides traditional items should also be increased.-VNA