Amid Vietnam's goods export to many traditional markets facing difficulties, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said the expansion and development of trade cooperation with new potential markets in the Middle East andAfrica is one of the solutions that Vietnam needs to employ.

According to the Department of Trade Promotion (Ministry of Industry and Trade), Vietnam has established trade relations with all 70 countries in the Middle East - Africa. Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and these two regions has increased more than nine times in the past 15 years.

Agriculture, energy, transportation, labour and experts are changing fields in cooperation between Vietnam and Middle East - African countries.
Le Hoang Tai, Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Department said Vietnam's exports to the Middle East - Africa are increasingly diversified.

Beside agricultural products, textiles andfootwear, there are more industrial products with high added value such as computers, electronic products and components, mobile phones, equipment and spare parts.

“In addition to exploiting markets, the expansion and development of commercial cooperation with new potential markets in the Middle East - Africa is one of the solutions Vietnam needs to aim at the coming time," Tai said.

Nguyen Thai Son, Asia - Africa Market Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) said Middle East countries and Africa have main resources as oil, gas and other ores. For food products, they depend heavily on imports.

Goods distribution channels such as supermarket chains andretail chains are spread across countries in the region, if Vietnamese products enter one Middle East - Africa country, they will have the opportunity to enter other countriesin the region.

This market is quite "easy", does not require high technical requirements likethe EU or other "difficult" markets.

Besides theseadvantages, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in Algeria, when promoting trade with the Middle East-Africa market, Vietnamese businesses will also face certain difficulties.

Specifically, the Covid-19 pandemic causes the oil pricein these countries to decrease and the decrease of their currency has caused policies to reduce imports in some countries. In particular, Algeria has banned the import of some fruits such as oranges andtangerines when the country is in the harvest season.

In addition, in the Middle East - Africa, Vietnamese products also have to compete with the goods of many other countries such as: rice, cereals (India); tea, coffee, spices (China, India, United Arab Emirates); agricultural products (Thailand, India).
For Vietnamese goods to successfully penetrate into the Middle East - Africa market, Vietnamese Trade Counselors in this region said businesses need to improve product quality.

At the same time, products when exported to this market not only "hit" local consumers, but also towards foreigners living here like Indians and other Asian countries.

Businesses also need to apply production technology to have high added value products and reduce costs to increase their competitiveness with other countries‘s products.

Source: VN Explorer