South Africa – gateway for Vietnamese rice to Africa hinh anh 1Tran Quoc Toan, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Import and Export Department speaks at the rice export promotion conference. (Photo: VNA)

Pretoria (VNA) South Africa is a promising market for Vietnamese rice exporters as it consumes about 850,000 tonnes of rice a year, said an official from Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

South Africa’s demand for rice is expected to rise in the context that its natural conditions are unfavorable for rice farming while the number of tourists and labourers from Asia, where rice is the main staple, coming to the country is on the rise, Tran Quoc Toan, deputy head of the MoIT’s Import and Export Department said.

Toan led a delegation to seek export markets for Vietnamese rice in South Africa from December 10-11. The trip is also part of trade promotion activities aiming to realise the target of improving trade between the two countries from present 1 billion USD to 1.5 billion USD in 2020 set by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during his visit to Vietnam in 2016.

At a working session with the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on December 10, Toan said as the locomotive economy in Africa, South Africa serves as a gateway for Vietnamese rice exporters to access the wider African market.

He, therefore, suggested Vietnamese businesses to expand relations with international partners operating in South Africa.

At the meeting, the official briefed South African participants on regulations regarding tax and customs procedures for rice exported to their country and rice distribution channels in the market.

Madileke Ramushu, DTI Director of Asia Bilateral Relations, said South Africa always encourages and stands ready to create the best possible conditions for Vietnamese businesses to increase rice exports to the country.

It will help them to enter other markets in the continent, especially those in the South African Development Community with a total population of 650 million, he said.

On this occasion, Madileke called on Vietnamese firms to help their South African partners to raise processed contents of their products delivered to Vietnam in order to improve their values.

He also suggested Vietnamese enterprises invest in the processing sector in South Africa, thus promoting their products in Africa.

While in South Africa, the Vietnamese delegation and the Vietnamese Embassy in the country joined hands with the DTI’s office in Johannesburg city to organise a workshop on rice export promotion in Vietnam.-VNA