Representatives from the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry met on June 25 to discuss ways to boost trade cooperation between the two countries.
The event was part of the Vietnamese delegation’s trip to attend the South African International Trade Exhibition 2019 (SAITEX) in Johannesburg.
Bui Thi Thanh An - deputy head of the Trade Promotion Agency, appreciated the efforts made by the two sides in the last decade to lift two-way trade to more than 1 billion USD in 2018 from 658 million USD in 2010.
Although Vietnam-South Africa trade turnover has increased for years, there is still room to expand two-way trade, especially in mining, production and processing of food and seafood, An said.
Regarding trade policy, she suggested both nations consider building a free trade agreement (FTA) to facilitate goods and service exchange and investment cooperation.
Vietnam has signed more than 10 FTAs with partners and most of them are operating effectively, contributing to national GDP, she stressed.
For his part, Chief Director of Bilateral Relations at the Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa Victor Mashabela applauded Vietnam’s proposal for an FTA, saying it will be a turning point in trade ties and bilateral cooperation.
He said a delegation of Department of Trade and Industry of South Africa will visit Vietnam in the final quarter of 2019 to the country’s products and to learn about consumer trends in Vietnam.
Previously, a workshop to connect Vietnamese and South African enterprises was held on June 24 on the sidelines of SAITEX 2019, with the participation of representatives from 22 Vietnamese firms and more than 100 local businesses.
On the occasion, another workshop on trade links will be held in Cape Town on June 27.
The Vietnamese delegation will also work with local importers, retailers and distributors to understand more about requirements on goods import and distribution in supermarket chains in South Africa.