The total export turnover to Africa is estimated to reach US$3.12 billion in 2013, the Thoi bao kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) newspaper reported yesterday.

The report cited the International Monetary Fund as saying Africa is set to maintain a growth rate of at least five per cent in this year, with the likelihood of it reaching six per cent.

Among 20 countries in the world that are forecast to record the highest growth rates in the 2013-2017 period, Africa has 13 representatives: Libya, Guinea, South Sudan, Rwanda, Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Congo, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.

According to the United Nations, Africa’s population could increase to 1.2 billion people by 2050, a factor that indicates the possibility of high consumption demand.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency said Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Angola, Morocco and Mozambique have emerged as leading consumers of Vietnamese goods over the past several years.

Export shipments to these markets have seen a strong growth rate of 20 per cent per year.

Vietnamese exports to South Africa reached US$62.9 million in January, with the main products being phones, spare parts for phones, footwear, cashew and coffee.

To Senegal, Vietnamese businesses exported $2.93 million worth of rice, textiles and garments, cars, motorbikes and auto spare parts.

Algeria imported goods worth $18.9 million from Viet Nam including $4 million worth of rice and $9.9 million worth of coffee.

It is expected that in the coming years, many Vietnamese items will have big opportunities to penetrate further into the African market.

For instance, rice consumption in the continent is forecast to increase significantly. Africa as a whole will consume 24-24.5 million tonnes of rice per year, of which 10 million tonnes will be imported.

Last year, Viet Nam exported rice to 32 African countries, earning $900 million, an increase of 22 per cent over 2011.

Phones and auto spare parts are seen as key export items to Africa. Last year, export turnover of these items reached $264 million, an increase of 104.7 per cent. The main buyers were South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Angola and Tunisia.

African supplies

On the other hand, Africa is a big market that can supply a wide range of goods to Viet Nam, experts say.

As the EU and US economies recover, Vietnamese enterprises will increase imports of raw cashew from Africa.

Currently, Viet Nam purchases cotton from 21 African countries to serve its textile and garment industry.

Several activities implemented under a five-year (2011-2015) plan to increase exports to Africa are expected to bear fruit this year.

The Government has said it will continue to issue policies to support and encourage small and medium sized enterprises further penetrate the African market.

Vietnam news - February, 21 2013