African countries and territories hope to further develop cooperation with Vietnamese businesses to lure more investment in processed farm produce, a workshop heard in Ho Chi Minh City on January 9.

Guinea-Bissau’s Secretary of State for Trade, Ibraima Djalo, said Africa has strengths in agriculture and farm produce of all kinds; however, infrastructure has not yet developed sufficiently to enable investment in the field.

The Vietnam-Africa-Middle East Business Forum was therefore seen as a long-awaited and much-needed chance for the participants, including 20 businesses from central and western Africa, to promote trade activities, lure investment and enhance bilateral cooperation in the area, according to vice president of the forum Thai Kieu Huong.

Businesses from the two countries should grasp this opportunity to exchange information on market demands, and seek ways to enhance cooperation in the most beneficial manner, creating a premise for future bilateral partnership.

The event also aims to help Vietnamese and African businesspeople address an array of difficulties pertaining to the administrative formalities, entrance and exit, and banking, Huong added.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has so far this year signed agreements on trade development cooperation with 25 out of 55 nations and territories in Africa, according to deputy head of the VCCI International Relations Department Nguyen Ngoc Thang.

Two-way trade was recorded at nearly 5 billion USD in 2013, up 25 times from the 2002 figure.

Africa boasts enormous potential in energy and mining resources of all kinds; however, geographical distance is blamed for limiting bilateral collaboration between Vietnam and Africa , Thang noted.-VNA