HCM CITY (VNS)— A delegation of 20 business executives from the Monetary Community of Central Africa and West African Economic and Monetary Union met Vietnamese counterparts from the agricultural processing sector at a forum held in HCM City yesterday.

Trade and investment relations between Viet Nam and UEMOA and CEMAC steadily increased, Hoang Duc Nhuan, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Africa Market Office, said.

Rice is Viet Nam’s main export staple to the two groupings, he said.

Rice exports to UEMOA members were worth US$330 million in 2011, accounting for 80 per cent of all exports.

It was followed by textiles and garments at $12.3 million.

Viet Nam’s imports from UEMOA were mainly cashew and cotton, and they were respectively worth $226.8 million and $90 million in 2011.

Rice exports to CEMAC were worth $60.3 million and accounted for more than half of all exports.

It was followed by textile and garment at $53.3 million.

Imports from CEMAC, mainly of wood, cotton, and scrap iron, were worth $130 million.

Africa with a population of 1 billion is a promising market for Viet Nam’s agriculture produce since Vietnamese prices are acceptable in Africa, Nguyen Ngoc Thang, deputy head of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Foreign Relations Department, said.

Trade between Viet Nam and African countries topped $5 billion last year, he said, up from $3.6 billion in 2012.

The forum was held under the auspices of the Viet Nam-Africa-Middle East Business Forum, which promotes commercial and economic relations.

It was organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, and the International Trade Centre. —VNS

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