Apr 06, 2021 / 17:36

Vietnam – Algeria – Senegal seeks greater trade and investment cooperation

Vietnam is calling for investment from African enterprises as the country is the gateway to Asian market, especially ASEAN with 650 million customers.

Over 200 enterprises from Algeria, Senegal and Vietnam operating in various fields of agriculture, food, textile, footwear, electronics and pharmacy took part in an online conference discussing cooperation potential and ways to boost trade and investment between the three countries.

 Overview of the online meeting. Photo: VNA

The event was jointly held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Dakar, Senegal, the Vietnam Embassies in the two African countries, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development of Algeria (ONDE) on April 5-6.

“As countries around the world are still closing their borders amid Covid-19 pandemic, trade promotion activities are key to ensure enterprises from three countries to continue their trading activities,” said VIETRADE’s Head Vu Ba Phu.

ONDE’s President Roubai Nasreddine Mounir highlighted the importance of the event at a time when the global economy is still struggling with Covid-19 impacts.

Mounir said Algeria is a potential market and a gateway for Vietnamese enterprises to boost its trade relations with the African region.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Algeria Hoang Duc Nhuan called on enterprises from Algeria and Senegal to take part in upcoming trade events in Vietnam, including the Vietnam Expo 2021 [from April 14-17], Vietnam Furniture Matching Week 2021 [April 12-19], and Autotech & Accessories 2021 [from May 20-23].

Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC) revealed two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Algeria in 2020 declined by 20% year-on-year to US$150 million as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vietnam’s major export products to Algeria include coffee, rice, pepper, seafood, steel, computers, electronic products and machinery, while the African country mainly imports medicine, mineral and animal feed from the latter.

“Such trade figure remains disproportionate  to the potential from the two countries,” said Nhuan, adding Vietnamese enterprises could consider investing in manufacturing, tourism, and technology in Algeria to further access the African market, especially as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) became effective since January 1, 2021.

“Vietnam is also promoting investment from Algerian companies, as the country could open the door for them to penetrate Asian market, in particular the ASEAN with 650 million customers,” Nhuan added.

Meanwhile, Vietnam – Senegal trade turnover was around US$95 million in 2019, with Vietnamese major export products to Senegal being smart phones, textile, vegetables and seafood. Senegal mainly exports to Vietnam cashew nuts, animal feed and cotton.