Vietnam’s Efforts to Boost Agricultural Exports to Africa

From January to September 2023, Vietnam experienced a 4.7% growth in trade volume with Africa, amassing a total turnover of US$4.35 billion. The export of Vietnamese agricultural goods to this region saw a significant surge both in terms of quantity and value, particularly for commodities like rice, coffee, and cashew nuts.

Vietnam Seeks to Promote Agricultural Exports to Africa
Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc spoke at the opening of the seminar.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 1 organized a seminar on improving the effectiveness of promoting Vietnamese agricultural products in Africa, chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc.

The seminar aimed to evaluate the prospects, advantages, and difficulties for the introduction and promotion of Vietnamese agricultural products in the sub-Saharan African market, the need to establish spaces to display agricultural product samples at Vietnamese representative agencies.

At the event, the delegates also discussed directions and solutions to improve the effectiveness of agricultural product promotion activities in the region.

Speaking at the opening of the discussion, Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc appreciated the participation of the delegates, expressing their interest and need to access the African market.

The Deputy Minister emphasized that the African region continues to emerge as a bright spot in Vietnam’s trade cooperation with the world, especially in the context of economic difficulties in countries, and many of Vietnam’s traditional markets facing the risk of economic recession and inflation.

In the first 9 months of 2023, Vietnam’s total trade turnover with the world decreased by nearly 11% compared to the same period in 2022.

Vietnam’s turnover with the African region increased by 4.7%, reaching US$4.35 billion, of which many Vietnamese agricultural products exported to the region increased sharply in volume and value, such as rice, coffee, and cashew nuts.

Deputy Minister Ha Kim Ngoc affirmed that Vietnam has favorable conditions to promote the export of agricultural products to the African region.

The two sides have good political relations. Leaders of many African countries consider Vietnam a model for hunger eradication and poverty reduction. They wish to learn from experience and strengthen economic and trade relations with Vietnam.

On the Vietnamese side, the highest-level leaders of the Party and State are also interested in promoting economic cooperation with the African region.

Vietnam Seeks to Promote Agricultural Exports to Africa
Overview of the seminar. Photo:

The Deputy Minister emphasized that the sub-Saharan Africa region with a population of nearly one billion people is a market with a lot of potential and space that Vietnamese agricultural export enterprises need to utilize.

However, in addition to improving competitiveness in price and quality with other agricultural export powerhouses, Vietnamese managers and businesses need to have appropriate measures and methods to promote agricultural products effectively to local businesses and consumers.

Speaking at the seminar, the Standing Vice Chairman of Bac Lieu Provincial People’s Committee Le Tan Can introduced the province’s potential and strengths in agriculture and fisheries, especially seafood processing, rice and salt production.

He affirmed that Bac Lieu province is ready to support the province’s businesses and Vietnamese representative agencies in Africa in introducing and boosting the province’s key products to the area.

At the seminar, delegates discussed ideas for establishing and organizing spaces to display samples of Vietnamese agricultural products at Vietnamese representative agencies in the region.

They believe this is a practical measure to support localities and businesses in introducing products.

However, to implement this model well, localities, agricultural exporters, and logistics enterprises need to coordinate and connect more closely and regularly with Vietnamese Embassies in the region in determining priority products to enhance promotion for each market.

In Vietnam’s export structure to Africa in 2022, the value of exported agricultural products of all kinds reached more than US$950 million, accounting for 26.5% of Vietnam’s export structure to the regional market. The turnover of rice products reached US$624 million, coffee (US$161 million) and cashew nuts (US$66.1 million).

In the first 8 months of 2023, Vietnam’s export of many agricultural products to the region increased sharply compared to the same period in 2022.

Rice exports to Senegal increased by 3,018% in volume and 2,214% in value. Coffee exports to South Africa increased by 115% in volume and 121.5% in value.

Rosie Nguyen