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Vietnam looks to trade with Africa

While the global economy is gradually recovering from the recession, Vietnam has recovered mush faster, creating opportunities for local and foreign businesses.

This was the consensus among development experts, policy specialists, government officials, and business executives from Africa and Vietnam who attended a workshop last Friday on enhancing South-South Co-operation between African countries and the Mekong region.

Their evolving economies and expertise allow for exchange of advanced knowledge, but a common language to facilitate communication is first needed, they pointed out.

Speaking about co-operation between Vietnam and West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) in agriculture and agricultural exports, Vo Tan Thanh, director of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's HCM City chapter, said the two areas have huge demand for rice, cashew, vegetables and technologies used in their farming.

Vietnam has factories producing machines for post-harvest processing, he said.

Fogue Fidele Kouduahou, general director of WAKA Corporation, said since UEMOA member countries do not have the know-how to develop their food processing industry, enhancing co-operation with Vietnam is vital.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam's trade with UEMOA member countries increased five-fold between 2007 and 2014 to US$854 million.

With CEMAC members it increased 4.6 times to US$340.8 million (S$481.5 million).


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