HCM City (VNA) – The Latin American region has for years been a potential market for Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai told the 2022 Vietnam-Latin America Trade Forum on November 25.
In terms of Vietnam’s trade exchange, the region has always been among the markets with the highest growth. Not only a potential export market for Vietnam’s key products such as garment and textile, footwear, and agricultural and aquatic products, Latin America is also an important source of raw materials for the Vietnamese processing industry with such products as corn, soybean, and animal feed .
Two-way trade nearly doubled from 11.6 billion USD in 2016 to 21.4 billion USD last year, of which 12.5 billion USD came from Vietnam’s exports.
The figure reached 18.7 billion USD in the first 10 months of this year, up 10.5% year-on-year, of which Vietnam’s exports were valued at 10.2 billion USD.
Notably, besides Vietnam’s key markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, newly emerging ones such as Panama, Colombia and Peru have become bright spots in trade exchanges between the two sides. Vietnam’s trade turnover with Colombia, Peru and Panama hit 674.7 million USD, 633.7 million USD, and 465.6 million USD last year, up 41.5%, 62% and 45.5% year-on-year, respectively.
Deputy Minister Hai affirmed that Vietnam and Latin American partners have effectively carried out signed agreements to create leverage for bilateral trade and investment ties. The Southeast Asian nation is also discussing the possibility of a free trade agreement with the Southern Common Market (Mercocur).
However, the official pointed to several challenges in bilateral business cooperation, including geographical distance, no direct transport routes, high logistics costs, language barriers, and lack of market information.
These challenges require high determination and efforts from both sides to seek effective solutions to them, and increase the efficiency of trade and investment collaboration activities, he stressed.
At the forum, over 100 Vietnamese enterprises were helped to connect with 28 Latin American firms in various fields to seek cooperation opportunities. Vietnamese companies also showcased their products within the framework of the event.