African markets

Cooperation with African markets could boost the fashion industry

VIETNAM, April 18 – A production line at Tiên Hưng Garment and Textile JSC in the northern province of Hưng Yên. Trade relations between Việt Nam and Africa had not matched its prospects, especially in the fashion industry. — Photo VNA/VNS Phạm Kiên

HÀ NỘI — Although there has been significant growth in recent years, the commercial relationship between Việt Nam and Africa has not matched its prospects, particularly in the fashion industry, said Lê Hoàng Tài, deputy director of the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade).

He noted that few African businesses and consumers know about Vietnamese fashion products.

The agency cooperated with Vietnamese trade offices in African countries to hold the Việt Nam – Africa 2022 Business Matchmaking Webinar on Fashion Products last week.

It was an activity to implement the national trade promotion program this year to support Vietnamese enterprises in the production and trade of fashion products to promote publicity, seek partners, connect opportunities trade and export to African markets.

The event attracted 50 Vietnamese and African fashion manufacturing and trading companies.

Last year saw remarkable growth in trade turnover between Việt Nam and Africa. Thus, Việt Nam’s exports to Africa reached 3.36 billion dollars, up 18.1% compared to 2020.

Africa’s exports to Việt Nam reached $4.71 billion, up 28.6% from 2020.

“The demand for goods including fashion consumer goods in Africa is increasing, but few businesses and consumers know about the various Vietnamese fashion products,” Tài said.

During this time, the textile, clothing and footwear industry in Việt Nam was highly developed, fulfilling many large orders with high demand from many markets around the world, but the level of supply from the African market only accounted for a very limited number and turnover, Tai said.

Assessing business cooperation and investment opportunities with the Vietnamese fashion industry, Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Mai, deputy secretary general of Vietnam Textile and Clothing Association (Vitas), said that with 55 countries and a population of over 1.2 billion, Africa’s economy had grown rapidly in recent years, leading to an increase in demand.

Currently, 43 of the 55 African countries had joined the WTO. These countries had gradually removed non-tariff barriers and reduced import taxes.

Highlighting the opportunities for African companies to invest in Việt Nam, Mai said the country has implemented the policy of living with COVID-19 and has joined numerous FTAs.

If African companies invested in Việt Nam, they would have many opportunities to benefit, she noted.

Việt Nam had implemented many programs to reform administrative procedures, promoted e-government and preferential policies for FDI companies.

She added that with abundant human resources, Vietnamese people are friendly and quickly adapt to new challenges such as digital transformation or circular economy.

“With the strengths of Việt Nam, we want to call on African companies to invest in Việt Nam to benefit from it. We want to call for investment here in the priority areas: fabric production. Currently, Việt Nam Nam imports a lot of fabrics from China and is gradually moving towards localization to benefit from the rules of origin of the FTAs. We call for green and clean investments in the manufacturing sector of fabrics using renewable energy, applying the circular economy”, said said May.

Mai said the African market has great potential and there is still plenty of room for Vietnamese businesses.

It was necessary to investigate and monitor the statistics of trade advisers to find opportunities for Vietnamese companies to export to Africa and invest in garment factories.

“With the amount of cotton that Việt Nam imports from West and Central Africa, I think that in the near future, if we have a good opportunity for cooperation, we can further increase the amount of cotton that we import. of Africa so that Việt Nam and the continent have a win-win cooperation,” she said. — VNS